CALGARY, ALBERTA, July 4, 2024 –Alberta Innovates has received $10 million from the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program administered by Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan). The funding will allow Alberta Innovates to establish a specialized production and testing facility to commercialize technologies that convert Alberta-sourced bitumen into carbon fibre.

Alberta Innovates will work with Harper International who will engineer and build the equipment for the new carbon fibre testing facility. InnoTech Alberta will house the facility at the Edmonton Research Park location and operate it day-to-day. Participants in Phase III of the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge (CFGC) will be among the first to use this new equipment as they test and validate their own processes and begin to scale-up the amounts of carbon fibre required for commercial applications. The new carbon fibre testing facility will have open-access and it is expected to be operational by early 2025.


“As part of our Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy, our government is working collaboratively with businesses, industry, Indigenous communities, and all levels of government to build on Alberta’s proven strengths in clean energy innovation. This investment in Alberta Innovates will enable the commercialization of new technologies that support Canada’s commitment to a net-zero economy and sustainable jobs for Albertans.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan


“We congratulate Alberta Innovates on the success in the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program competition. The award will create markets and opportunities for Alberta that haven’t previously existed. We look forward to the results of the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge, which has the potential to create jobs in a new industry, and to attract investment."

Nate Glubish, Alberta Minister of Technology and Innovation


“This funding will accelerate the development and commercialization of carbon fibre technologies in Alberta. Carbon fibre can be a key pathway to a net-zero emissions future - dramatically reduce emissions and enable a new Canadian competitive advantage in a low-carbon economy. The facility will allow carbon fibre producers and manufacturers to meet the needs of climate sensitive markets and get a step closer new advanced materials industry.”

Michael Mahon, PhD, Interim CEO, Alberta Innovates



The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge is a unique three-phase competition, administered by Alberta Innovates and co-funded with partners Emissions Reduction Alberta and the Clean Resource Innovation Network, seeking to accelerate the development of large-scale production pathways for carbon fibre from Alberta-sourced bitumen feedstocks, at a significantly lower cost than traditional carbon fibre manufacturing processes, with the ultimate goal of promoting its use in manufactured products.

PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program helps create, grow, and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs to facilitate innovation. Through the RIE program, targeted investments in not-for-profit organizations support businesses in priority sectors to innovate, grow and compete globally. The RIE program also promotes inclusive growth by helping underrepresented groups more fully participate in the innovation economy.

PrairiesCan is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs, and projects. PrairiesCan is leading the Government of Canada’s Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy, which is a long-term commitment to work differently, through stronger coordination among federal departments on investments for the Prairies and closer collaboration with Prairie partners on their priorities for a prosperous and sustainable Prairie economy that leaves no one behind. PrairiesCan funding for this production and testing facility is being delivered through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program. This program creates, grows, and nurtures inclusive regional ecosystems that support what a business needs to innovate from start to finish and provides an environment where companies can innovate, grow, and compete.

Learn more on the PrairiesCan website.

Alberta Innovates manages nearly 1,300 projects in a portfolio valued at $1.33 billion. We work with innovators in all sectors of the economy and all corners of the province to drive entrepreneurship, applied research and industry development. With our impact-based funding programs and services, we are transforming energy systems for a net-zero world, promoting the responsible use of land and water, leveraging provincial strengths in agriculture, and contributing to improved health and well-being by harnessing digital tech and data. We are also advancing emerging technologies and strengthening entrepreneurship for a strong and diversified economy. We operate in 11 locations with more than one million sq. ft. of industrial testing and lab facilities, and 600 acres of farmland. We employ nearly 600 highly skilled scientists, business and technical professionals. From funding to commercialization, we are Alberta’s innovation engine! See what entrepreneurs say about our coaching and support.   

Learn how Alberta Innovates.


Dwayne Brunner

Senior Manager, Media & Strategic Community Relations