Quick Facts:

  • Up to $20 million available for successful teams.
  • Research teams must be able to produce .5 kilograms – 1 kilogram of carbon fibre per day from Alberta bitumen.
  • Teams will need to develop technologies with the ability to scale up to hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year.
  • Price of producing carbon fibre must remain below $9 per kilogram.

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, March 15, 2023 – Alberta Innovates is announcing the start of Phase III of the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge (CFGC). Up to $20 million will be available to selected teams in Phase III as they work to successfully demonstrate that they can produce pre-commercial amounts of carbon fibre from Alberta bitumen.

In Phase III of CFGC, teams will concentrate on repeatedly producing carbon fibre from Alberta bitumen that meets end-user performance needs. Teams will test their carbon fibre prototypes in products which could include auto parts, reinforced concrete or wood projects, or general composite (plastic) materials. Teams in Phase III must be able to produce between .5 kilograms – 1 kilogram of carbon fibre per day, and with technologies able to scale to hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year production with a cost below $9 per kilogram, or at least 50 per cent less expensive than current carbon fibre products.

The competition is open to technology developers, industry – including small, medium and large size enterprises, industry associations, research and development (R&D) organizations, post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and government research labs. Research teams can submit applications for Phase III on the Alberta Innovates website.

Applications will open on May 1, 2023 and are due June 15, 2023 and the successful candidates will be announced in September 2023. Research teams will have 36 months to complete their projects. The CFGC is a three-phase competition that accelerates the development, and large-scale production, of carbon fibre derived from Alberta’s vast supply of bitumen.

Join us for a Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge webinar on May 3, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. MDT.

Full Phase III program details can be found on the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge website.


“Carbon Fibre derived from Alberta’s bitumen is a significant opportunity for Alberta to diversify our natural resources sector, create jobs, open new markets and grow the economy. Encouraging research in this field is the first step to unlocking enormous value for the benefit of all Albertans.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

“We are working at the forefront of technology, creating tremendous opportunity by converting bitumen into carbon fibre. Our resourcefulness will unlock the value of our vast reserves of bitumen. We are reimagining the future of bitumen and creating value for Alberta’s future.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates


Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge Phase III applications will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. (MDT) on
June 15, 2023.

The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge is directed towards funding the development of technologies that can convert Alberta oil sands asphaltenes into carbon fibre. Alberta Innovates was the sole funder for Phase I and is working with partners to support Phases II and III of the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge. The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) was a co-funder of Phase II, along with Alberta Innovates.

Alberta innovates is the province’s most comprehensive research and innovation agency. From funding to commercialization, we are Alberta’s innovation engine. We foster and accelerate research and innovation to benefit citizens and drive economic growth.

We are currently managing a project portfolio worth $1.2 billion.

Alberta Innovates works across sectors to fund, partner and enable entrepreneurship throughout the province. The corporation operates in 11 locations with more than one million sq ft of industrial testing and lab facilities and 600 acres of farmland. Alberta Innovates employs 589 highly skilled scientists, business and technical professionals and has an annual operating budget of $250 million.
Learn how Alberta Innovates.


Dwayne Brunner

Senior Manager, Media & Strategic Community Relations