Natural Resources Canada

Frequently Asked Questions - Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition

The Sky’s the Limit Challenge – Frequently Asked Questions

(As of 31/07/2018)


What are the main goals of The Sky’s the Limit Challenge?

ANSWER: The Sky’s the Limit Challenge seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and promote the development of sustainable aviation fuel supply chains in Canada. It consists of two prize-based competitions.

The Cross-Canada Flight Competition seeks to complete the first cross-Canada flight (of approximately 3,000 km) using 10% or more sustainable aviation fuel made in Canada.

The Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition seeks to develop a made-in-Canada sustainable aviation fuel with the best GHG reduction, at the lowest production cost with the greatest potential for commercial scale-up.


What is considered as sustainable aviation fuel under The Sky’s the Limit Challenge?

ANSWER: For the purposes of the Challenge, sustainable aviation fuel is a fuel made of any type of feedstock, excluding coal, natural gas and crude oil. A sustainable aviation fuel resulting from the co-processing of a renewable feedstock with crude oil is also acceptable under the Challenge.


Does my sustainable aviation fuel needs to meet CGSB and ASTM standards?

ANSWER: For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, the sustainable aviation fuel must meet all applicable aviation turbine fuel standards (CGSB and ASTM).

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, meeting CGSB and ASTM standards is not required as part of the submission to win the prize.


I am an airline, can I apply for the Cross-Canada Flight Competition?

ANSWER: No, only a Canadian sustainable aviation fuel producer can apply.

Are existing technologies allowed under The Sky’s the Limit Challenge?

ANSWER: For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, existing technologies are allowed as long as they provide reduced GHG emissions compared to conventional jet fuel.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, innovations must be introduced to any existing technologies resulting in clear and demonstrable improvements.


How do I apply?

ANSWER: Visit the Challenge website at https://impact.canada.ca and click on the Apply Now link, where you can access the application process.


If I apply, how will the information I submit be used?

ANSWER: Your privacy is immensely important to us, and we respect the need for confidentiality. If you do apply, all of the information and documents submitted will only be viewed by our Technical Evaluation Committee (primarily consisting of Government of Canada experts), Challenge support staff and Jury members for the purpose of applicant selection. Information will also be used by Natural Resources Canada, which is funding the Challenge, for program evaluation purposes.


If I am selected to participate in the Challenge, will my information about my research and project – i.e. intellectual property, financial information, etc. – be kept confidential?

ANSWER: Your information will be kept confidential and will not be shared unless you have given us permission by submitting to us with your application the Consent for Information Sharing form. By signing and submitting the permission form, applicants to the Challenge will allow Natural Resources Canada to share submitted information for the purposes of the challenge with other organizations who provide funding and support for innovation, such as other Government of Canada departments and the Clean Growth Hub, provincial territorial or municipal governments, and non-profits, such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada.


Can I apply independently to any of the Challenge competitions?

ANSWER: Yes, you can apply independently to the Cross-Canada Flight Competition and the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition. By being selected as one of the finalists of the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, you will be able to directly compete for the prize.


What are the evaluation criteria for the Challenge?

ANSWER: The Applicants’ Guide identifies the evaluation criteria that will be used to assess submissions for each competition within the Challenge.

For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, the prize will be awarded to the first Canadian sustainable aviation fuel producer to supply 2500L of Canadian made sustainable aviation fuel that meets all applicable aviation turbine fuel standards (CGSB and ASTM) to Air Canada and West Jet for use in a cross-Canada flight at a minimum blend of 10%.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, different sets of criteria reflecting the different goals of the Competition are listed in the Applicants’ Guide. Applications will be evaluated on the strength of each project to compete for the prize and achieve the goal of producing a sustainable aviation fuel with strong GHG emissions reduction at the lowest price. The prize will be awarded to the applicant who produces a minimum of 10 litres of sustainable aviation fuel with the lowest GHG emissions at the lowest cost with the best potential for scale-up.  


Are applicants selected on a rolling basis, or, will project selections only begin once the application deadline has closed?

ANSWER: For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, the prize can be awarded at any time once the prize criteria are met.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, selection of applicants will only begin once the application deadline has closed. Applications will not be reviewed prior to this deadline.


Do I need to be part of a consortium to apply?

ANSWER: For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, no, you can be an individual biojet supplier, but we expect supply chain linkages to be required.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, it is strongly encouraged that applicants identify partners or members of a consortium as part of the application and prize submission. Projects should contribute to strengthening the supply chain, which will be part of the evaluation criteria along with the potential for scale-up.  


Do I need to be incorporated or a registered entity to compete?

ANSWER: To compete for the Cross-Canada Flight Competition you must be a sustainable aviation fuel producer validly incorporated or registered in Canada.

The Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition is open to Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including:

  • For profit and not for profit organizations such as companies, industry associations, and research associations;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups; and;
  • Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions.

I am a foreign company, can I apply to The Sky’s the Limit Challenge?

ANSWER: Foreign companies can be a partner or be a member of a consortium applying to the Challenge. The identified project lead must be Canadian. All of the Challenge criteria must be met, including that any biojet fuel produced for the Challenge must be produced in Canada.


What can I win during The Sky’s the Limit Challenge?

ANSWER: For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, the first sustainable aviation fuel producer to complete a cross-Canada commercial flight using its Canadian-produced sustainable aviation fuel at a minimum blend of 10% will receive a $ 1 million prize.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, applicants will be eligible to receive up to $2 million in funding to support competition for the prize of $5 million.


If I am selected as one of the finalists under the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, what are the conditions to receive $2 million in funding?

ANSWER: If you are selected as one of the finalists, we guarantee the availability of up to $2 million. Funding amounts will be based on the work plan provided as part of the proposal and the completion of identified milestones. A contribution agreement will be negotiated between each of the finalists and Natural Resources Canada.


Can applicants with projects currently receiving funding from other government sources apply for the Challenge?

ANSWER: Yes, funding from multiple government sources is allowed as long as you are not seeking to cover the same project costs with multiple government-funding sources. In other words, total government sources of funding for a single project may not exceed total project costs of 100%.  For this reason, applicants are required to disclose in their application any additional funds received.


Do I have to provide matched funding to be eligible?

ANSWER: There is no requirement for matched funding to participate in the Challenge. However, it will be important to demonstrate the financial sustainability of any Challenge applications and submissions. 


Is there a screening process to ensure that the technology is not infringing on other patented technology?

ANSWER: It will be the responsibility of applicants to ensure projects do not infringe on patented technologies.


Are technologies to develop biojet fuels under The Sky’s the Limit Challenge expected to achieve commercialization?

ANSWER: Commercialization is not required by the end of the Challenge. However, we would like to see potential for future scale-up.

For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, we would like to see potential for scale-up, offtake agreements and further flights using Canadian-made sustainable aviation fuel following the competition.

For the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition, the evaluation criteria for the prize includes the capacity and potential for scale-up to support the production of a best-in-class sustainable aviation fuel.


For the Cross-Canada Flight Competition, can I use renewable diesel as the renewable source for the blended fuel for the flight?

ANSWER: Yes, renewable diesel can be used as long as all of the competition requirements are met (e.g., ASTM approval, minimum 10% of renewable diesel, 100% produced in Canada at a unique site).


Can I apply to the Cross-Canada Flight Competition using a co-processing approach?

ANSWER: Yes, a co-processing approach can be used as long as the competition requirements are met (e.g., ASTM approval, minimum 10% of renewable diesel, 100% produced in Canada at a unique site). All of the fuel (not only the renewable content) used for the flight must be produced by the same company on the same site in Canada.


If I have other questions, who can I contact?

ANSWER: We realize there are other questions you may have that are not answered here. If you’d like to ask us something, email nrcan.cleantechimpact-impacttechpropres.rncan@canada.ca.

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August 2018