Natural Resources Canada

Oil Spill Response Challenge

Back to all challenges
challenge banner

Process & Prizes

  • Stage 1 – Application Intake - Proposed Concept

    March 9, 2022

    Applicants with a design for an innovative oil spill response solution to improve detection or the rate of recovery when compared to conventional technologies are invited to apply to the Challenge.

    The deadline to apply is June 1, 2022, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.

    At this stage, applicants are competing to receive up to $300,000 and the chance to become a Semi-Finalist to move onto Stage 2. Applications satisfying all selection criteria will undergo a technical evaluation.

  • Stage 2 – Incubation and Development of Prototypes

    Summer 2022

    Up to 10 semi-finalists selected at the end of Stage 1 will receive up to $300,000 for the development of their technology. These Semi-Finalists will have one year to develop their prototype.

    At this stage, Semi-Finalists will be competing to receive up to $1M and the chance to become a Finalist in Stage 3 of the Challenge. Other non-monetary benefits may be offered to participants at this stage.

    Eligible teams may be asked to provide a plan for continued technology development and commercialisation.

  • Stage 3 - Early-Stage Demonstration

    Fall 2023

    Up to 5 finalists whose prototypes showed the most promise in Stage 2 will be selected to move on to Stage 3. At this stage, finalists will have one year to accelerate and scale up their solutions and conduct an early-stage demonstration. Participants will be required to rigorously test and evaluate the effectiveness of their solutions and report on their results. Additional guidance will be provided to selected Finalists prior to the start of Stage 3. Finalists at this stage are competing to become the Grand Prize Winner, who will receive $2M in grant funding.

    Eligible teams may be asked to provide their business plan for continued commercialisation and deployment. Other non-monetary benefits may be offered to participants at this stage.

  • Grand Prize Winners Selected

    Winter 2025

    One Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the finalists and announced in Winter 2025.

Up to 10 Prizes of $300,000

Open to all eligible innovators submitting an application at Stage 1.

Up to 5 Prizes of $1,000,000

Open to all Semi-Finalists who reach Stage 2 and meet associated program requirements.

A Grand Prize of $2,000,000

Open to all Finalists who reach Stage 3 and meet associated program requirements.

Challenge details

Who can apply

Eligible applicants to the Challenge include the following:

  • For-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as companies, industry associations and research centres
  • Indigenous organizations and groups located in Canada
  • Post-secondary/academic institutions
  • Individual or groups that are recognized legal entities
  • International individuals and entities*

*Must have, or partner with, a legal entity in Canada.


  • Ten semi-finalists will be selected to receive up to $300,000 each to support the development of their technology prototype
  • Five finalists with the top solutions will be selected for up to an additional $1 million each to continue to scale and demonstrate their technology
  • $2 million Grand Prize will be given to the team with the best demonstrated technology

Key Dates

  • March 9, 2022: Applications Open
  • June 1, 2022: Deadline to apply
  • Summer 2022: Selection of ten semi-finalists