Industrial cleantech critical to Canada’s energy future

Industrial construction Image: Aaron Parker/JWN

CALGARY – Canada's burgeoning cleantech sector needs to recognize and enrich companies whose innovations are "cleaning and greening" existing fossil fuel industrial processes in real time.

Etching into sharper focus that reality would help governments, financial institutions and industry understand how innovation investment into processes already in place can deliver material returns to both the economy and the environment – at the same time demonstrating the petroleum sector's commitment to environmental performance.

That's the argument laid out in an open letter issued today by a consortium of Alberta-based businesses. Signed by a number of companies across a diverse spectrum of processes and services, the letter lays out a strategic framework that calls for heightened attention to the opportunities associated with enhancing technologies already in place.  

The group came together to help governments, investors and even their own customers understand the massive potential of applying cleantech thinking to existing industrial technologies and processes.

It's a framework for redefining and broadening how Canada approaches the next generation of cleantech thinking, notes Kerri McGrath, president and CEO of International Ultrasonics Technologies (IUT) and a key organizer behind the coalition's formation. IUT's own solution helps its fuel customers virtually eliminate sulphur content from their products. That IUT's innovations have garnered more attention internationally than domestically is typical of the frustrations industrial cleantech innovators deal with in a Canadian context, said McGrath.

"We all know that Canada's global reputation for innovation more generally and industrial innovation more specifically has fallen from where it should be," she explained. "By drawing attention to the potential of reimagining how we approach the processes that currently drive much of the Canadian hydrocarbon economy, we think we can move quickly to regain that place internationally."

Over the next several months, the coalition will formalize its communications and awareness strategies, while looking to grow its support base.

For more information about the coalition, contact Kerri McGrath at

The group’s open letter can be downloaded here.

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