COSIA’s Environmental Technology Assessment Portal (E-TAP) allows individuals and organizations from anywhere in the world to offer solutions to current challenges.
To date, about 300 applications have been received through E-TAP, says Peter Beaudoin, COSIA Senior Advisor, who manages the portal.
“The reason why we have E-TAP is because we recognize that we don’t have all the answers,” says Peter, adding that COSIA wants to tap into each and every source for solutions. This starts with the expertise of its 13 member companies and their vast network of resources. It continues through to COSIA’s 40 Associate Members (AM) ranging from government agencies and academic bodies, to other companies and stakeholders who support COSIA’s vision. Finally, other innovators, such as individuals, organizations and companies, can submit ideas through E-TAP that fit within the current scope of activities for each of COSIA’s four Environmental Priority Areas (EPA): water, tailings, land and greenhouse gases.
“The challenges we face in the oil sands vary,” says Peter. “We have some of the best experts in the world, but there are certain challenges that other industries are already working on to solve.”
Peter cites two examples of such innovation: fouling-resistant once-through steam generators and energy recovery from flue gas. He explains that, with these technologies, experts in steam generation and energy recovery are coming forward to provide “fit for purpose” solutions specific to challenges faced in the oil sands. Examples of the innovation requirements identified to date can be viewed at COSIA Challenges.
The primary benefit for innovators who submit through E-TAP is access to all 13 member companies at once. “We act as a clearing house for all our members,” says Peter. “Submissions get appointed to the right group to review in a structured format, where there is assurance you get an answer.”
E-TAP submissions are presented to our member companies. If there is interest among any of them, COSIA follows up with the innovator. “The important thing to remember is, it’s not COSIA tasked with the review. It’s the actual members who make the ultimate decision,” says Peter.
One of the areas where COSIA personnel provide value is by ensuring submissions are clearly defined and detailed before they are presented to the member companies.
Another important aspect of the process is that intellectual property (IP) remains with the submitting organization. Peter says that typically, technologies already commercially available are not considered. “However, if it’s a commercial technology that could be adapted and developed, where we could change the product to better address our challenges will be considered,” he says.
For anyone considering submitting an E-TAP proposal, Peter offers some advice. “We want it to be fairly simple and straight-forward,” he says. “This is not a full-blown proposal; it is the ‘elevator pitch’ to get the member companies’ interest. It shouldn’t be an onerous application process.
“Be very clear and precise, focusing on what are your benefits and how they are addressing industry’s technical challenges.”
By following those simple guidelines, Peter says, innovators have the best possible opportunity to make a difference and help solve the environmental challenges facing the oil sands industry.
Have a solution you want our members to know about? Submit it via E-TAP.