Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Today I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Dr Emilson Silva from the Alberta School of Business on Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) as part of the Eric Geddes breakfast series.

COSIA was created in 2012 to bring the benefits of collaboration between oil sands producers and other parties to solving Canada’s Oil Sands environmental challenges. Although relatively new COSIA is quite unique in how alliance members have agreed to share intellectual property and knowledge previously developed from over $700M R&D prior individual investments and to collaborate on R&D moving forward in four key oil sands environmental areas: water, tailings, land, and green house gases. Dr Silva is researching the economic rationale underlying COSIA and how Canada, oil producers, regulators, NGOs, and the environment will win in the long run.

From the perspective of innovation, COSIA is a great example of how collaboration can be leveraged for solving large and difficult problems, and in this case, those charged with highly emotive aspects, through a scientific/engineering approach. Although the activities of COSIA may not be widely known it is worth visiting the COSIA website to appreciate the scope and novelty in their program going forward.

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