The Energy Transition Hub is intended to foster entrepreneurship in the expanding clean-energy industry.

A consortium of energy and clean tech entrepreneurs, the University of Calgary, and the municipal and federal governments are hoping that Calgary’s abundant and available downtown office space will help the city become associated with sustainable energy innovation.

The Energy Transition Hub, which is scheduled to open on March 1, may not be the first of its sort in Alberta. However, it will place huge oil and gas businesses in the same room with researchers, entrepreneurs, and academics trying to decarbonize the industry for the first time.

“The Energy Transition Centre is really an in-person, physical space to start clustering a lot of like-minded energy transition groups in the city to start building solutions for commercialization and export — right beside and in partnership with Calgary’s oil and gas companies,” Kevin Krausert, CEO of Avatar Innovations, said after the announcement on Wednesday.

One of the private sector partners is Avatar.

With hundreds of clean technology firms already in the city, Krausert says the hub’s goal is to assist companies grow up in order to make a difference in the economy and cut carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector.

According to a recent research, Alberta’s clean tech sector has the potential to produce 170,000 employment and contribute $61 billion to the economy by 2050.

Many firms are ready to capitalise on the opportunity, but they lack the means to bring it to market with the support of the major oil and gas giants.

“You know, innovation in the energy business is distinct from other sectors since it is capital demanding and safety crucial,” he explained.

Krausert believes that what is being created in Calgary might lead to significant innovation in methane emissions reductions, hydrogen, geothermal, carbon removal, or carbon capture.

According to a federal government announcement, the 17,000-square-foot area will be at the core of Calgary’s energy sector, and authorities are calling it the city’s “energy innovation district.”

More than two-thirds of the $3 million in government funds will go toward an Energy Transition Centre, which will include specialised equipment, mentorship, and entrepreneur-focused training.

The remaining $900,000 will be used to support new training programmes for Alberta clean energy entrepreneurs.

Krausert’s firm, clean tech accelerator training company Foresight Canada, the City of Calgary, the federal government, the University of Calgary, and oil and gas giants such as Cenovus and Suncor collaborated to build the facility.

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