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Oil Spill Response Challenge Now Accepting Applications

MARCH 21, 2022 — OR&R is happy to share a new challenge from our partners at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 

A cameraperson on a vessel in oiled waters.
DWH spill. Credit: NOAA.

NRCan has launched a $10 Million Oil Spill Response Challenge to help advance innovative and rapidly deployable solutions to effectively detect oil spills, decrease response times, or increase oil spill recovery rates.

OR&R has a long history of working with international partners, including NRCan, to advance our mission, as oil spills do not respect international boundaries and require close collaboration between neighbors. The innovative solutions that emerge from this Challenge will benefit all responders, and can build off of an XPrize contest that NOAA was involved with in 2011. Past OR&R Director Dave Westerholm served on the panel of judges for the XPrize contest.

The Challenge is now accepting applications for two streams: the Detection stream, aimed at improving data availability and accuracy to inform oil spill response measures, and the Recovery stream, which seeks to increase the oil recovery rate when compared against conventional technologies within diverse aquatic environments. Applicants from both streams will compete for a chance to win:

  • Up to 10 semi-finalist prizes of $300,000
  • Up to 5 finalist prizes of $1 million
  • The Grand Prize of $2 million

Interested parties are invited to attend an informational webinar presented by the Challenge leads at NRCan to hear more about the process of applying to the Challenge, instructions on submitting to the Impact Canada application portal, as well as presentations on current Canadian research in oil spill science. The webinar will take place March 23, 2022 in English and March 24, 2022 in French.

Respondents are also invited to join the Oil Spill Response community on NRCan’s collaboration community. This informal forum is a place to connect with other innovators, seek collaborators, and ask questions to Challenge leads. To register, request access and approval will shortly follow. The forum will be actively monitored by NRCan staff.

To learn more, visit the Oil Spill Response Challenge homepage. Applications are due June 1, 2022.

For more information, please contact

Last updated Wednesday, November 22, 2023 11:50am PST