Institute for Oil Sands Innovation (IOSI)

Just imagine . . .

Oil sands operations that use little or no water, consume less energy, generate lower greenhouse gas emissions and yield high-quality products at lower costs.

This is the vision of the Institute for Oil Sands Innovation (IOSI) at the University of Alberta. Former director Dr. Murray Gray says the multi-million dollar Institute's aim is to revolutionize the productivity and sustainability of oil sands operations by focusing on delivering breakthrough technology for cleaner, cheaper oil sands development, while also contributing to the development of tomorrow's top-flight researchers and industry leaders. IOSI's groundbreaking research will ensure that extraction and upgrading processes contribute fully to social, economic and environmental excellence - now and for future generations.

Researchers who are interested in work on oil sands should review our Workshops on Research Opportunities to learn about IOSI's research needs, then contact us to discuss their ideas.


"Oil sands operations with a reduced environmental footprint by minimizing water use, consuming less energy, lowering greenhouse gas and other emissions, yielding high quality products at lower cost."


"To promote, to build capacities and to fund breakthrough research that leads to environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development of Canada's mineable oil sands resources."


  • Partnerships, collaboration and teamwork
  • Effective communication
  • Fairness, objectivity and transparency
  • Excellence
  • To develop breakthrough research to reduce the use of water, energy and industrial footprint and yield high quality products from bitumen at lower costs in oil sands development
  • To promote effective means of using, in Alberta, science and engineering resources of Alberta
  • To support science and engineering research laboratories and related facilities in Alberta
  • To promote co-operation in science and engineering to minimize duplication in, and promote concentration of, effort in that research in Alberta
  • To encourage young Albertans to pursue careers in research in science and engineering