Institute for Oil Sands Innovation (IOSI)

Partners and Contributors

World-class teachers and scientists, plus access to sophisticated labs and equipment, are the underpinnings of IOSI's ability to deliver on its promises to students, industry and society.

To fund its research, long-term backing for the Institute comes from two major sources: Imperial Oil, which has been a long-time participant in the development of Alberta's energy resources, and Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) ― the Alberta government-created organization that supports responsible development of the province's resources. Their goal is to help Alberta become a global leader in sustainable energy production. The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta is also a major partner in the Institute, and prides itself on being at the forefront of research and innovation. Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a partner in our research program on Tailings Process Fundamentals. Specific projects are also supported by Natural Resources Canada through the ecoEII program, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through Collaborative Research and Development Grants. IOSI is pursuing its research mandate in partnership with other University of Alberta faculties, and with other universities in Canada, and internationally.

1. Imperial Oil Resources Ltd.

Imperial Oil is one of Canada's largest corporations and has been a leading member of the petroleum industry for more than 125 years. The company continues to participate in some of the industry's most promising growth developments. An early pioneer in oil sands development, it had a leadership role in the creation of Syncrude, as well as of large-scale in-situ bitumen recovery at Cold Lake. “The value of the Centre to Imperial Oil, and to Alberta and the industry in general, is that it is going to identify and develop technologies that will enhance development of the oil sands resource, at the same time making meaningful progress in environmental performance. We have always been pioneers, and we support IOSI because it will lead us into that next phase of pioneer innovation and capacity building," Eddie Lui, former Imperial Oil Resources Ltd. Vice President of Oil Sands Development and Research, and past Chair of the IOSI Executive Management Committee.

2. Alberta Innovates - Energy & Environment Solutions.

Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) was created by the Alberta government as a dynamic catalyst for developing innovative, integrated ways to convert the province’s natural resources into market-ready, ecologically-responsible energy. Formed to build on the strengths and successes of the former Alberta Energy Research Institute, and now including the Alberta Water Research Institute, AI-EES ensures that all non-proprietary knowledge on clean energy technology is shared to help speed up technology development worldwide. These efforts are carried out to enhance the economic, environmental and social well-being of all ― Albertans, Canadians, and those beyond our borders.

3. Faculty of Engineering.

Engineering has been taught at the University of Alberta since 1908. The Faculty of Engineering has always been at the forefront of research and innovation and has built a reputation on a proud history of excellence in teaching, research and community service. It educates outstanding engineers who help make Alberta work. Focusing on four areas of research — nanotechnology and interfacial engineering, energy and the environment, information technology and biomedical engineering, the Faculty fosters the research that makes Alberta a world leader in areas ranging from oil sands technology to new medical breakthroughs.

The University of Alberta's Faculty of Engineering ranks in size among the top five per cent of more than 400 engineering schools in North America, with 4,000 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students. The Faculty of Engineering is consistently recognized as one of the best in Canada and the world. The 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities places the Faculty of Engineering among the top 100 in the world. The University of Alberta overall is strongly positioned, ranking 96 worldwide and 5th in Canada in the 2013; 2014 QS Top Universities rankings and among the top 150 in the world in the 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities. The 2013 & 2014 QS Top Universities rankings rate the U of A at 128th in the world and 5th in Canada.

4. Partners in Research Projects.

The Institute is housed at the University of Alberta, but it has attracted a number of researchers from other universities who are essential to its mandate. IOSI is expanding Canada-wide, with research projects being conducted at campuses across the country. These include the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Université de Montréal, St. Mary’s University, and University of Ottawa. Internationally we are partnered with the Delft University in Delft, The Netherlands.

IOSI continues its partnership with the National Institute for Nanotechnology, and at arm’s length with CANMET Energy Technology Centre in Devon, Alberta.

5. Contributors.

In addition to our Partners above, IOSI has received financial support from the:

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Access to the Future Fund (ATTF)
  • Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
  • Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)

Through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovations Alliance (COSIA), oil sands producers focus on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada's oil sands through collaborative action and innovation.

Under the auspices of COSIA, four Environmental Priority Areas (EPAs) are addressed: tailings, water, land and greenhouse gases. Participating companies capture, develop and share the most innovative approaches and best thinking to improve environmental performance in oil sands operations.