Accelerating Hydrogen Challenge


Opportunity type:



Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)

Award amount and duration:

$500,000 to $7M; 3 years





Projects must have a starting Technology Readiness Level (TRL) between 7 and 9 (refer to TRL table in the ERA Program Guide for definitions). For projects at a lower TRL level, see the Alberta Innovates Advancing Hydrogen — Competition 2 program.

Proposals are invited for technology solutions in all areas of the hydrogen value chain, including hydrogen production, transportation, storage, end use, and enablers. Projects of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • low-carbon hydrogen production
  • novel hydrogen infrastructure
  • novel hydrogen carriers
  • hydrogen in industry
  • hydrogen in transportation


Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), the Alberta Innovates Hydrogen Centre of Excellence (HCOE), and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) are collaborating to provide a one-window approach for applicants to access funding for projects featuring development, prototyping, piloting, scale-up, and demonstration of innovative hydrogen technologies in two parallel funding Competitions. Via submission of a single proposal, applicants will be considered for either HCOE/NRCan or ERA funding in separate but parallel funding competitions. In general, proposals are invited for development and demonstration of technology solutions across the hydrogen value chain from production to end use, including critical infrastructure and enablers for the hydrogen economy. Funding dispersed via these competitions will be directed towards developing projects that support the objectives of the Alberta Natural Gas Strategy, the Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap, the HCOE targets, and the shared mandates of Alberta Innovates and ERA.

There will be an informational webinar on August 16, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. (MT). Register here.

Funding Considerations

ERA anticipates funding most projects at no more than $5 million in order to optimize the total funding available. Projects will only be awarded the full $7 million maximum funding amount in exceptional cases where strong justification and a compelling value proposition is provided.

ERA requires its funding to be matched on a minimum 1:1 basis with funding from the applicant and/or project partners toward eligible expenses. The maximum ERA contribution to a single project will be no more than 50% of the project’s eligible expenses. ERA will not match other federal, provincial, or international government funds provided directly for the proposed project. However, the inclusion of other government funds does not disqualify a project from eligibility. ERA does not have a formal “stacking” limit alongside other government funds as long as the requested ERA contribution is matched at least 1:1 by contributions from the lead applicant and partners.

Submission Process

There is a two-stage process consisting of an Intake Form and Full Application, which is by invitation only. Both stages of this competition will be part of the Research Management System (RMS), and approvals will be obtained electronically. Research Funding Application Approvals (RFAA) forms are not required as approvals are collected electronically in RMS.

1. Intake Form (EOI)

This competition uses an intake form managed via the Alberta Innovates SmartSimple portal. The Intake Form, plus approval in the Research Management System (RMS) using a Pre-Award/Letter of Intent record, must be submitted to RSO by September 21, 2023 at 12:00 pm. Please be sure to select 'Submitted for approval' (under Save & Progress) in RMS in good time to allow for approvals from your Department Head and/or ADR prior to the RSO internal deadline. Consult your department and faculty for more information on their approval processes and timelines.

Once you have received RSO approval, you must submit the intake form by September 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm (MT) using the Alberta Innovates SmartSimple portal.

2. Full Application (by invitation)

If invited, the Full Application, plus approval in the Research Management System (RMS) via a Pre-Award/Application record, must be submitted to the RSO by January 5, 2024 at 12:00 pm.Please be sure to select 'Submitted for approval' (under Save & Progress) in RMS in good time to allow for approvals from your Department Head and/or ADR prior to the RSO internal deadline. Consult your department and faculty for more information on their approval processes and timelines.

*Creation of a new Pre-Award/Application record in RMS is not necessary. You can automatically generate an Application record from the existing LOI record by changing the status of the LOI record to 'Invited to full application' (under Save & Progress).

Do not submit to the agency until RSO's approval has been granted in RMS. Once the institutional signature has been obtained, the Principal Investigator will receive an automated message from RMS to their @ucalgary email address. You must submit the application by January 10, 2024 at 5:00 pm (MT) according to the instructions provided by ERA.





Pre-application deadlines

RSO internal deadline

September 21, 2023 - 12:00 PM

Pre-application program deadline

September 26, 2023 - 5:00 PM

Application deadlines

RSO detailed review deadline

December 28, 2023 - 4:00 PM

RSO final internal review deadline

January 8, 2024 - 12:00 PM

Program application deadline

January 11, 2024 - 5:00 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs, students, and trainees: For fellowships and externally-sponsored research training awards or opportunities, you must complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at Trainees should not use RMS at this time.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Contact Details


Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)
Accelerating Hydrogen
renewable and alternative energy
clean energy