Two Alberta oilsands companies invest in BC cleantech fund

Cenovus, Suncor invest BC cleantech fund

BC cleantech
Evok Innovations, the new BC cleantech fund, will look for new ways to improve the oil industry’s environmental performance.

CALGARY _ Two oilsands heavyweights are making a push into B.C.’s cleantech sector.

Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) and Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) have each pledged up to $50 million over the next 10 years to support Evok Innovations, a cleantech fund launched Thursday.

With the oil and gas industry facing increasing pressure over ecological issues, the new fund will look for ways to improve the sector’s environmental performance.

Marty Reed, Evok Chief Executive Officer said “Using the extensive insights offered by our oil and gas partners, Evok can identify and fund promising cleantech innovations and accelerate the commercialization of those technologies.”

Evok says it will look to promote early-stage innovations focused on the energy industry and to bring them to market faster.

“As British Columbia continues to grow as a clean technology innovation hub, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to flourish, Evok is at the tip of the spear,” said Premier Christy Clark. “This partnership aligns perfectly with our new BCTECH Strategy, particularly the venture capital fund to help bolster the technology industry and diversify British Columbia’s economy.”

Areas of focus will include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use and the impact of oil spills.

Cenovus and Suncor have partnered with the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance to launch the Vancouver-based fund, which will be led by Silicon Valley veteran Marty Reed.

With files from The Canadian Press.