About CRIN

Who is CRIN?

We are a pan-Canadian network focused on ensuring Canada’s oil and gas resources can be sustainably developed and integrated into the global energy supply. By identifying industry challenges, we create a market pull to accelerate commercialization and wide spread adoption of clean technologies by bringing together industries, entrepreneurs, investors, academia, governments and many others.

We enable clean oil and gas energy solutions that will be applied across Canadian industries, and with the potential for global export, to increase competitiveness and decrease GHG emissions from source to end use. We facilitate connections and partnerships, and we amplify ideas and expertise to produce unexpected solutions for global challenges.

We believe in making the AND conversation – oil and gas energy development AND environmental stewardship – a reality that will have local, national and international benefits.

The Clean Resource Innovation Network’s (CRIN) ambition is to make Canada a global leader in the energy transformation.

“CRIN is a network of networks, we are the glue, the connector of all the incredible innovation bodies across Canada” – Joy Romero, President, CRIN

Joy Romero, Executive Advisor, Innovation at Canadian Natural, is the President of CRIN. Learn more about CRIN's vision for Canada’s clean resource innovation community, and the contribution oil and gas producers can and should make in the innovation ecosystem.


Canada is the global leader in clean hydrocarbons from source to end use.

Learn more about CRIN's vision in action through this short introductory video:


There are many groups, companies (small, medium and large), entrepreneurs, universities, research institutions, governments, investors and innovators who are committed to making a difference in this space. CRIN’s members believe we can be more efficient and advance our goals much faster if we are working more closely together.

Theme Areas

CRIN is a network made up of a diverse membership to encourage a multi-faceted approach to technology development and commercialization of innovation in seven theme areas:

Building on a history of collaboration & innovation

Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) pioneered many of the technologies used within in-situ SAGD projects through a collaborative partnership between the Alberta government, federal government, academia and industry. Since 1995, significant industry investments in innovation focused on enhancing operational efficiencies, horizontal drilling, tailings management and multi-stage fracking (shale gas) to name a few.

A strong value proposition

Our value proposition is about enabling cleaner energy development in the oil and gas industry by:

  • Commercializing and adopting technologies that reduce the environment impact across the energy sector and that support Canada’s clean energy goals and Paris commitments
  • Transforming the pace of innovation in the oil and gas sector
  • Creating new ‘value-add’ products and new business streams
  • Growing Canadian clean tech companies with the potential for export by other sectors and around the globe
  • Changing the broader conversation to recognize the compatibility between energy development and use AND environmental stewardship and climate change goals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have a question about CRIN that isn’t answered here?

Full FAQs

By being a CRIN member, you or your organization are part of transforming the energy system of today into the energy of tomorrow. Here are a few benefits of being a CRIN member:

  • Being a CRIN member supports connection to a wide variety of industries with the common goal of transforming energy systems, and transitioning to a new and cleaner global energy future that includes all forms of energy
  • CRIN provides a platform for facilitating partnerships across disciplines to find solutions to global challenges
  • CRIN’s focus areas have application to sectors outside the energy sector, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and food processing - to name just a few
  • CRIN leverages knowledge that spans all aspects of science, from biology and math, to chemistry, physics and geology with the common goal of decreasing the carbon intensity of the world’s energy while ensuring Canada’s energy bounty is part of the global energy future

“We were an early CRIN member and supporter of CRIN because we have experienced first-hand the challenge of taking technology from lab-scale to commercialization, specifically the large-scale projects and their requirements to become commercial,” says Lisa Doig, Vice President Commercial, Field Upgrading. “CRIN fills a gap in the resource industry by bringing industry players together to focus on clean resource innovation.”

CRIN is part of changing the conversation from ‘energy OR the environment’ to ‘energy AND the environment’. The AND conversation is about making real connections between energy development AND the environment – we can have both.

Our members are committed to solving one of today’s most pressing global challenges – climate change – by eliminating barriers and working across disciplines to improve energy development and use in in ways that can be applied locally and around the world.

Companies should join CRIN as it provides an opportunity to communicate challenges your company is working on to a targeted group of innovators that may be working on similar problems.

An innovator should join CRIN, as it provides an opportunity to hear firsthand the challenges companies are having and to work directly with those companies to provide solutions.

“Mangrove has joined CRIN as it provides us an excellent opportunity to advance our technology in the oil sands to help make the hydrocarbon sector more effective, efficient and carbon competitive. We believe being a part of CRIN will provide us with the opportunity to learn and work alongside like-minded organizations that can help advance adoption of our technology”

— Says Saad Dara, chief executive officer, Mangrove Water Technologies Ltd.

According to a 2018 research report by Global Advantage, Canada’s energy companies lead the way as the largest investor in clean technology. CRIN provides the platform to connect innovators across many disciplines to further accelerate the development, deployment and commercialization of clean tech solutions supporting a robust clean tech sector.

The development of clean technologies that are cost competitive and contribute to cleaner energy production and use is critical to the global energy future. The clean technologies developed and supported in Canada can be exported to jurisdictions around the world, supporting the global transformation of energy systems that are efficient and meet long-term climate objectives.

The active involvement of Canada’s universities as members of CRIN - and as multi-disciplinary institutions of research, discovery and innovation - is critical to our long-term success:

  • Universities are key participants in supporting CRIN’s process - Each university in Canada has relationships with other institutions around the globe, which is critical for engaging other scientists and innovators with the knowledge and ability to support CRIN’s objectives
  • Universities are trusted institutions and therefore critical in advancing the development of clean energy solutions
  • As non-partisan entities, universities also play an important role in analyzing the policy implications of clean technology made by governments that impede adoption of innovative solutions

Our success is critical to addressing the issues raised by ESG investors when considering energy investment, or divestment. CRIN works to speed up the development of tools for the energy sector that address and support the goals of ESG commitments.

We share the concerns of ESG investors such as decreasing carbon emissions, water usage and the overall environmental footprint. We believe a collaborative and solution-focused approach within the network can address many of the challenges. There is significant opportunity to monetize our successes by exporting technology and patented processes to other countries and companies around the world whose economies are seeking solutions to address climate change; particularly in the natural resources sector.

CRIN ensures the compatibility between energy development AND environmental stewardship. The network’s focus areas address key areas where big advances are possible to achieve Canada’s goal of net zero emissions.

Supporting CRIN with $100M in funding acknowledges the role of the energy sector as part of Canada’s climate change commitment and Canada’s economic future. Canada’s natural resources are vital for the health of our economy and key to Canada reaching its Paris climate commitments.

Our goals are to work together and support the development of a cleaner hydrocarbon molecule – from production to end use – that benefits all sectors of the Canadian economy.

The energy mix of the future will include a number of energy sources, from renewables and blue hydrogen to oil and natural gas. We also know there are valuable products that can be made using extracted carbon, which contributes to economic diversification.

CRIN has $100 M to invest in clean technology over the next four years (2020-2024). This was announced March 2019; contribution agreement signed July 29, 2020.

Funding is through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) (Innovation, Science, Economic Development)

Distribution of funds will work in the following way:

$5M/$25M/$50M - TRL 6-9

  • digital / value added products / reduced env. footprint
  • three competition coordinators
  • technology projects to progress to commercialization with producer partners

$20M - TRL 2-5

  • ecosystem development; CRIN managed
  • administration and management

Technology challenges will be put in place to accelerate technology deployment

  • The program objectives will be to:
    • Increase the economic profitability and competitiveness of the Canadian clean hydrocarbon energy sector in the global market
    • Increase technology development capability to meet Canada’s clean hydrocarbon energy needs across the innovation continuum
    • Testing, piloting and demonstration of clean technologies; and
    • Improve Canada’s environmental performance
  • While the focus is on the oil and gas sector, the technologies could address challenges in other sectors. A water treatment technology from the oil sands could have applicability in waste treatment globally
  • In addition to grand challenges (TRL 6-9) executed by contracted competition coordinators, CRIN will be investing in early stage (TRL 2-5) technologies and supportive test bed networks
  • This will include mini challenges to create market pull for emerging technologies and solutions.

Each project will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For each project and agreement, consideration to the current state of the technology, what are we going to learn and advance, what’s the value in it, and what kind of equity is each project partner contributing. We know intellectual property is an important component of technology development. This will require working closely with all parties to address concerns and ensuring enough IP protection to secure the value of the technology for those who taking the risks to develop it, while also ensuring the technology can be reasonably adopted broadly by the industry and other sectors.