Power Forward Challenge

Founded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Power Forward Challenge aims to bring together innovators from Canada and the UK to design disruptive solutions that can aggregate and manage large and complex groups of distributed energy resources. This will support flexible, stable and reliable power grids ready for 2030 and beyond.

Six finalist teams will be awarded $3 million each to start building their pilot projects, with an additional $1 million given to the team with the best pilot demonstration. Teams must be comprised of both Canadian and British innovators. These participants may represent utilities, academic institutions, non-profits and/or for-profit companies.

Applications are being accepted until March 15, 2019.


  • Deadline to submit proposals: March 15, 2019
  • Semi-finalist teams proceed to pitch sessions: May 2019
  • Finalist teams announced: August 2019
  • Teams showcase their pilot-scale demonstrations: December 2020
  • Final award-winning team announced: March 2021



Virtual partner matching event

Join remotely from any location across Canada and the UK, and MaRS will connect you one-to-one with organizations that share your vision for the Power Forward Challenge. Information on your goals, needs and expertise will be used to help identify the best organizations for you to engage with.

Where: Online meeting rooms (register below)
When: Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. EST
Registration deadline: Friday, Jan. 23, 12 p.m. EST



  • Informational webinar materials

    Download the slide deck presented by NRCan during the informational webinars held in December 2018. View a recording of the webinar.

  • Going Global Report

    This report provides a 360-degree view of the Canadian electricity market for UK and Canadian energy companies, to support the Power Forward Challenge. The report examines the energy and electricity landscape specifically related to smart grid and energy storage opportunities, as well as the business, social, political and legal frameworks and the country’s macroeconomic drivers. Download the report

  • Virtual meeting platform

    Use this platform to directly connect with organizations that you are interested in partnering with. Join here

  • Podcast: ACTia and NRCan

    Tune in to hear Jason Switzer of the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance (ACTia) interview Graham Allen of NRCan, Canadian Lead for the Power Forward Challenge. Listen here

Questions? Connect with the MaRS team at powerforwardmatch@marsdd.com