Foresight and BC Bioenergy Network Launch Challenge to Improve the Business Case for Farmers Producing Renewable Natural Gas

Foresight and BC Bioenergy Network Launch Challenge to Improve the Business Case for Farmers Producing Renewable Natural Gas

For immediate release

Contact: Alex Carr: 1.778.384.8711

 Foresight and BC Bioenergy Network Launch Challenge to Improve the Business Case for Farmers Producing Renewable Natural Gas

Vancouver, CANADA – December 19, 2017 — Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) today announced an ARCTIC Innovation Challenge to find technologies that will convert the by-products associated with producing renewable natural gas (RNG) into commercially viable products, such as organic fertilizer.

When organic waste – such as animal manure, wood waste, and municipal solid wastes – decomposes, biogas is produced which contains RNG. RNG can be a carbon neutral source of energy or even carbon negative in some cases, and can replace conventional natural gas for use in homes, businesses, and vehicles. Technologies that produce RNG from organic waste have been around for decades; however, the adoption rate by BC farmers has been slow due to a variety of factors, including high capital and operating costs and a return on investment that is dependent on government policy.

“Industry consultation identified a process within the RNG supply chain that could benefit from innovative technologies,” said Scott Stanners, Executive Director of BCBN. “Nutrient extraction and conversion to a saleable product exemplifies transforming an environmental challenge into an economic opportunity; a win-win outcome.”

“Only three agricultural facilities in B.C. are currently producing and utilizing RNG, compared to thousands of projects around the world,” said Neil Huff, Managing Director of Foresight. “By applying innovative solutions for turning waste into something of value, we hope more farmers in BC will participate in this growing market opportunity.”

The technologies eligible for consideration in the ARCTIC Challenge include Nutrient Recovery Technologies (NRT), which can extract the nutrients from digestate, as well as those that can convert the nutrient by-products into a marketable end-product (e.g., improve the ability to transport the product at lower cost).

The deadline for proposals is February 28, 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be selected in March 2018, followed by a five-month Challenge Sprint process. Following the Challenge Sprint, one solution will be selected for additional funding and Field Trial testing. A total of up to $500,000 in funding will be available for the combined Challenge Sprint and Field Trial phases.

An information webinar with respect to this ARCTIC Challenge will be hosted by BCBN and Foresight on January 11, 2018. Full details are available here: The ARCTIC Innovation Challenge series is Foresight’s flagship program, with six challenges currently underway. ARCTIC is funded with support from Western Economic Diversification (WD), BC Innovation Council (BCIC), and NRC-IRAP. This ARCTIC Innovation Challenge is also made possible through the financial support of industry partner BC Bioenergy Network, and the advisory services of consulting partners Tessellate Inc. and The Delphi Group.

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About Foresight Clean Technology Accelerator Centre

Foresight is a BC-based not-for-profit that provides early-stage innovators in cleantech, automation and advanced manufacturing with the resources, expertise, and partners they need to accelerate their growth and eventually commercialize their products. Foresight startups have gone on to create millions of dollars in investment and 100+ jobs in Canada. ARCTIC is Foresight’s flagship program and brings together industry, entrepreneurs, and the public sector to find and fund cleantech solutions for resource sector challenges in western Canada. Find out more at and follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.

About BC Bioenergy Network

Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) is an industry-led association that acts as a catalyst for deploying near-term bioenergy technologies and organizing mission-driven research for the development and demonstration of sustainable world class bioenergy capability in BC. For more information about BCBN, visit