Submission Guide

Submitting Your Proposal to COSIA through E-TAP

COSIA is actively looking for innovative solutions to drive performance improvement in our Environmental Priority Areas of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), Land, Tailings and Water. We invite you to review COSIA's Innovation and Research Priorities which outlines focused, actionable descriptions of the current state of opportunities related to environmental processes and their impacts on the oil sands industry.

We also strongly encourage you to review publicly available information posted under each Environmental Priority Area on our website. Here you will find case studies, research reports, and virtual tours which may enhance your understanding of the work that has been completed to date.

My idea fits under COSIA’s Innovation and Research Priorities – What’s next?

We are excited that you have an idea that could help COSIA and we want to increase your chance of success by providing you with information on:

1. COSIA’s intake and review process


Upon submitting your proposal in COSIA’s E-TAP system, you will be asked to identify which of the EPAs your technology or idea falls under. Your submission will be then routed to the appropriate EPA director who will complete an initial screening.

Technical experts from COSIA member companies make the decision whether to proceed with a technology or idea, not COSIA staff. However, COSIA staff support the process by completing an initial review and providing feedback to you to help ensure your submission addresses members’ needs.

The EPA may contact you for additional information prior to sending it to member companies for review. Depending on the level of interest, you may be invited to discuss your project in greater detail. Projects within COSIA are member led and driven; so, if your solution is interesting to one or more members, your submission will be transferred to a COSIA member who will act as lead and work with you further develop the solution.

Tip: The audience for your submission is technical experts from major oil sands producers. It is critical that you include technical details beyond your marketing materials, that will spark their curiosity. If there is interest, we will invite you to discuss your submission either in a virtual or face-to-face presentation.

What to expect during the review process?

Review times vary for each Innovation and Research Priority, but the EPA will be able to provide you with an estimate after the initial screening of your technology or idea is complete. COSIA is not a funding organization. However, COSIA members may provide funds to further develop concepts and technologies that promise to drive environmental performance improvement within an EPA, with their focus on unlocking the Innovation and Research Priorities described above.

2. What to include in your application

Now that you are fully read up on the Innovation and Research Priorities and on the research that has been completed to date, you are ready to submit your application! The E-TAP portal is simple and intuitive to use, but to increase your chance of success and speed up the review time, there are some important questions that you should be prepared to answer:

1. What is your proposed solution? How does it work?

Tips: Here is your chance to describe your solution and explain in plain language how it works. It is also helpful for us to understand your why – what motivated you to develop this solution and bring it forward to COSIA?

2. How do you define the problem that your technology will solve? Is it a problem for a subset of the oil sands industry, or for all of the oil sands industry?

Tips: Here is where we want you to explain what problem your solution is addressing. We want to understand how your solution addresses one or more specific challenges the oil sands industry faces. We also want you to clarify if your solution addresses an in situ or mining issue and explain the value of solving the issue now versus later.

3. How does your technology compare to other technologies in the same space?

Tips: This is where you have the opportunity demonstrate that you’ve done your homework (i.e., researched the problem) and have a solid understanding of the various solutions that are in development or are already commercially available. This is where you explain how your solution differs and what sets it apart from your competitors (e.g., expected cost efficiencies, lower energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).

4. What test or research is required to most cost-effectively reduce technical or economic uncertainty and/or prove important features/benefits of your technology?

Tips: This is where we ask you to clearly articulate what stage of development you think your solution is at using the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scales. We also recommend that you include some qualifiers to further justify the TRL stage. Here are some examples:

  • My concept is in early stage development (TRL 1-2) and my company intends to do further bench scale testing. We are looking for COSIA member company participation to supply produced water samples.
  • My technology is in deployment stage (TRL 7-8) and my company is looking for a COSIA member to partner with, so we test it at their tailings treatment facilities.

5. Are you seeking funding to deliver the needed test or research?

Tips: It is important to specify if you are seeking funding from COSIA member companies and include the details of the funding ask (i.e., breakdown of costs, schedule and any additional received or applied for funding grants, or additional collaborators) in an attachment.

6. Do you have additional information you want to include with your submission?

Tips: It is not mandatory to include additional information, but this is your opportunity to:

  • Highlight your team’s expertise, and
  • Include a proposal outlining the details of your solution and specifics around the collaboration and/or funding ask from COSIA.
3. Non-Confidentiality Disclosure

COSIA welcomes the submission of ideas or concepts from outside individuals, companies or organizations for its consideration, specifically in the fields covered by its four Environment Priority Areas: Tailings, Water, Land and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). However, COSIA and its EPAs are required by Policy to receive and consider such submissions only on a non-confidential basis.

While COSIA may subsequently choose in its sole discretion to receive further information on a confidential basis from the undersigned individual, company or organization (the "Discloser") under a Confidentiality Agreement, all submissions prior to signing such a Confidentiality Agreement will be treated by COSIA and its EPAs as strictly non-confidential information.

By electronically acknowledging this Non-Confidentiality Disclosure on the E-TAP Submission Form, Discloser is expressly acknowledging the above and agrees that the information provided directly or indirectly to COSIA and/or its EPAs hereunder, whether in written, oral, visual or other format, is non-confidential.

For greater clarity, the Discloser hereby acknowledges that any and all information provided directly or indirectly by the Discloser hereunder is provided free of restriction as to subsequent use and disclosure by or on behalf of COSIA and the EPAs. COSIA will use this information for the intended purpose of evaluating your submission. This may include sharing it with subject matter experts from the producers and possibly with third party reviewers familiar with the subject matter.

The Discloser may attach or submit separately a non-confidential data sheet or samples that provide the Discloser with a means to communicate the performance and/or operation of their technologies (process or products) or technology solutions to COSIA and the EPAs for consideration. Based on the information provided, COSIA and its EPAs may or may not elect to participate with the Discloser to further evaluate any proposed technology opportunity.

COSIA may forward this form and accompanying information to third parties to assist in the preliminary evaluation.

4. Summary: Top tips for Innovators
  1. Consider your submission as your ‘pitch’ to COSIA members. It should be fairly high-level but contain all the information outlined in Section 2 above to satisfactorily answer members’ frequently asked questions.
  2. Ensure that the boundary conditions of your submission are clearly defined (i.e., what is and what is not accounted for in the technology assessment).
  3. Your supporting data should be high quality and cover the important aspects of your technology’s performance.
  4. Remember your audience is oil sands producers’ top technical experts; make sure you provide them with enough detail to make them curious and want to know more about your submission.
I don’t see an Innovation Opportunity related to my technology or idea.

COSIA will accept and review submissions that fall outside our innovation and research priorities using the same process as outlined in Figure 1 above. You will be prompted to answer the same questions in the same detail. To increase your chances of success, we strongly encourage you to clearly articulate in your submission the following:

  • What problem your solution aims to solve and how it is relevant to the oil sands industry. 
  • The magnitude of the problem your solution addresses and why COSIA members should prioritize solving it.

If your submission is rejected, the EPA will endeavour to provide feedback to help you with future submissions. They may also direct you to other resources or avenues for collaboration. Your submission may be rejected if:

  • The problem you are trying to solve is deemed not a current priority by our members. 
  • Your proposed solution has been tried previously.
  • Alternative approaches are being prioritized for development or deployment.



Ready to go?

Submit your application here.

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