The Innovation Sandboxes Project
Sandboxes are a valuable tool used by jurisdictions across the world to meet evolving priorities and address new and emerging concerns. Pollution Probe and QUEST’s Innovation Sandboxes project aims to collaboratively create frameworks that will allow for innovation in all levels of provincial and territorial energy systems across Canada. These foundational frameworks can then be used by policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders to change existing policies and regulations or create more effective policies, regulations, and programs to accelerate the transition to a low-emissions future.
Innovation Sandboxes include a range of initiatives and strategies to promote innovation through collaboration and experimentation within controlled settings in a real-world environment. The experimentation process reveals new insights about existing challenges and barriers to progress – which can be procedural, policy-based, process-based, or regulatory – as well as potential solutions which can be analyzed for feasibility and cost-benefit ratio.
It is not always clear what the barriers are to progress and innovation, or how to overcome them. Using Innovation Sandboxes is a low-risk way to identify how much (or how little) existing policy, regulatory and decision-making frameworks are holding back innovation and how best to change that. As jurisdictions across Canada have been hard-hit by COVID-19, it has become more clear than ever before how important it is that they have resources, governance structures, and policy support to build community resilience and make sure they have strong and sustainable energy systems moving forward.
Jump on In: The Role of Energy Innovation Sandboxes in Getting to Net-Zero
26 October 2021
The latest report from the Sandbox project builds on previous report findings as well as the outcomes of a series of national and international workshops hosted by QUEST and Pollution Probe. The workshops engaged provincial, territorial and federal representatives from regulators and governments as well as utilities, consumers advocates, academics, civil society and expert consultants. We found that Innovation Sandboxes have the potential to overcome many of the structural barriers that are delaying the deployment of the low-carbon innovation that Canada will need to meet its net-zero targets.