Canada’s energy transition: $14 million to foster scientific research and governance

Trottier Family Foundation invests in Polytechnique Montréal to act as an energy compass for the country

October 4, 2023

Montréal – The Trottier Family Foundation has announced a major grant to Polytechnique Montréal that will ensure the continuity of the Trottier Energy Institute’s operations until 2030, along with the creation of a philanthropic chair in energy transition. In all, $14 million will be invested in independent energy research, analysis and guidance to help achieve climate targets in Québec and the rest of Canada.

Carbon-neutral—and politically neutral
The Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal, known by its French acronym IET, is active in all debates around energy in Canada. Its team initiates important collective-thinking exercises, mobilizes knowledge, analyzes data, explains issues in plain language, and recommends appropriate and effective plans. It is independent, which confers the neutrality that is key to the collaborative approach that it advocates, facilitating co-operation with the stakeholders best positioned to propel the energy transition while affording it the freedom to exercise critical judgment where appropriate.

With the IET’s initial 10-year mandate drawing to a close, the Trottier Family Foundation decided to reaffirm its trust in the IET through a new grant in the amount of $8.75 million. In choosing to pursue this much-needed contribution to society, the Foundation noted the scope of the IET’s actions and its status as an indispensable player. The new funding means the IET team will continue to offer science-based advice and enrich the public conversation, with a view to advancing methods of energy production, conversion, distribution and use in Canada.

Among the impactful initiatives that will be maintained is the Institute’s Canadian Energy Outlook, the third edition of which is slated for publication this autumn. In line with the latest climate-related developments, it provides a clearer understanding of the transformations required in all areas of activity—from buildings to transportation, agriculture, carbon capture and storage, biomass and waste, electricity and citizens’ roles. The Outlook’s forecasting of Canadian energy production and consumption trends is accompanied by suggestions of coherent strategies for each province.

New multidisciplinary chair
The Trottier Family Foundation’s renewed commitment will also result in the creation of a philanthropic chair in energy transition. It will be financed through the capitalization of a part of the grant awarded in 2012 for the establishment of the IET, and will draw on expertise from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal.

“The establishment of this multidisciplinary chair adds a fundamental component to the more strategic aspect of the IET’s work,” said Professor Normand Mousseau, Scientific Director, IET. “It will enable researchers to take a systemic approach to the social, environmental, economic and technological challenges of transition. We intend to support the work of the Chair and incorporate its research findings into our guidance to governments and industry. This synergistic collaboration will lend even greater substance to the advice the IET provides.”

An “energy compass” to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050
In generating authoritative knowledge and informing policy and investment decisions, the Chair and the IET together represent a compass for achieving the energy transition. This navigational aid will foster deployment of measures that will make it easier to establish pathways to a carbon-neutral Canada by 2050.

“This consolidated capacity for innovation and analysis will leave us better positioned to recommend credible avenues to achieving targets for Québec and the rest of Canada, while sustaining a transformation that maximizes social gains and minimizes economic costs,” Professor Mousseau concluded.


Lorne M. Trottier, Chair, Trottier Family Foundation
“The Trottier Family Foundation is pleased and proud to support the Trottier Energy Institute (IET) in helping accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. That transition, which has already begun, is indispensable in combating climate change, and we are convinced that the IET can play a leading role in it. We trust that our contribution to the IET will help advance the energy transition fairly and equitably, for the benefit of every part of society.”

Maud Cohen, President, Polytechnique Montréal
“Thanks to the generosity and renewed trust of the Trottier Family Foundation, we can stay true to our role as a proactive force for change. I thank the Foundation for acknowledging the cornerstone of knowledge and skills represented by our university community, and for choosing to build on it. Polytechnique Montréal is proud to be helping our society along the road to a healthy shift away from fossil fuels.”

Isabelle Péan, CEO, Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique Montréal
“Philanthropy epitomizes the ideal of sharing wealth and resources for the common good. This grant from the Trottier Family Foundation to Polytechnique Montréal goes far beyond financial support: it is a precious legacy for future generations. We applaud this outstanding contribution to both intellectual enrichment and the advancement of society as a whole.”

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About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada’s largest engineering education and research institutions. It is located on the Université de Montréal campus, the largest French-language university campus in the Americas. Polytechnique offers about 120 programs taught by more than 300 professors, and welcomes close to 10,000 students yearly. It has an annual operating budget of $300 million, including a research budget of $100 million.

About the Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique Montréal
The Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique Montréal, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is a non-profit organization operating as an independent legal entity. Its board of directors includes members of the business community and representatives of Polytechnique Montréal senior management. The Foundation’s mission is to advance Polytechnique’s reputation and growth as an international university centre of excellence in engineering, in two main areas of impact: relations with graduates and philanthropic development. It supports innovative and high-priority projects at Polytechnique by facilitating philanthropic contributions from businesses, foundations, alumni and friends.


Audrey Rondeau
Communications Advisor, Polytechnique Montréal
514 690-3553 /


The following people are available for interviews:

  • Normand Mousseau, Scientific Director, Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal
  • Éric St-Pierre, Executive Director, Trottier Family Foundation


Photos (credit: Thierry du Bois)
Video summary of the IET


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