Chrysalix Venture Capital

Tank Inspection Challenge

Tank Inspection Challenge

Innovative ideas for safe, accurate and economical inspections of aboveground storage tanks without human entry, while staying in service.
Up to $250,000 USD

Challenge Overview

Challenge Overview

The Oil & Gas sector utilizes large capacity Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) to temporarily hold several different liquid or gas substances (e.g., water, crude, chemicals).  The tanks are typically built up from welded steel plates, rest on top of the ground and are prone to corrosion over time.

Tank inspections are extremely costly, laborious, and creates a significant safety risk as they are performed manually, requiring storage tanks to be taken out-of-service, cleaned, and degassed to allow workers to enter the confined space.

In general, the population of tanks is quite diverse, ranging from 40’ to 300’ in diameter, in refineries, the most common are 110’ and 300’. The crude oil is of all types, light, paraffinic or asphaltenic, depending on the origin. Uncleaned tanks can be particularly challenging as the access to the tank floor is limited by a buildup of sediment or sludge (e.g., crude, wax, asphaltene). The sludge can range from 2-6 inches to 10 feet depending on the product characteristics but mostly in 2-5 feet range.  


Get Involved

We welcome entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, and anyone eager to contribute, to jump into this challenge and to find a solution. To register for the challenge:

  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about requirements and rules
  • Click the “ACCEPT CHALLENGE” button above and enter your passcode to start your entry
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to ask questions or connect with other innovators


About the Sponsors

Chrysalix Venture Capital Chrysalix is a global venture capital fund with a long history commercializing step-change innovation for resource intensive industries. We invest in intelligent systems, energy technology and resource productivity solutions to deliver outsized financial returns and environmental sustainability. By teaming up with leading industrial companies and outstanding entrepreneurs, Chrysalix connects market driven problems to breakthrough solutions. Founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2001, Chrysalix has one of the strongest investment teams in the industry with deep energy, technology and entrepreneurial expertise, and is backed by more than 20 international blue chip industrial and financial investors.


PETRONAS Established in 1974, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500®. The growing demand for energy inspires and strengthens our purpose to steadily drive for new solutions and push boundaries towards a sustainable energy future. We apply innovative approaches to technology which helps us unlock and maximise energy sources from even the most remote and difficult environments. Our fully integrated value chain spans from exploration to marketing, logistics to technological infrastructures, with operations in over 50 countries. Throughout our rapidly expanding network and steady growth trajectory, PETRONAS has consistently and successfully implemented various social, environmental and community programmes. Guided by our Corporate Sustainability Framework, we carry out our business in a socially responsible and holistic manner for the benefit of the present and future generations.


Challenge Guidelines


Chrysalix Venture Capital will award up to $250K USD for the winning solution.

The prize money:

  • Is awarded based on the judges’ evaluation of the best submission
  • Will be dedicated to funding a 6 to 12 month project to demonstrate a viable business case along with a proof of concept (e.g. minimum viable product with a commercial pilot initiated)
  • Final amount will be determined based on the technology readiness and business readiness level of the solution

Successful, start-up worthy solutions that achieve the 6-12 month project milestones will have the opportunity for additional follow-on equity funding of $1M+ from the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.


How Do I Win

To be eligible for an award, your proposal must be submitted by July 12th, 2019 at 5 pm PST and at a minimum:

  • Be scored higher than your competitors
  • Accurately and thoughtfully address the submission form questions (include only non-confidential information and data)
  • Satisfy the judging criteria and any follow-up questions
  • Semi-finalists may be invited to present to the judging panel in person
  • Timeline of the process can be found on the Timeline Tab


Judging Criteria

In scope solutions will:

  • Be able to detect and/or predict early corrosion
  • Be able to operate in a broad set of fluid and tank conditions
  • Be able to operate at various temperatures (low and high)
  • Be able to inspect the AST while it remains in service (i.e. online solutions)
  • Be autonomous and non-intrusive (i.e. without human entry)
  • Conform to API 653 (Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration and Reconstruction)
  • Bonus: Be ATEX certified

Out of scope solutions:

  • Offline solutions that require taking the AST out of service
  • Intrusive approaches requiring human entry
  • Limited application where it can only be deployed in a narrow set of clean fluids and tank conditions

Additionally, submissions that meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be evaluated with the following questions in mind:

  • Innovative - is it fundamentally different?
  • Valuable - does it generate substantial value beyond just cost savings?
  • Feasible - Is there a strategy to prove the concept efficiently and cost-effectively?



Participation Eligibility:

The challenge is open to all adult individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English. No specific qualifications or expertise in the field of the oil & gas sector is required.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online only, via upload to the website, on or before 5pm PST on July 12th, 2019. All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.

Intellectual Property Rights:

Will be according to the respective Cornerstone Academic Partners’ policy or defined at contracting upon awarding the prize. The sponsors will not have default rights to the Intellectual Property.

Selection of Winners:

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on the highest votes from the Judges.

In the case of no winner, Chrysalix Venture Capital reserves the right to withhold the Prize amount.

Judging Panel:

The determination of the winners will be made by members of the Chrysalix Investment Team and select members of our LImited Partners by invitation.


Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.
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