By Deborah Austin To nurture development of alternative fuel technology, Ballard Power Systems, Shell Hydrogen, and Westcoast Energy are forming a joint venture called Chrysalix Energy Limited Partnership. Its mission: promote early-stage companies with high-growth potential in fuel cells and related systems such as hydrogen infrastructure, maintenance, and support techniques. Independently operated Chrysalix, Vancouver, B.C., will offer new companies early-stage funding, technology knowledge, organized networking with industry players, and intellectual property management experience. The company will operate under the premise that alternative fuels hold great potential if key technological challenges are overcome. Ballard, Burnaby, B.C., makes zero-emission proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, B.C., is a diversified energy company. Shell Hydrogen, Amsterdam -- part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies -- develops business opportunities related to hydrogen and fuel cells.