QuikTech Notes – December 12, 2018

QuikTech Notes

Creating the New Alberta – VISION & LEADERSHIP

December 12, 2018

From time to time we poke about wanting to learn your views and those of our overall  readership – now exceeding 20,000. To say the least, 2018 has been dynamic. Here is what we learned about you and what we’ve been up to in 2018 and what we expect to be doing in 2019 for helping Create the New Alberta. – Editor

Vision & Leadership. Our 2017 Creativity & Convergence Conferences in Edmonton and Calgary identified three pillars for Creating the New Alberta: Energy transitions. Leadership in innovation. A resilient economy. Surveys of our network consistently identify vision and sustained leadership as primary to economic development.

2019 – With an election pending in the spring we are hosting a Symposium on January 26th in Edmonton for learning what the candidates for Premier of Alberta propose. Each of the four presentations is followed by an expert panel to discuss either: Alberta’s economic resilience, Engaging youth – the future of work, Public procurement in Alberta, or Advancing and financing innovation in Alberta. Early-bird registration HERE

Economic resilience. Alberta’s economic resilience has been viewed as weak due to it’s over-dependence on the oil and gas industry…but consistently improving. Since this past spring problems specific to Alberta’s oil and gas industry have rocked Alberta’s economy with consequences for the entire country. Alberta’s economic resilience weakened particularly in the Calgary Region and for government. All industries and professions have slipped other than education. Fall ’18 Overview HERE

2018 – Calgary introduced the $100M Opportunity Investment Fund and initiatives to diversify it’s economy HERE  The Alberta Government introduced the Alberta Investor Tax Credit.  And municipalities comprising the Edmonton Region have incorporated Edmonton Global for consolidating organization of the Region’s economic development and attracting foreign investment, talent, and innovation,

    FLASH Dec 11th. EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil refinery, but Premier Rachel Notley says any deal needs to work for both industry and taxpayers. FOR MORE

Innovation ecosystem. Achieving economic resilience requires an effective innovation ecosystem. Alberta’s innovation ecosystem remains ineffective and has weakened since the spring. Fall ’18 Report HERE

2019 – We are incorporating the Ontario Council of Technologies Society and are investigating introducing the semi-annual survey to include Ontario. This would allow an inter-provincial comparison of our network’s sentiment of economic resilience and the associated innovation ecosystems.

Public procurement. Suppliers and purchasers of Alberta public procurement view the system as broken: a mismatch of expectations in procurement practices and objectives. Recommendations are contained in the Spring ’18 Report HERE

The voice of youth. By engaging Alberta high school students in our spring ’18 survey and team consultation we learned of Alberta youths’ concern about the impact of biotechnology on their future well-being and machine learning on their careers. Their commitment to education is strong, though they are concerned that their education is not adequately preparing them for the future. Spring ’18 Report HERE

2019 – Our multi-year Engaging Youth project will be extended to all of Canada and include it’s post-secondary students. The report will be central to a national conference in the fall for post-secondary institutions on Quality Assurance in Education. Planning is also underway for extending the project worldwide in the spring of 2020 and webcasting the results at a fall conference in partnership with the National (US) Creativity Network.

Industrial hemp. The legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018 has been a major economic trigger. Our attention was drawn instead to co-hosting a conference with the Agriculture Food Council in the spring for creating an industrial hemp industry in western Canada. We learned of regulatory issues impeding the production of food and oils. The cost of decortication was identified as an impediment to the manufacture of industrial materials. Progress continues in unifying industry leadership through the Agriculture Food Council and it’s alliances. HERE  

2019 – A provincial Conference for the spring will be announced shortly.

Autonomous transportation. The public continues to learn of progress in developing technologies for automating transportation. Alberta enterprise is strong and regulatory measures are in preparation. This may be a significant economic opportunity for Alberta.

2019 – A Conference is being designed for April ’19 at the Edmonton International Airport. FOR MORE

Personalized healthcare. Some years ago we hosted conferences re Analytics, BIG Data, and the Cloud”. Our fall ’18 RISING STARS Symposium featured four early-stage enterprises and a panel underscoring advances in data, diagnosis, and determination allowing increased precision and personal participation in healthcare. HERE

Fusion technologies. We have spun off the Alberta/Canada Fusion Technologies Alliance. The Society continues to educate and advocate for Alberta to lead Canada into the international race for fusion ignition and anticipate an array of industrial applications. The plan is contained in the Fusion 2030 – Roadmap for Canada report. HERE

2019 – The Alliance is producing a newsletter HERE and educating Alberta leaders about progress in achieving fusion ignition HERE

Financing innovation. ABCtech commissioned a project to establish technology investment fund in association with a credit union. The project was to secure funding dedicated to intangible assets and the assembly of clusters of emerging technologies. TechInvest has now been incorporated. HERE

2019- ABCtech continues to support TechInvest that is seeking investment opportunities targeting specific industry clusters and is securing it’s initial rounds of financing.

Going Global. We continue to develop relationships directly with Brainport in the Netherlands and through members of our Alliance with Europe.

2019 – We will be investigating Asian and African markets for traceability technologies and training opportunities in agriculture. Our bi-annual Festival of BIG Ideas is to be revitalized targeting off-shore partners and featuring both a winter and summer version.

Share your Ideas – Questions – Comments? HERE



Saturday January 26th, 2019 – Royal Glenora – Edmonton

8:30am – 4:30pm

Confirmed: 10:30AM Stephen Mandel, 1:30PM David Khan, 3:00PM Jason Kenney. Pending: 9:00AM Rachel Notley

A timely and insightful discourse on Alberta’s economy, youth, procurement, innovation

$125- Register HERE


ABCtech Members receive a 20% Discount. Not a Member? Register HERE

Members of Alberta’s Technology Industry Alliance also receive a 20% discount. Use “ALLIANCE” as your code


Keynotes – Election ’19 Preview

Each of four party candidates for Premier of Alberta are invited to deliver a 20-minute address followed by a 10-minute Q&A.


Twenty-minute breaks – Refreshments  – Buffet luncheon

Themed 4-5 Seat Panels

Alberta’s economic resilience. 9:30AM Chaired by Leann Hackman-Carty, Economic Developers Alberta

Engaging Youth – the future of work. 11:00AM Chaired by Phil Davidson, ABCtech

Public procurement in Alberta. Chaired by Arnold d’Sousa, 2:00PM Supply Chain Management Association

Advancing and financing Innovation in Alberta. 3:30PM Chaired by Werner Biegler, ABCtech


ABCtech’s half-hour AGM will follow lunch


The entire event will be broadcast and recorded live

Questions?  Contact Editor@ABCtech.ca