Edmonton is ready for energy transition opportunity
Oil-rich Alberta is poised to benefit from the global energy transition, according to the Alberta Energy Transition Study commissioned by Calgary Economic Development and Edmonton Global. The report suggests that moving towards cleantech could create 170,000 jobs and contribute $61 billion to the province by 2050.
Alternatively, if Alberta takes no action, it will only see 20,000 jobs and $4 billion from cleantech in that period. The province can leverage its infrastructure and workforce to capitalize on green tech such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production. To reach the higher benefit, more than $2.1 billion will need to be invested into the field each year until 2030. Currently, this sum is sitting at less than $1 billion.
Of the 945 cleantech companies in Alberta identified by the report, 429 are located in the Edmonton region.
“This report is more evidence that the Edmonton Metropolitan Region has what it takes to radically transform and grow our economy,” said Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global. “We are actively seeking to attract forward-looking companies who share in our vision of investing in innovation and technology that helps the world get to a net-zero future.”
Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship
- Startup TNT is hoping to raise more than $1 million for life sciences companies at the Life Sciences Investment Summit on March 17, 2022. The initiative is being supported by Edmonton-based Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation. Applications close Jan. 18, 2022. Innovate Edmonton is one of the summit’s organizing partners.
- The Rainforest Scorecard, a tool to assess the health of the tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem across the province, is back.
- Drone Delivery Canada has flown a Sparrow drone from EIA’s airport operations facility to a site in Leduc County, the first time such activity has been approved by NAV CANADA. The use of drones to deliver cargo could help modernize supply chains across the country.
- The Edmonton Police Service has formally adopted a piece of tech that lets 911-callers use their phones to share live video. Called 911eye, it eliminates the need for a person witnessing a crime to verbally describe a scene to the police over the phone.
- Bitcoin Well saw revenues climb to $15.9 million in the third quarter, up 9% from Q3 2020, and cut its net loss to $3.9 million from $8.2 million a year ago. The operator of more than 200 cryptocurrency ATMs plans a three-pillar strategy focusing on financial services, technology development, and education, the company said in a news release.
- Jobber has been recertified by Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures with a platinum award in the growth category. The program recognizes Canadian companies “with cultures that enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage.”
- The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) is hosting its inaugural AI Week from May 24-27, 2022. Events will include presentations, academic symposiums, K-12 career sessions focusing on AI and machine learning, and more.
- Zipstall, a free app developed during the pandemic, is tackling the downtown parking experience in Edmonton by suggesting the best available parking stall at any given time. The startup partnered with the University of Alberta to analyze data to develop baseline predictions.
CleanTech & Climate Emergency
- Aurora Hydrogen, co-founded by University of Alberta associate professor Erin Bobicki, is working to create hydrogen from natural gas without producing carbon dioxide as a byproduct. The company was recently accepted into the Energy Stream of the Creative Destruction Lab program at the University of Calgary.
- Sturgeon County has approved the new Villeneuve Airport Area Master Plan which envisions an ecoPark housing a research centre and testing grounds for hydrogen technology. The 20-year plan also incorporates buildings with green roofs, electric car charging portals, and low-energy lighting.
Digital Inclusion & Education
- Concordia University of Edmonton has been awarded $203,000 in federal funding through the Accessible Technology Program to develop a machine learning-based chatbot that can evaluate and respond to the digital information needs of users with disabilities.
Food Security & AgTech
- Future Fields was featured in Chemical & Engineering News in a list of top chemistry startups on its radar during 2021.
- Brazilian-born Gleise Silva was named the inaugural Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC)-Hays research chair in beef production systems at the University of Alberta. The program aims to connect farmer knowledge from within the province with modern research and tech.
- University of Saskatchewan grad student Meghan Lindholm, who completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, is digging into how Indigenous people in northern Alberta use plants for food and medicine. Her research also looks at how resource extraction in the region hinders the ability to find these plants.
- Edmonton’s Lana Solberg, who handles healthcare solutions and partnerships for Boehringer Ingelheim’s western Canada division, and Jackie Nelson, director of strategic initiatives for NorQuest College, were named 2021 Women Leaders in Digital Health by Digital Health Canada.
- Incontinence can contribute to harmful or even fatal falls among older people, new research out of the University of Alberta shows. Using 3D capture tech, the team discovered that overactive bladders can distract older adults and negatively impact their balance.
- A study conducted by a U of A team found no clear link between prescribed opioids for children and opioid use disorder later in life. Senior author Michele Dyson said that in some cases, opioids are part of the best treatment plan to manage a child’s pain if used as indicated.
- A team of researchers out of the University of Calgary and University of Alberta will be monitoring sewage treatment plants for the presence of COVID-19. Collectively, the effort out of the two schools will cover 25 communities including Fort McMurray, Canmore, Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton.
- Most of the 11 cases of Omicron in Alberta involved people who were vaccinated — seven of them were fully vaccinated, two partially vaccinated, and two had not received vaccines at all, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw told media. Hinshaw also said the province has yet to decide if COVID-19 rules have changed, as Alberta enters the holiday season.
Arts & Culture
- Local lighting maestro Scott Peters discussed the innovative design for Luminaria which runs at the University of Alberta’s Botanic Garden until Jan. 9.
Bits & Pieces
- John Walmsley has joined G2V Optics Inc. as its new vice-president of product development. “Our team is thrilled to have you join us to build out the next phase of our smart lighting to enable the most important solar renewable, aerospace, and food production developments of our generation,” wrote CEO Ryan Tucker on LinkedIn.
- dealcloser, which provides a platform that helps professionals through the legal transaction process involved in deals, is setting up shop in Edmonton’s historic Mercer Building.
- Edmonton could be a transportation hub for North America, thanks to its proximity and connectivity to Prince Rupert and Vancouver, two port cities. Malcolm Bruce, the CEO of Edmonton Global, told CTV that Prince Rupert previously moved natural resources like oil and wood, but consumer goods could reach it via Edmonton.
- Amazon, Enbridge, and The Brick are among 13 companies hiring for hundreds of Edmonton positions.
- The provincial government has announced it will open new offices in Chicago, Denver, and Seattle to “promote Alberta’s economic, policy and trade interests in the U.S. and Mexico, further supporting economic integration in North America.”
- Innovate Edmonton celebrated its first year on Dec. 1 with the release of its 2021 report, recapping successes and forecasting where it’s headed in the years to come.
- Improbable, led by Innovate Edmonton board member Aaryn Flynn, announced a new RPG at the Game Awards, Flynn’s first release since leaving local game studio BioWare in 2018.
- Innovation Growth Council member Jacquelyn Cardinal — also co-founder of Naheyawin — and her brother are putting on a play. As Postmedia reported, Lake of the Strangers will debut at the Westbury Theatre on Dec. 11.
- Scaleup Edmonton is recruiting for a project coordinator. Apply by Dec. 14.