Here’s the latest on a wide range of innovation in the Edmonton region. Feel free to share it and let us know how we can improve the Blast. Let’s begin!
NeurAlbertaTech hackathon aims to inspire beginners this summer
Registration is now open for natHACKS, Alberta’s annual brain-computer interface hackathon put on by NeurAlbertaTech to inspire beginners to develop neurotech skills and challenge “competent hackers” to apply themselves to the field.
The event, running over 64 hours from July 29 to Aug. 1, is expected to attract 300+ participants in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge. There will be four streams: recreation, rehabilitation, research, and “junior” for those who are new to the neurotech world.
“With over $20,000 in seed funding, computation resources, and legal services, the winning teams have significant resources at their disposal to spin off into proper startups, fuelling innovation across the province,” Co-Executive Director Eden Redman told Taproot.
Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship
- Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and Community Futures Network of Alberta will each receive $3 million from the province to fund business loans to women.
- Edify spoke to Riya Ganguly of Edmonton Global about efforts to attract top tech talent to the city. “For a very, very long time, the world really wasn’t aware of who Edmonton was and the opportunities that were here,” she said. “The Edmonton region’s economy is growing. It’s fuelling the expansion of regional companies and creating high-quality jobs in areas like tech, life sciences and agriculture.”
- David Chan of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and Kirk Zembal of Blindman Brewing spoke to Taproot about their various collaborations, including the label for the new May Long Double IPA and the brewery’s efforts to decrease CO2 emissions.
Climate Emergency & CleanTech
- The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) hosted the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Sustainable Flight Challenge, an idea that was initiated by KLM employees to highlight the need for more sustainability in aviation. It was “eye-opening to witness the impact of many seemingly minor changes that compound into a significant transformation,” EIA’s Adrian Warchola reflected after the event.
- The City of Edmonton is piloting the use of smart sensors on municipal collection bins to gain a better understanding of how much and what kind of waste has been deposited. “By taking a photo of the waste inside, we can determine at a glance if there is contamination or improperly sorted waste,” said Chris Fowler, Director of Collection Services. “This information is relayed to Waste Services staff who are able to monitor individual collection bins in real time.”
- Strathcona County and Edmonton have been designated as Bird Friendly Cities by Nature Canada. Community partners such as the Edmonton Nature Club, Edmonton and Area Land Trust, and North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society helped to make the certification possible.
- The Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB said the global hydrogen market is expected to be worth up to $2.5 trillion by 2050. “We already have the talented workers, expertise and pipelines to succeed,” said chair and Sturgeon Country Mayor Alanna Hnatiw.
Digital Inclusion & Education
- The Indigenous Friends Association has [started delivering its INDIGital program, which merges technology and traditional teachings, at PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN (Thunderbird House) at the Stanley A. Milner Library to help participants “heal through technology.”
- TELUS has announced a $17 billion investment in internet infrastructure in Alberta, aiming to connect nearly one million homes and businesses to the PureFibre network, including residents of Edmonton, Leduc, Spruce Grove, and Stony Plain.
- True Angle Medical has been issued a United States patent for “systems and methods for diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders.”
- Health Cities published a piece on the role nurses play in driving innovation in health care, noting the crucial role nurses played in the Home Health Monitoring project in central Alberta and the Remote Diagnostic Imaging project using Medo.AI‘s ultrasound technology.
- New York-based Tonix Pharmaceuticals has entered into a license agreement and extended a research collaboration with the University of Alberta focused on identifying and testing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs against future variants of SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging viruses.
- Click & Push Accessibility Inc. and the University of Alberta’s Rehabilitation Robotics Lab are working on a mobile app called The Atlas to map out barriers to getting around the city due to construction or other impediments to people getting around the city by wheelchair, by bike, or on foot.
Bits & Pieces
- Global disruption monitoring platform samdesk is removing all hierarchical prefixes from its job titles “to focus on function and team,” announced CEO James Neufeld.
- AltaML has welcomed its seventh cohort to its Applied AI Lab.