Here’s the latest on a wide range of innovation in the Edmonton region.


G2V Optics is simulating the sun for an upcoming NASA mission

G2V Optics has sent solar simulators to NASA to help test a spacecraft that aims to solve Earth’s growing space-junk problem. It’s the latest success in the Edmonton-based company’s evolution toward using its “Engineered Sunlight” technology to help aerospace organizations know what to expect from the sun once they get their devices into orbit.

“It’s a huge project, and … a fantastic feather in the cap of everybody in our team who worked on it,” G2V Optics CEO Ryan Tucker told Taproot. “And I think an awesome thing for Edmonton and our technology.”

The project, the culmination of a two-year procurement process, is for the testing of OSAM-1, a spacecraft that is scheduled to be launched in 2026 to service Landsat 7, a satellite that is past its prime. G2V has sent two large-area solar simulators, each about the size of a bus, to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to help the OSAM-1 team anticipate the conditions under which their spacecraft will operate.

Despite G2V’s success in cracking this market and the investment-fuelled growth of space-data company Wyvern, Edmonton doesn’t have what Tucker would call a “space economy,” but he’s excited about the future.

“It just goes to show that companies like ours can work with the world-leading institutes, engineers, astronauts, and programs in aerospace,” he said.

Read the full story


Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship


Tech

  • Local IT professional Aaron Hoyland spoke with CBC News about continuing to work from home after being forced into it by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve found it to be overwhelmingly positive,” he said, noting he saves time and money by not having a commute. “It’s going to be very, very difficult for companies to take that away.”

Climate Emergency & CleanTech


Digital Inclusion & Education

  • Strathcona County council has requested a report on potential rebate or grant programs to improve residential Internet services through the company Starlink Satellite, a satellite internet company owned by SpaceX.
  • Edmonton Public Library and Innovate Edmonton announced Innovation U, a new partnership that includes a four-part series for aspiring entrepreneurs, alongside one-on-one advice from Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren as the inaugural Innovator in Residence. “Innovation is a team pursuit and we’re pleased to partner with the Edmonton Public Library to offer this one-of-a-kind public program and residency to inspire Edmontonians to explore their innovation potential,” said Warren. “As a tech entrepreneur and urban innovator, I’m especially excited to hear from Edmontonians and offer my support in taking the first steps on their entrepreneurial path—as we capitalize together on all the Library has to offer.”

Food Security & AgTech

  • Alberta Innovates is investing $10 million over three years in the Agri-Food and Bioindustrial Innovation Program (ABIP) to support projects that “increase productivity, enhance competitiveness, boost the value of agriculture and forestry commodities, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.” The money is available to researchers and technology developers, with a continuous intake of applications.
  • Edmonton’s green bin program was started in 2021 to divert tonnes of food waste from the landfill, but requiring people to separate organics from their trash may be a kind of public awareness campaign about the prevalence of food waste, says Neil Kjelland, Director of Sustainable Waste processing for the City.

Public Health

  • Lenica Research Group announced a strategic partnership with Allegori, a neuroscience innovation company based in Trinidad and Tobago that measures and records electrical activity in the brain to customize online mindfulness and cognitive therapy sessions. Allegori will be integrating its EEG headsets with Lenica’s “Peak Health platform” to access a broader range of diagnostic and analytical tools. “This is the first of several key alliances we expect to unveil as Lenica expands the reach of its virtual cognitive therapeutic healthcare platform to promote better brain health and enhanced precision mindfulness,” said CEO Simba Nyazika, noting that his company now sees its data integration back end as its lead product, which unlocks many cross-collaboration opportunities.
  • Chris Cairo and his research team at the University of Alberta have identified a group of enzymes that could help us better understand inflammation, and thus lead to new ways of treating it. The work out of the department of chemistry was supported by GlycoNet and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Arts & Culture


Bits & Pieces


Other Mentions


This Blast is brought to you by Innovate Edmonton in partnership with Taproot Publishing.