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


Keeping the right digital talent is key to Edmonton’s recovery, says report

Edmonton is well-placed to contribute to a digital-led recovery from the pandemic, but more needs to be done to attract and retain young talent, says a report from the research arm of the Information and Communications Technology Council.

“With a relatively young population and growing clean tech industry, Edmonton is on a positive growth path,” says A Resilient Recovery: Alberta’s Digital-Led Post-COVID Future, which the Ottawa-based Digital Think Tank by ICTC released on June 30. “Edmonton has a spirit of collaboration that continues to set it apart from other major metropolitan areas.”

But many of the graduates emerging from Edmonton’s post-secondary institutions with tech degrees — of which there were 5,522 between 2015 and 2020 — seem to be unaware of the opportunities for work here, interviewees indicated, calling for further collaboration among industry, governments, and academia to fill employment needs. According to the CBRE, Edmonton added 12,000 tech jobs during 2015 and 2020.

Interviewees also noted a gap in the “skills needed to both design innovative products and ‘translate between the “tech” and “business” sides of companies.'” An analysis of transferable skills in job postings indicated significant interest in digital design (see chart above).

There’s much more in the report, including a look at the promise of and impediments to growing the health-tech sector. Among the contributors were Stewart Cook, Dean of NAIT’s School of Applied Sciences and Technology; Randy Duguay, CEO of Health Gauge; James Keirstead, President of Levven Electronics; Connie Stacey, CEO and Founder of Growing Greener Innovations; Celia Wanderley, Chief Customer Officer and Head of AltaML Invent at AltaML; and Catherine Warren, CEO of Innovate Edmonton.


Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship


Tech


Climate Emergency & CleanTech


Digital Inclusion & Education


Food Security & AgTech


Public Health


Social Impact


Arts & Culture


Bits & Pieces

  • Two University of Alberta astrophysicists are among the Canadian scientists guaranteed 5% of the new James Webb Telescope‘s working time. Erik Rosolowsky intends to study how diffuse clouds of gas become stars, while Gregory Sivakoff will look for the “stellar undead” — former stars that have exhausted their fuel and collapsed.
  • The Heartland Petrochemical Complex northeast of Edmonton has produced its first plastic pellets, four years after construction began on the $4.3-billion facility. Owned and operated by Inter Pipeline Ltd. the plant converts propane into polypropylene beads to be used in food packaging, personal protective equipment, textiles, automotive parts, and personal hygiene products.

Other Mentions


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