Shift is a podcast by Alberta Innovates that's dedicated to interviewing and showing how Alberta innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers are leading the future of innovation. Alberta has many unsung heroes and many interesting and important technological advancements being made that will greatly impact our lives. These deserve a spotlight, and by listening to Shift people will get a sense of how Alberta innovation is leading the way.
Shift talks with Doug Holt and Simon Raby about Alberta's scaleup gap and what the ecosystem is doing to help businesses grow.
On this episode we talk with Doug Holt and Simon Raby about a report Simon prepared for Alberta Innovates that identifies a scaleup gap in Alberta. Essentially, we're good at starting companies but not so good at growing them. Our discussion explores the scaleup gap and what those in the Alberta entrepreneurial ecosystem, like Alberta Innovates, are doing to address it.
Doug Holt, Associate Vice President of Investment at Alberta Innovates
Doug is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in the fields of finance, technology and education. Over the course of the last decade Doug has helped Alberta based SMEs raise over $130M in growth capital, founded two companies and became a published author in his research efforts.
As a professional debt investor in the US high yield market, Doug was part of a small team that grew a publicly listed ETF on the NYSE from $80M (USD) in assets under management to over $1bn (USD). Doug also spent a decade as an educator teaching both domestically and internationally and earned his M.B.A. from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary in 2008.
Dr. Simon Raby, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship
Simon is a 'pracademic' working as a Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business and Co-Founder of Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Associates Ltd. BIG identifies the drivers of growth, challenges convention and offers practical ways for ambitious business owners and their organizations to achieve sustained growth and performance.
Simon's research program is focused on uncovering the strategies, practices and methods of support that enable business growth, leadership transitions and people performathe Bissett Faculty nce. Most recently, Simon delivered a program of research on the growth of Alberta's Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to understand the drivers of growth, innovation and diversification for these firms. This research has since led to the creation of The Leader's Growth Mindset. (Taken from Mount Royal University's Bissett Faculty)
More reading for fun!
Leading to Scale by Simon Raby et al. (opens a .pdf)
Hydrogen - why is it such a big deal for Alberta?
With a worldwide market estimated to be worth over $2.5 trillion a year by 2050, experts are looking to hydrogen as a huge opportunity for Alberta. It's going to require a coordinated approach from all three levels of government, however, to do it.
In this episode we talk with David Van Den Assem from Alberta Innovates and Kirk Hamilton from C-FER Technologies about hydrogen and what it could mean for Alberta's economy. They also discuss what Alberta Innovates, C-FER Technologies, InnoTech Alberta and Emissions Reduction Alberta are doing to propel it, and much, much more!
Welcome to Shift.
David Van Den Assem
David is a senior manager of clean technology at Alberta Innovates. He focuses on advancing innovative technologies from proof of concept through to field pilot stages in the field of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS). The CCUS focus area is open to innovative next-generation technologies along the value chain within this area, including capture, compression, transport, mineralization, conversion, use, storage and measurement/monitoring/verification.
David also manages the hydrogen focus area and the critical minerals, mining and novel materials areas. These also are open to innovative technologies across the value chain and are aimed at building a low carbon hydrogen economy in Alberta, and advancing the extraction and use of critical minerals in Alberta to develop new industries, as well as developing high-tech materials to support energy storage, renewable energy development and other advanced materials such as carbon nanomaterials, etc.
David brings over 24 years of project management, business unit management and environmental leadership in several sectors, including power, oilsands, mining and real estate. His vision is to lead efforts to improve the ecological, social and economic footprint of these sectors, to improve our relationship with the natural environment.
Kirk Hamilton is a Senior Engineering Advisor with 20 years of advanced applied research and development experience at C-FER Technologies in Edmonton, Canada on a wide range of upstream and midstream energy topics. In his current role, Kirk works on strategic and business planning for C-FER identifying, developing, and implementing C FER’s strategic diversification objectives.
His current scope is addressing the technical challenges faced by global stakeholders in the transition to a hydrogen-based economy, in particular around pipeline transportation and underground storage of hydrogen. As part of this scope of activities, Kirk is working closely with the Transition Accelerator to assist the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub in building up the hydrogen economy in the Edmonton area as one of the world’s first hydrogen energy hubs.
In addition to his work for C-FER, he is also an active member of a number of American Petroleum Institute (API), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and International Standardization Organization (ISO) technical committees on equipment and materials codes and standards. Kirk obtained a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta in 2001.
Alberta's hydrogen roadmapWhy hydrogen...and why now?Alberta government's Hydrogen Roadmap accelerates goal of exporting globally by 10 years
eDNA - a powerful technology for wetland ecology
We all know what DNA is but what is eDNA?
Described as another tool in the toolbox for wetland ecologists, we find out in this episode's conversation with Jenet Dooley from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Brian Eaton from InnoTech Alberta's Environmental Impacts team, it's more than that. It's an emerging technology that at its most basic level it's a process and technology for detecting animal species; but it's also the means to more effectively collect and contribute to a vast library of the DNA of the varied animals, elusive and common, that inhabit Alberta's wetlands.
As with most emerging technologies, all of the eDNA applications have yet to be determined. It's up to the entrepreneurs out there to see how it can be used!
Jenet has been the Wetland Ecologist at the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute since February 2019. Prior to working at ABMI, she worked as a consultant applying the Alberta Wetland Policy. She periodically teaches Freshwater Ecology and Management at the University of Alberta Augustana campus. She earned her doctorate at the University of Florida in 2016 and has a bachelors of environmental engineering from Miami University in Ohio. Her graduate studies focused on wetland ecology and the relationship between noise and land use intensity.
Brian is an ecologist with research experience in terrestrial and aquatic systems, examining pure and applied questions across a wide array of taxa. He has 25+ years of experience in applied ecological research, including studies in oil and gas, forestry, and agricultural systems. Brian has worked in a variety of experimental venues, from aquaria to large-scale mesocosms to purely field-based research, including wetlands, lakes, streams, rivers, and a variety of terrestrial habitats. Most recently, Brian and his colleagues have been exploring the use of environmental DNA to detect species – including fish, amphibians, semi-aquatic mammals, and invertebrates - in aquatic systems in Alberta. Brian manages the Environmental Impacts Team at InnoTech Alberta.
Learn more by reading the CBC article on the elusive tiger salamander.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion drive Calgary-based HelpSeeker Technologies
Monique Fry, VP of Community Success for Calgary-based HelpSeeker, a technology business that provides access to community, health, and social services to over 38 million individuals who make Canada home, joins us for this episode.
As a First Nations woman, Monique walks us through her experiences and the importance that HelpSeeker places on values that recognize a diverse clientele and partnership base.
Monique is from the Xwchíyò:m First Nation on her grandfather’s side and from the shíshálh Nation on her grandmother’s side. Both Nations are located on territories that are currently known as the province of BC. She holds a Blackfoot name gifted by Elder Dr. Reg Crowshoe, which in English translates to “where the water meets the west shore spirit”.
Monique has 12+ years experience in cross-cultural communication and stakeholder relations with a focus on successful engagement and partnerships with Indigenous communities. She brings both a lived experience perspective as a First Nations woman as well as career and academic experience holding an MA in Communication and Culture from the University of Calgary.
She is recognized as a Cultural Mediator, and holds relationships with diverse Elders and Knowledge Keepers from across Turtle Island. Her work in Calgary has included the intersection of understanding and tackling poverty, homelessness, health, human rights, education, justice and employment of Indigenous peoples. One of her strengths is in relationship building and connections to community leaders, as well as those in non-profit, corporate and government.
- taken from HelpSeeker About Us
The Innovation of Work with Dan Bruinooge of Servus Credit Union
A new generation of digital nomads is creating a ‘do anything from anywhere’ workplace shaped by technologies that erase distance and compress time. Which begs the question, how is work innovating?
Shift by Alberta Innovates talks to Dan Bruinooge, the Chief People & Corporate Services Officer at Servus Credit Union.
Dan oversees a broad portfolio including people and culture, diversity & inclusion, innovation, corporate effectiveness, fraud risk management, as well as the many corporate services functions such as procurement, properties, and regulatory compliance.
The 21st-Century Stethoscope: Portable Ultrasound Technology with MEDO.ai
Shift interviews David Quail, serial entrepreneur, and Co-Founder and Technology Strategist of MEDO.ai.
Established in 2018, MEDO was born from the idea that the combination of portable ultrasound with AI could make the 21st-century stethoscope, allowing users to peer into the human body and make important diagnoses accurately and reliably with the help of AI trained on thousands of previous cases.
Amazed with the work going on in Alberta
This podcast has really opened my eyes to the amazing work related to technology innovation in the province. Kudos! Keep it up!
Interesting & informative!
I love this podcast. It’s so interesting to hear about the innovation, research and technology development happening right here in Alberta.