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Research and Innovation

Another essential fundamental for 21st century entrepreneurial success is a community’s ability to support and further innovation across a range of sectors.

Edmonton excels in this endeavour with its extensive research and development (R&D) infrastructure, appetite for excellence and a strong, and growing, network of partnerships aimed at exploring new approaches and developing new technologies.

Alberta Innovates
CanmetENERGY
Edmonton Research Park
Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
National Institute for Nanotechnology
Productivity Alberta
University of Alberta
Other Edmonton-based Research and Development Organizations

Alberta Innovates

The Government of Alberta actively and directly supports a full range of research. The initiatives focus on solving key industry issues using innovation – including new product development and commercialization – to develop practical solutions.

Alberta aligns the province’s research and innovation system through a family of five corporations:

Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures provides technical services and funding support to facilitate the commercialization of technologies and to develop new knowledge-based industry clusters.

Tech Futures supports Alberta’s innovation priorities through:

  • the Innovates Centre of Research Excellence (iCore)
  • Applied Research Centres (ARCs)
  • Business Innovation Services (BIS)

Through these programs and facilities, Tech Futures enhances the ability for a researcher or entrepreneur to evolve an idea to a market-ready product.

Tech Futures’ research, development and commercialization support services focus on several sectors key to Edmonton’s economic future:

  • heavy oil, oil sands, fuels and lubricants
  • converting, capturing and storing carbon
  • bio and industrial technologies including advanced materials and industrial sensor technologies
  • nano, micro and advanced information technology fields

The following examples illustrate the partnership approach that helps industry to be more competitive.

MARIOS (Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands) links oil sands producers, materials and equipment suppliers, fabricators and technology providers to solve industry-wide problems collaboratively.

AMFI (Alberta Metal Fab Innovation) is a unique company development opportunity designed specifically for the Alberta metal manufacturing sector. Participants gain access to both production and business enhancement expertise developed and provided by some of Alberta’s top research, technology development and process improvement institutions.

CanmetENERGY

With over 450 scientists, engineers and technicians, Natural Resources Canada's CanmetENERGY is the Canadian leader in clean energy research and technology development.

The CanmetENERGY research facility, near Edmonton, employs about 130 scientists, engineers, technologists and other staff to focus on critical oil sands environmental issues while also ensuring it remains a valuable product for Canada.

The facility conducts research and technology development programs related to:

  • extraction and tailings
  • water management
  • multiphase systems
  • bioprocessing oil sands,upgrading oil sands and heavy oil
  • future fuels and emissions

Scientists and researchers are leaders in developing new analytical methodologies to fulfil industry’s demands for better and detailed compositional information on highly complicated hydrocarbons.

The Devon facility also features analytical and pilot facilities to facilitate scale up from concept to bench scale and from bench to pilot scale as well as from batch to continuous – essential pre-requisites to produce innovative technologies that can be transferred successfully to industry. (Natural Resource Canada)

Edmonton Research Park

The Edmonton Research Park (ERP) is designed to accommodate the smallest to the biggest research companies, offering a variety of facilities suitable to various stages of development:

  • Advanced Technology Centre, an incubator for start-up companies
  • Research Centre One, with flexible lab and production space for second-stage companies
  • Biotechnology Business Development Centre providing specialized lab and office space to second-stage biotechnology companies

More than 1,500 people work for more than 50 companies at the ERP, engaged in advanced research in medicine, biotechnology, software, petroleum research, cold climate engineering, nanotechnology and clean energy.

Sites are also available for larger companies to build their own research and development facilities. Refer to Edmonton Economic Development Corporation for more information.

Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence

The Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence (EWMCE) is a not-for-profit corporation established to meet solid waste and wastewater challenges worldwide.

The EWMCE:

  • is a collaborative hub for innovative research, technology development and training
  • operates at the core of a unique private-public network of environmental leaders, with members including the City of Edmonton, University of Alberta, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions, AMEC, NAIT and EPCOR, offering a framework for advancing waste management practices
  • provides a full-scale living laboratory, making the Centre an ideal location for applied research and training

The Wastewater Research & Training Centre, located at Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant, offers research and training opportunities in advanced biological wastewater treatment.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

NAIT’s extensive research activity directly supports industry – in a range of ways from the application of new technologies to productivity enhancements.

novaNAIT is the applied research arm of NAIT, offering:

  • assistance for industry to prepare proposals and source research collaborations
  • technical services in product development, laboratory services and advisory services
  • technical prototype development program that supports the development of technologies, entrepreneurs and companies by funding technical consultancy and product development

The NAIT Shell Manufacturing Centre (NSMC), the first facility of its kind in Canada to link productivity enhancement services with manufacturing solutions, helps Alberta’s manufacturing industries become globally competitive by providing productivity solutions.

These solutions use both time-tested and innovative technology, manufacturing expertise and practical education.

National Institute for Nanotechnology

The National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) is an integrated, multi-disciplinary institution involving researchers in physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, informatics, pharmacy and medicine.

Established in 2001, it is operated as a partnership between the National Research Council and the University of Alberta.

NINT researchers are focused on the revolutionary work being done at the nano-scale, the world of individual atoms or molecules.

With the goal of developing a cluster of nanotechnology companies using and producing nanotech, NINT's Business Development Office assists Edmonton-based nanotechnology firms by:

  • fostering collaboration
  • providing access to the facility and researcher expertise
  • assisting companies with commercialization, licensing and other business activities

NINT is located on the University of Alberta campus in one of the world's most technologically advanced research facilities. It houses the quietest laboratory space in Canada.

Productivity Alberta

With the goal of helping Alberta businesses boost their productivity, Productivity Alberta, a not-for-profit corporation, offers a range of services to help business compete more effectively within the global marketplace.

Services include:

  • productivity assessment
  • a productivity inventory of available tools, services and programs to help business
  • productivity improvement specialists and advisors
  • access to leading practices and success strategies
  • sector-specific productivity improvement projects
  • conferences and training opportunities
  • productivity networks

Productivity Alberta works in the industrial products and services sectors to improve not only single businesses, but supply chains from top to bottom.

Productivity Alberta’s approach has gained international attention for its approach to engaging industry.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta, one of Canada's top institutions in energy and environmental research, plays a major role both in supporting Canada's energy sector and in sustaining our environment.

The Faculty of Engineering, with more than 200 professors, 4,000 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students, is a vibrant research community that attracts more than $50 million annually in sponsored research funding from external sources.

The faculty’s areas of specialty are:

  • energy
  • natural resources and the environment
  • biomedical engineering and bioengineering
  • information and communications technologies
  • nanotechnology and interfacial engineering

The faculty hosts:

  • 16 Canada research chairs
  • 16 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) industrial research chairs
  • 5 Foundation-supported chairs, and11 endowed chairs and professorships

Some of the university’s major R&D initiatives supporting these sectors are:

Other Edmonton-based Research and Development Organizations

Edmonton is home to many more businesses and facilities offering their own research to the community and the world. These include:

Alberta Co-operative Conservation Research Unit (ACCRU)
Canadian Centre for Isotopic Microanalysis
Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. (CCEMC)
Nanofab
C-FER Technologies
AGAT Laboratories
Schlumberger Well Testing
Syncrude Research

For More Information

Ken Mamczasz, P.Eng.

Economic and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainable Development
9th Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4

Title Director, Economic Investment & Development
Telephone

780-496-6036

Email ken.mamczasz@edmonton.ca

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