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Hiring: Director of Research and Business Intelligence

Opportunity

Edmonton Global is seeking a Director of Research and Business Intelligence to join our team.

Purpose and Reporting Structure of the Role

The Director of Research and Business Intelligence is a member of the Investment and Trade team and reports directly to the Vice President, Investment and Trade with the key responsibility of producing research and reports that target, attract and facilitate new investment in the Edmonton Region. The Director of Research and Business Intelligence is expected to contribute ideas to the continuous improvement of team performance, technical systems, and business processes, supporting to further Edmonton Global’s mission to grow capital investment in the region.  

This keystone position supports several organizational initiatives, such as reporting, benchmarking, business plan implementation, marketing and promotion. 

This role description is intended primarily as an illustration of the type of deliverables expected and nature of work to be performed from the person in this position. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them if they are similar, related or logical assignments in support of Edmonton Global’s objectives. Specific qualifications, requirements and responsibilities of the role are listed below.

Responsibilities

  • Manage Edmonton Global’s inventory of data (regional data lake), including keeping data sets current and accurate as well as assisting with maintaining and improving internal systems used in this process. Examples of market data include commercial real estate, taxes, demographics, cost of living, business location costs, and workforce and labor statistics, including site selection tools and databases 
  • Support business development activities which include identifying prospective investors (lead generation), responding to investor inquiries, support investor aftercare activities, develop M&A strategies  
  • Lead in the development of performance metrics and KPI’s for regional analysis and Scorecard/benchmarking  
  • Serve as the main point of contact for general research requests from external stakeholders providing excellent customer service by responding in a timely and professional manner. Stakeholders include investors, Government partners and elected officials, community partners, and more 
  • In coordination with the business development director, serve as a champion of Edmonton Global’s CRM Systems, Site Selection tools and RFP Requests. Maintain high-level knowledge of these systems and support both staff and regional economic development partners with system training, reports and data entry as needed 
  • Identify, evaluate and potentially implement new research tools, vendors, or software and provide recommendations as needed 
  • Build and maintain relationships with, and knowledge of, research resources and community partners through participation in various economic development, business and investment/FDI and research forums 
  • Develop strategic plans to support regional advantages, programs and initiatives that will facilitate new capital investment, technology, job creation and business growth 
  • Lead a team of research analysts (2) 
  • Maintain regular contact with site selectors and other professional sales channels that will advance Edmonton Global’s objectives around investment attraction and trade 
  • Work with the Investment & Trade team to identify industry opportunities that may complement new investments and target potential investors based upon existing market conditions 
  • Identify regional, provincial or federal funding and incentive programs that support Edmonton Global’s objectives, especially related to research and market intelligence 
  • Develop information and databases to ensure that potential investors have significant and compelling data to support a decision to locate in the region 
  • Participate in the development of research, benchmarking and comparative site data to promote the value proposition for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region
  • Respond to requests for information and assistance with respect to programs and opportunities 
  • Maintain key relationships with the development, commercial real estate and site selection community to further the region’s recruitment objectives 
  • Coordinate with local, provincial and federal agencies to identify appropriate support for new venture and opportunities 

Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an adaptive and dynamic individual comfortable working in a fast-paced organization and embody Edmonton Global’s core values: integrity, collaborative, empowered, transformative, and invested.   

The following skills, experiences and aptitudes will also be required. 

Education and Experience 

  • A graduate degree (Masters, MBA or equivalent) in business, economics or finance or related field  
  • A professional Degree or certification such as CFA or CAP is desirable
  • 5 to 10 years of professional experience in economic development, investment attraction, business, finance or economics research 
  • Knowledge of the use of foresight tools for advanced strategic planning would be a strong advantage 
  • Proficiency with computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel & Power Point in a Windows environment 
  • Proficiency and knowledge of business management and opportunity analysis 
  • Knowledge of Municipal, Provincial and Federal Acts, Regulations and Standards related to Planning and Economic Development, investment and trade  
  • Experience working effectively and discreetly with all levels of staff, board members, shareholders, partners and the public

Skills and Knowledge

  • Possess a positive attitude, be a team player, self-motivated with an entrepreneurial drive and adaptable to change 
  • Leadership Skills demonstrating forward-looking leadership style while providing guidance and support to staff. A mentor and positive role model combined with a practical, collaborative and common-sense approach and expertise in issues management. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills combined with demonstrated project/time management, organizational, analytical, research communication (written, oral), report writing, negotiation, administrative, problem-solving, public relations and public speaking 
  • Ability to provide exceptional customer service to both internal and external stakeholders while maintaining a high level of professionalism 
  • Ability to think and act strategically in a political and community service environment, and to foster and contribute to a positive, productive work environment 
  • Ability to learn various software applications/platforms and gain technical skills as needed 
  • Outstanding analytical skills with the ability to develop analytical models related to economic development and investment attraction 
  • Multi-task oriented, with the ability to prioritize a robust workload and meet multiple deadlines 
  • Excellent organizational and proofing skills with strong attention to detail, including report writing 
  • Excellent communication skills in English, additional languages are an asset 
  • A future-oriented perspective with an international scope 

Requirements of the Position

  • A valid driver’s license in good standing  
  • A valid passport as travel regionally, nationally and internationally may be required 

Compensations

Will be competitive and based on skills and experience. 

Application Process

Please email us at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca noting “Application: Director of Research and Business Intelligence” in the subject line, with your cover letter and resume attached by Wednesday, August 26 at Noon.   

We thank all applicants for their interest, but only short-listed applicants will be contacted. If you have questions about the process or the position, please contact our Office Manager at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca.  

Edmonton Global is an equal opportunity employer and we value the diversity of people and communities. We are committed to an environment that is inclusive and barrier free. If you require accommodation during the hiring process, please inform us in advance to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodations. 

Talent in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region

Edmonton Global has launched their latest video highlighting another regional asset of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region –  Talent.

A changing global landscape highlights the importance of talent

“The world is fundamentally changing and so are the practices of growing companies.” said Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global. “In the past, companies have been able to pull people to them. Now companies are the ones on the move and they are going where the talent is. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region produces an incredible amount and diversity of talented people and we’re increasingly attracting people to move here for academic research, to start or expand companies, and to be part of the new economy we’re building.”

Recent changes to the United States Visa programs an opportunity for Canada

Recent changes to the United States Visa programs are making it more difficult for companies to bring in foreign talent. “We need to be on the radar of companies looking to access North American markets and setting up teams,” commented Malcolm. “We need to raise our profile and do more to show off what’s happening here.” The new Talent video and our previous series on the sectors driving the Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s economy are part of building awareness of the region among companies from around the world who are looking to expand. “We want companies to know – if you’re looking to access talent and a community that is open, welcoming, and inclusive, look north to Canada and the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.”

The proposed changes to the United States Visa programs may also make it challenging for international students to continue studying at US universities and colleges. “This presents a significant opportunity for Canada, both for attracting international investment and international students,” commented Malcolm. “Globally recognized top institutions like the University of Alberta can play a key role in attracting some of the world’s best young minds to Canada. And with programs at both the Provincial and National level to fast track citizenship, our goal is to keep them here.” 

You can afford to build a life here

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s high quality of life, diverse economy, high average salaries, and low cost of living make it very attractive to young people and young families. It’s the second youngest region in Canada and has been ranked as the best community in Canada for youth and youth work in Youthful Cities 2019 Urban Work Index (https://www.youthfulcities.com/urban-work-index).

Hiring: Marketing and Communications Strategist

Opportunity

Edmonton Global is seeking a marketing and communications strategist to help develop and execute its digital marketing strategy, regional communications, and social media presence.

Responsibilities

Reporting to the Director, Marketing and Communications, the Marketing and Communications Strategist will be involved in all aspects of promoting and protecting Edmonton Global’s reputation by assisting in the development and execution of strategies and plans for brand building/innovation/corporate promotions, regional and corporate communication initiatives.

 Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Persona Development – collaborate in developing personas to aid the investment and trade team, the innovation and strategy team, and Edmonton Global as a whole in understanding target audiences and targeted marketing and communications
  • Journey Mapping – develop and maintain journey maps for personas to help direct the flow and priorities of marketing and communications activities
  • Web content and SEO – develop content for Edmonton Global’s website and social channels that support SEO goals
  • Social media – collaborate in developing and implementing Edmonton Global ‘s social media strategy
  • Email marketing – collaborate in developing and implementing an email marketing and segmentation strategy for Edmonton Global
  • Media development – support the development of multiple forms of media (photography, video, maps, etc.) for use across platforms including collaboration with partners on content creation and usage
  • Events – participate in the creation of events and activities that advance Edmonton Global’s brand awareness and engagement
  • Project management – coordinate the design and production of materials for Edmonton Global, which may include brochures, displays, one-pagers, info graphics, and swag
  • Metrics and reporting – track and prepare reports on Edmonton Global’s marketing and communications KPIs
  • General – participate in the activities of Edmonton Global (we’re a small shop and everyone chips in)

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Activities will be added or removed dependant on priorities, capacity, and the incumbent’s interests.

Qualifications

The successful candidate will be adaptive, fast-paced, incredibly passionate, hardworking and embody Edmonton Global’s corporate values: integrity, collaborative, empowered, transformative, and invested. The following skills, experiences and aptitudes will also be required.

Education and Experience

  • Undergraduate degree or diploma, ideally with a focus on marketing, public relations, or business
  • Minimum 2 years of related experience creating or executing marketing and communications plans
  • Experience with developing or executing both inbound and outbound digital marketing strategies including social media, content marketing, and audience segmentation
  • Experience with graphic design is considered an asset
  • Proven analytical and critical thinker, comfortable with finding innovative solutions to problems
  • Proven track record of collaboration on initiatives, hitting goals, succeeding in a high performing team environment and delivering to tight deadlines
  • Experience working with stakeholders within the international/economic development sector an asset
  • Experience working with or coordinating contractors and freelance content creators
  • Fluency in languages beyond English is highly desired

Skills & Knowledge

  • A highly adaptive and dynamic individual comfortable working in a start-up organization, willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to execute Edmonton Global’s Strategic Plan and mission
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams, consultants and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to write, edit and analyse reports, and convert into action
  • Ability to be innovative and imaginative in solving problems
  • Ability to communicate clearly in face to face meetings and build consensus
  • Ability to work independently and manage competing priorities with tight deadlines
  • Experience working within the Adobe Creative Suite of products and WordPress is highly desired

Behavioural Competencies

  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent oral & written communication skills
  • Results driven
  • Creative
  • Flexibility/adaptability to change
  • Teamwork/cooperation

Work Conditions

  • Travel may be required
  • Ability to attend and conduct presentations
  • Manual dexterity required to use desktop computer and peripherals.
  • ifting or moving up to 20 lbs may be required.
  • Normal hours will be 8:30 to 4:30, Monday to Friday, however, support for events, investor visits, and other initiatives will require occasional evening and weekend hours

Application Process

Please email us at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca noting “Application: Marketing and Communications Strategist” in the subject line, with your cover letter and resume attached by January 24, 2020. 

In your cover letter, show us: 1) your personality – we want to know you’re not a robot (and if you are a robot, why you’re a special robot!); and 2) why you’re the right fit for Edmonton Global and this position at this time. We want to know your experience and specific track record that makes you the right person for us.

We thank all applicants for their interest but only short-listed applicants will be contacted. If you have questions about the process or the position, please filter them through Amanda Borman at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca.

Edmonton Global is an equal opportunity employer and we value the diversity of people and communities. We are committed to an environment that is inclusive and barrier free. If you require accommodation during the hiring process, please inform us in advance to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

Compensation Package

Edmonton Global provides a total compensation package including fixed annual salary and professional development, paid vacation, , shared premium health benefits, and RRSP matching contributions. The starting salary for this fulltime position is expected to be in the range of $40,000 to $45,000.

Hiring: Manager of Policy and Advocacy

Opportunity

Edmonton Global is seeking an experienced Manager of Policy and Advocacy to lead the organization’s competitiveness work and execute strategies that effectively influence governments and institutions to adopt policies and practices that will increase the region’s, the province’s and the country’s competitiveness for foreign direct investment and export. 

The manager of policy and advocacy will be a strategic thinker and a thought partner for leaders throughout the organization.

Responsibilities

Reporting to the VP, Strategy & Innovation, the Policy & Advocacy Manager provides leadership for, and oversees the planning, development and implementation of Edmonton Global’s policy and advocacy programs; to monitor legislative and public affairs developments, to conduct research on competitiveness, public policy and global best practices; and to develop and coordinate advocacy strategies in collaboration with partners and stakeholders.

Responsibilities included, but are not limited to:

  • Research and Policy Work
  • Monitor legislative developments at the local, provincial and federal levels and provide substantive briefs and strategic analysis to inform staff, board and partners on issues that relate to Edmonton Global’s mandate and our global competitiveness
  • Conduct research into public policy that relates to best practices for FDI attraction and export promotion, write reports and make recommendations for removal of policy barriers or policy change to increase our global competitiveness
  • Provide expert advice to leadership as needed.
  • Advocacy
  • Lead the strategic development and implementation of Edmonton Global advocacy initiatives, ensuring Edmonton Global can respond to strategic opportunities and influence the development of relevant provincial, national and international practices and policies.
  • In collaboration with the communications team, lead the creation of a range of communications tools and tactics that enable Edmonton Global to achieve advocacy objectives.
  • Collaboration and Relationship Building
  • Collaborating with Edmonton Global’s partners and allies on policy matters, organizing coalitions and joint efforts where strategic.
  • Building and maintaining strategic relationships with governments officials, public policy experts, NGOs and other key partners critical to success of Edmonton Global’s competitiveness and advocacy goals

Qualifications

The successful candidate will be adaptive, fast-paced, incredibly passionate, hardworking and embody Edmonton Global’s corporate values: integrity, collaborative, empowered, transformative, and invested. The following skills, experiences and aptitudes will also be required.

Education and Experience

  • Undergraduate degree (MBA or advanced degree an asset)
  • Minimum 5-8 years of related experience
  • Experience with public affairs, public policy and research (communications, stakeholder relations experience an asset)
  • Proven analytical and critical thinker, comfortable with finding innovative solutions to problems
  • Proven track record of leading initiatives, hitting goals, succeeding in a high performing team environment and delivering to tight deadlines
  • Experience working with stakeholders within the international/economic development sector an asset
  • Experience working with and managing consultants and external teams

Skills & Knowledge

  • A highly adaptive and dynamic individual comfortable working in a start-up organization, willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to execute Edmonton Global’s Strategic Plan and mission
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams, consultants and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to write, edit and analyse reports, briefing notes, and policy documents
  • Ability to be innovative and imaginative in solving problems
  • Ability to communicate clearly in face to face meetings and build consensus.
  • Ability to work independently and manage competing priorities with tight deadlines

Behavioural Competencies

  • Self-motivated
  • Oral & written communication skills
  • Results driven
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility/adaptability to change
  • Teamwork/cooperation

Application Process

Please email us at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca noting “Application: Policy and Advocacy Manager” in the subject line, with your cover letter and resume attached by January 21, 2020. 

In your cover letter, show us: 1) your personality – we want to know you’re not a robot (and if you are a robot, why you’re a special robot!); and 2) why you’re the right fit for Edmonton Global and this position at this time. We want to know your experience and specific track record that makes you the right person for us.

We thank all applicants for their interest but only short-listed applicants will be contacted. If you have questions about the process or the position, please filter them through Amanda Borman at aborman@edmontonglobal.ca.

Edmonton Global is an equal opportunity employer and we value the diversity of people and communities. We are committed to an environment that is inclusive and barrier free. If you require accommodation during the hiring process, please inform us in advance to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

A winning pair

Solely Socks takes off on the right foot. 

Kyle and Danielle show off their collection of creative, high-quality socks

When Kyle Brown decided to start Solely Socks in 2014, his mission was simple: to create everyone’s favourite pair of socks.  

“I knew I wanted to start a business, but I wanted it to be something that was easily scalable and a lot of fun,” said Brown, who has a professional background in procurement.  

“I was at a conference and was not impressed with the socks I had on. I knew I needed to come up with a better idea and started the creative design process for Solely Socks the next day,” he said. 

Operated in Edmonton by Brown and his life and business partner, Danielle Panciroli, Solely Socks creates high-end, reinforced socks with arch support, a fitted cuff, and high-quality materials brought to life by leading knitting machines. The socks are packaged and shipped locally from Edmonton.  

All of Solely’s designs are Brown’s original creations, ranging from the artistic and sporty to creative Canadiana socks that feature the Rocky Mountains and northern lights. Brown even designed the display carousels for the socks, and used his photography skills to kickstart the brand’s online marketing efforts.  

The global sock market is no small affair — with over 50% of the world enjoying the comfort of socks in their everyday lives, luxury socks are a natural step in the growing men’s apparel market.  

Newsfeeds and social media feature photos of world leaders donning brightly designed, cheeky socks at events like the World Economic Forum, and retail networks expanding in developing economies reflect increases in disposable income for apparel. Socks have quickly shifted from everyday necessity to fashion statement. 

Women’s socks are also one of Solely’s specialties. Panciroli took note of the lack of options for women and worked to move more variety into the sales mix.  

Kyle and Danielle

“I’ve also always wanted to do children’s apparel,” says Panciroli. “We’re really open to all possibilities with the future of the business.”  

The local market in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region has been inviting for the duo, and their top-notch socks have landed in regional boutiques, shoes stores, pop-up shops, markets and ATB Financial’s showcases, to name a few.  They’ve also gifted their socks to Canadian band, The Barenaked Ladies.  

Solely Socks has expanded its business online, shipping pairs worldwide and opening up wholesale opportunities. With new markets and a growing demand for designer socks, the sky is the limit and the team are open to partnering with local entrepreneurs to get their premium brand expanding further.  

Learn more about Solely Socks at solelysocks.com

972,223 and counting: Edmonton growing faster than Calgary, rest of province

Edmonton’s population is growing much faster than the rest of the province and the country, the latest census figures show.

The city’s official population reached 972,223 in April, census numbers released Thursday show.

The population increased by 72,776 people since the previous census in 2016 and reflects an average annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent, the city said in a news release.

The census, taken April 1, shows Edmonton’s population is young by Canadian standards with more than half of the population under 39.

“This is a positive sign for Edmonton — one that speaks highly and truly to the vibrancy of our city,” said Mayor Don Iveson on Thursday afternoon. 

“It also bodes very well to Edmonton’s ability to attract and attain new investment, as businesses value locations and communities with … young, engaged and educated labour forces, and that’s what we have here,” he said. 

Edmonton is on track for a population of more than one million people by the end of 2020 and more than two million within 30 years if current growth rates persist, the city said.

John Rose, the city’s chief economist, said the key drivers of growth are international migration, intra-provincial migration and inter-provincial migration. 

“Edmonton continues to be a very attractive place, not only to international migrants, but to other people in Canada and I expect that’s going to continue,” he said. 

“While we have been challenged by difficult economic conditions as a result of the downturn in energy prices, we continue to move forward,” Rose said. 

The city’s growth rate for 2019 is predicted to be 2.1 per cent, higher than Alberta at 1.9 per cent and Canada at 1.3 per cent.

Calgary’s 2019 census put that city at 1,285,711 people, an increase of 1.4 per cent over 2018.

The official census population captures only those residents who completed the census questionnaire, but using a mathematical formula similar to the one used by Statistics Canada for the federal census, the city put the unofficial population count at 992,812.

$27 million to support 23 innovative projects across the Edmonton Metropolitan Region

From: Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada announced over $27 million in new investments for 23 projects across the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Funding for these projects is provided through three programs that foster innovation.

Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) funding of $18,249,749 will support 12 small- and medium-sized businesses in Edmonton, DeBolt, and Leduc. By providing interest-free loans for these projects, the Government of Canada is supporting expansion into new markets and innovation related to nanotechnology, cosmetics, electronics, health technology, textiles, and digital technology.

Through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program, the Government of Canada is providing $6,250,730 to eight projects in Edmonton. These investments support a diverse range of innovations in advanced manufacturing, aviation, youth-developed technologies, natural products and foods, life sciences, and artificial intelligence.

The Western Diversification Program (WDP) makes strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada. Through this program, three projects in Edmonton will receive a combined investment of $2,680,670 to support development of autonomous vehicles, advanced manufacturing, and natural resources youth leadership.  

All funded projects indicated below are subject to negotiation of contribution agreements.

BSP program funding

OrganizationProject DescriptionLocationFunding
Applied Quantum Materials Inc.EdmontonIncrease silicon nanomaterials production for defense, security and construction markets.$200,000
Barriertek Inc.LeducExpand manufacturing capacity of fire-retardant construction materials for residential and commercial buildings.$1,950,000
Clinisys EMREdmontonOpen new markets in Canada and the United States for a new cloud-based electronic medical records and data analytics software system, which makes use of artificial intelligence to improve patient care.   $907,875
Davey Textile Solutions Inc.EdmontonMake improvements to a facility that will increase manufacturing productivity of reflective safety trim for the textile industry.$742,000
EC Labs Inc.EdmontonLaunch a new, luxury, high-performance hair care line for the North American, Chinese and Japanese markets.$350,000
Levven Electronics Ltd.EdmontonIncrease manufacturing capacity to handle sales volume increase of smart building products.$660,000
NanoSpeed Diagnostics Inc. & 1715940 Alberta Ltd.EdmontonEstablish a manufacturing facility for rapid tests and commercialize a test for ferritin.$804,812
Pleasant Solutions Inc.EdmontonIncrease sales and promotion of high-security offerings, including Pleasant Password Server, a solution for organizations to manage passwords and sensitive information, to international markets.$2,450,000
Quantiam Technologies Inc.EdmontonExpand production of nanomaterial and processing technology that reduces wear, corrosion, and buildup of coke residue on metal alloy surfaces.$2,369,541
Sonar Software Inc.DeBoltCommercialize the next generation of billing software for internet service providers.$3,000,000
Umay Care Holdings Inc.EdmontonPurchase equipment and launch a device, which manages digital eyestrain, in North American and European markets.$276,353
Willowglen Systems Ltd.EdmontonMarket and globally commercialize new automation technology that improves environmental stewardship and efficiency of mission-critical industrial infrastructure such as pipelines and metro systems.$4,539,168
Total:$18,249,749

RIE program funding

OrganizationLocationProject DescriptionInvestment
Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii)EdmontonDemonstrate technologies from Alberta stakeholders that establish viable uses for artificial intelligence and machine learning in health and data analytics.$2,750,000
BioAlbertaEdmontonSupport producers of natural health products and functional foods in Alberta to innovate and grow their businesses.$200,000
BioAlbertaEdmontonAssist small and medium-size enterprises in Alberta’s life sciences sector to scale up, grow, and market their products internationally.$60,000
C-FER Technologies Inc.EdmontonPurchase equipment for local companies to use for calibrating and testing high-load equipment products exceeding 1 million pounds.$225,000
Edmonton Economic Development (Startup Edmonton)EdmontonDeliver a Youth Entrepreneurship Program to build post-secondary students’ entrepreneurial skills and empower youth founders to launch a tech-enabled business through program support, workspace, and mentorship opportunities.$250,000
NorQuest College, Bow Valley College, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Athabasca UniversityEdmontonDevelop and enhance programming to increase the number of students, skilled workers, and companies trained in artificial intelligence and data analytics.$1,150,000
University of AlbertaEdmontonTest and validate renewable jet fuels, which are produced from lipid-to-hydrocarbon technology that converts agricultural waste fats and low-grade oils into fuels and other chemicals.$1,565,730
University of AlbertaEdmontonDeliver international advanced manufacturing event and hackathon in May 2019.$50,000
Total:$6,250,730

WDP funding

OrganizationLocationProject DescriptionInvestment
Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT Products (ACAMP)EdmontonPurchase equipment that will help companies develop, test, and commercialize new technologies for autonomous systems.$1,500,000
United Nations Association in CanadaEdmontonDeliver “New Diplomacy of Natural Resources” forums throughout Western Canada that bring together young Canadian scholars and leading experts from the private sector, government, environmental, and Indigenous organizations to engage in productive discussions about the sustainable and inclusive development of Western Canada’s natural resources.$120,670
University of AlbertaEdmontonDevelop an advanced manufacturing system for automated repairs of heavy machine components.$1,060,000
Total:$2,680,670
 Related Products News release: Government of Canada supports innovative businesses and organizations in Edmonton and surrounding areas
Contact Donna Kinley
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
780-902-2984
Donna.Kinley@canada.ca

North America’s largest mobile land rig on the way from Nisku to Alaska

During their April visit, a team from ConocoPhillips Alaska tours the drilling rig floor.

ConocoPhillips says that the largest mobile land rig in North America is on its way from a National Oilwell Varco fabrication shop in Nisku to Alaska’s North Slope, where it will unlock previously unreachable oil resources. 

The extended reach drilling system, called Doyon 26, is estimated to be 1.5 to 2 times as powerful as existing rigs; a “game-changer” for ConocoPhillips Alaska, the company said on its Spirit Now web publication in July.

The rig has been in development since 2016 with Doyon Drilling Inc. (DDI), an Alaska Native regional corporation that ConocoPhillips says it has had a relationship with for 30 years.

Anchorage-based DDI says it “proudly supports a number of ‘firsts’ in the industry,” including the first self-propelled, wheel-mounted rig developed for the North Slope.

Doyon 26 is also self-propelled, which is quite a challenge given the size of the rig, ConocoPhillips Alaska drilling manager Chip Alvord said on Spirit Now.

The kit also has “special stomper feet” that will allow the company to “very accurately walk the rig modules in around tight tolerance areas,” said Paul McGrath, ERD project director.

ConocoPhillips says the more powerful rig has capability to drill targets seven miles from the surface location.

“Existing rigs are designed to drill about 22,000 feet from the pad, while the highly specialized Doyon 26 will be able to reach 37,000 feet. That means from a 14-acre drilling pad the high-tech rig will be able to develop 154 square miles of reservoir versus today’s 55 square miles.”

ConocoPhillips says there are no facilities for constructing drilling rigs in Alaska, so most Arctic rigs are built in Washington state or the Edmonton area.

“During construction we had assistance from our colleagues in Canada. The team recognizes what a game changer this will be for ConocoPhillips Alaska,” McGarth said.

The company says the 9.5-million-pound rig — equivalent to almost 10 fully loaded Boeing 747s — is being hauled to Deadhorse, Alaska in 267 separate tractor-trailer loads, the last of which are expected to arrive by November 2019.

After that, the pieces will be assembled into seven rig modules that will be transported over resupply roads to Alpine, Alaska in the first quarter of 2020.

The anticipated first drill date for Doyon 26 is April 2020.

Research institute launched out of U of A attracts $25 million in investments

Dr. Raimar Löbenberg adjusts manufacturing equipment in one of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation’s main collaborating facilities, the Drug Development and Innovation Centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED BY API

Aiming to boost the biotech landscape in Edmonton, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation has enlisted veteran biotech executive Robert Foster’s Hepion Pharmaceuticals, along with about 19 other companies, to help turn university research into pharmaceutical products.

“This is a big win for Edmonton, especially if we want to become a health city. It was an easy pitch for us to get all of (our) partners engaged and on board,” said CEO of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) Andrew MacIsaac, who is also an assistant dean in the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the U of A.

The institute attracted $25 million in investments since it launched out of the University of Alberta late last year.

Robert Foster built “a who’s who in the industry that went on to create an ecosystem” when he founded Isotechnika, the Edmonton-based company that later became Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, said MacIsaac. Now CEO of New Jersey-based Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Foster was impressed by API’s research labs, equipment and facilities.

API’s potential is especially exciting for those in the industry who don’t want to have to move to industry hubs like San Diego and Boston, Foster said.

“I don’t see anything like this in Canada,” said Foster.

The institute’s mission is to provide researchers with the drug development know-how to attract investment as well as providing an opportunity for students to gain work experience in the pharmaceutical industry, said MacIsaac.

For Foster, API represents a “transformational effort,” and has the people and infrastructure that Hepion needs to understand and develop new drugs that could be used to treat liver diseases, for example. “The problem we want to solve is: how do you know what’s going on in people’s livers? I think if we can put our heads together we can get a lot more mileage,” said Foster.

“We can take things directly form the research bench to the bedside of a patient,” said Andrew MacIsaac, CEO of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation. PHOTO SUPPLIED BY API

API was incorporated as a not-for-profit in November 2018 to bring pharmaceutical research projects to Edmonton, and help train and employ students and post-doctoral researchers.

Until then, there was no framework to pull the right scientists and industry investors together. Co-ordinating the right experts and securing funding was a process that usually took a year, “which in the business world just doesn’t work,” said MacIsaac.

And, the skill set that it takes to make a major biotech discovery is totally different from the skill set it takes to develop that drug and bring it to market.

Collaborating with the university at arm’s length, API partnered with about 20 companies from local small enterprises to large multinationals, including Edmonton-based medicinal cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Edmonton’s economy needs to pivot, and API can help the area to diversify, Foster said.

“For me it’s important to see this evolution in the province. We have to become less reliant on natural resources, and I think most Albertans recognize that now,” said Foster.

Rather than sending graduate students to work for large pharmaceutical companies outside Canada, MacIsaac wanted to build an institute that could bring those companies, and whatever questions they needed to be solved, to researchers in Edmonton.

The institute also signed a $6-million deal with national non-profit research organization Mitacs to support up to 100 internships for post-doctoral fellow and graduate students over the next five years.

API could create up to 75 jobs in the next few years working with between 30 and 40 companies, said MacIsaac.

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