WINNER: Nanoprecise Sci Corp
Initiative: Predictive Maintenance & Condition Monitoring, Efficiency Monitoring using IIoT, AI & ML
Nanoprecise Sci Corp specializes in implementation of Artificial Intelligence and IoT technology devices for predictive asset maintenance and condition monitoring. Timely and accurate diagnosis of machine faults provides insights that allow operators to make decisions that will save considerable time and resources, while reducing incidents and emissions, at the same time as improving equipment performance.
Sunil Vedula, Chief Executive Officer
Sunil earned his MBA from University of Alberta, specializing in Finance and Natural Resource, Energy & Environment. Prior to being an entrepreneur, Sunil’s professional career had him working on projects associated with Oil & Gas and Mining firms. He observed a need for innovative & affordable solutions to material issues of these companies and launched Nanoprecise.
Initiative: Digital Transportation of Dangerous Goods
EnviroApps mission is to turn the data being acquired to satisfy regulatory requirements, into useful information for the industry – making profit while reducing environmental impact of the operations and improving the quality of life for the surrounding area.
Amit Bhargava Co-Founder & CEO. A Professional Engineer with two master’s degrees in chemical and Environmental Engineering – working in areas including Environmental Approvals, Regulatory Compliance, Air Quality Assessments and Environmental Engineering & Management.
Initiative: Analytic Approach to Drilling Data
Krux is pushing the mining sector into the digital era with a powerful, agile platform.
Jody Conrad, MBA, President/CEO.During her more than 18 years in the drilling industry, Jody continuously saw data that wasn’t being used to its full potential, and in 2016 founded Krux Analytic. Bringing her unique combination of technical expertise, operational experience, and managerial skills to Krux – she has applied her extensive experience in drilling equipment design and manufacturing, ERP systems, and operational data analytics and reporting.
Outstanding Innovation In Digital Technologies – Research
WINNER: Dr. Xin Wang, Professor, University of Calgary
Initiative: Artificial intelligence for Logistics
Dr.Wang develops and implements innovative AI/ML methods and software tools for optimizing logistics networks and providing smart truck routing for goods delivery services under extreme weather conditions. Through this research and the developed technologies, delivery service companies are able to cut down transportation costs by better routing planning, reduce operational costs and improve productivity by optimizing the planning and better managing vehicle fleets. The results of this research help industries to evaluate potential solutions to improve their business practice
Outstanding Achievement in AI/ML Advancement – Energy and Environmental Innovation
WINNER: Dr. Omid Ardakanian, Computing Science, University of Alberta
Initiative: Making Buildings Smart and Efficient using Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things
The operation of buildings accounts for more than 30% of the total energy consumption in North America. The team has developed machine learning algorithms for data-enabled optimization and control of buildings and energy systems – that reduce energy consumption and improve their indoor environmental quality (IEQ) performance.
Outstanding Achievement in AI/ML Advancement – Social Innovation
WINNER: Dr. Linda Duffett-Leger, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary
Initiative: Creating Scalable Digital Solutions to Support the Mental Health and Wellness of Albertans
A nursing leader whose sustained program of innovative research is leveraging digital technologies to solve real-world health challenges for individuals, families, healthcare providers, and communities. The awards she has received have included: the Faculty of Nursing Excellence in Research Award, and the UNB Alumni Award of Distinction for her research, entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge engagement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team is focused on the urgently needed virtual delivery of mental health and wellness programs, to mitigate the lifelong consequences of socio-environmental adversities on health and psychological outcomes. Developing artificial intelligence (AI) enabled smart tools – decision support and programs by other researchers will become more accessible to clinicians and the public they serve.
Outstanding Achievement in AI/ML Advancement – Adaptive Learning and Simulation
WINNER: RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Initiative: Advances in Modelling and Synthetic Data to Explore the Future of People
RUNWITHIT Synthetics helps leaders worldwide design better, more sustainable, equitable, and resilient futures for all. Responding to the unprecedented, interconnected, and critical futures of growing cities and their stakeholders who face decarbonization imperatives, extreme acute and chronic events and disasters, along with compounding stress from changing industry, demographics, economics, and growth, RUNWITHIT generates complete Synthetic Cities to dial-forward limitless scenarios and optimize solutions for investing in policy, technology, built environment, and infrastructure. RUNWITHIT’s Synthetic Futures Platform provides world-leading 3D, Synthetic Modelling and Data environment – modelling 24 cities and growing, from Kuala Lumpur to Gibbons, Alberta.
Myrna Bittner, CEO, Founder
Armed with her BA in English, and finishing her MBA, Myrna started her first tech company in 1992, developing a commercial internet groupware product used by NASA and US West for real-time remote communications, followed by co-founding a 3D neural net visualization research company funded by an Australian billionaire. When they told her she couldn’t, she didn’t listen. Myrna passionately lives and promotes the imperative for inclusion, diversity, and representation.
Dean Bittner, CTO, Founder
Dean is an early web pioneer – delivering thought- and market-leading ventures in hypermedia clients, artificial intelligence and visualization, communications and cryptography, medical software and devices, television and advertising, and large-scale enterprise. He is an incurable dreamer, non-conformist, and coding funder and founder.
FINALIST: Dr. Guenther Ruhe
Inititative: Hybrid Intelligence for Semi-structured Problems Solving
Dr. Guenther Ruhe, Industrial Research Chair Software Engineering, University of Calgary
Guenther holds an Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering – a joint position between Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Ruhe leads a research team in the area of Software Engineering Decision Support (SEDS), collaborating with industry. The technical novelty of this Hybrid Intelligence research has been applied in a variety of domains: Digital Product Innovation, Waste and Recycling Service Optimization, Digital Health Care, Emergency Management, Energy Systems, and Finance.
FINALIST: Aro Robotic Systems Inc
Initiative: Development of Autonomous Mobile Robots for SMEs
Aro Robotic Systems Inc. are committed to offering autonomous mobile robots to SMEs in Alberta, and beyond. The robots use artificial intelligence where they collect and analyze large amount of data and perform their tasks – using highly intuitive robot commanding software. Layperson can program and operate the robots – and are used in facilities to automate repetitive and labor-intensive tasks such as intralogistics, inventory monitoring, floor cleaning etc.
Dr. Faheem Khan, CEO. Faheem has a PhD in Electrical Engineering, an MBA in Strategy, and is part of Alberta Catalyzer Accelerator.
Clayton Coutu, CTO and Co-Founder. Directly leads the technology development at Aro Robotics Systems Inc. (Aro), a spinoff of Fourien Inc., as CTO and co-founder.
FINALIST: Martha White
Initiative: Robust Reinforcement Learning Algorithms in the Wild
Martha White, Computing Science, University of Alberta
Dr. White is internationally recognized as a leader in this area and has published 50+ papers in top venues in machine learning. She was recognized for her work by the IEEE in 2020 with the “AIs 10 to Watch: The Future of AI” award.
Our systems are getting smarter. For many important systems in our lives, however, like our drinking water treatment facilities, traditional (non-learning and non-automated) approaches are still the norm. Dr. Martha White is developing machine learning systems to allow the systems we interact with on a daily basis to be constantly adapting and improving.
FINALIST: Willowglen Systems
Inititative: Applications of Machine Learning in Industrial Pipelines
Willowglen Systems – was able to tackle the challenge through our methodical approach, problem identification, and application of machine learning. The objective was to identify a model of the pipeline to allow for optimal pipeline operation. The optimization tool has shown the reduction of operating costs, saving energy for a major pipeline project (by 30%) – with the corresponding operational efficiency leading to safety improvements and carbon footprint reduction.
Team Submission: Stephen Symington, Lisa Cleland, Gerald Manweiler, Trevor Gerbrand, Clairvoyance Development Team
Outstanding Achievement in Energy and Environment – Environmental Innovation in Energy Applications
Initiative: Biopolymer Based Adsorbents for Water and Tailing Remediation
Dr. Ullah focuses on chemical conversions of biomass and synthesis of Biopolymers, Biochemicals, Biocomposites, Bionanocomposites, Biosorbents and Bioconjugates from Lipids & other Renewable Resources for Industrial Applications.
Dr. Siddique studies the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons under anaerobic conditions; metabolic pathways of hydrocarbon degradation; molecular fingerprinting of hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities, and the Biogeochemistry of oil sands tailings ponds.
This work shows that natural biopolymers are equally effective for the flocculation of clays to enhance tailings consolidation and can provide a better alternative to the existing synthetic polymers – and can be a game changer in industrial wastewater treatment and consolidation of produced tailings.
FINALIST: Recion Technologies
Initiative: Energy Technology for Direct Lithium Extraction from Brines
Recion Technologies is focused on the development and scale-up of a robust direct lithium extraction (DLE) method for the recovery of lithium from brines. Partnering with companies in Alberta, western Canada, and beyond, with the goal to commercialize a DLE process that can deliver refined lithium products to battery manufacturers and other users around the world. Recion Technologies is spun out of the University of Alberta – and is a leading DLE technology company in Alberta.
Dr. Daniel Alessi, Co-founder. Dan is a geochemist and a professor at the University of Alberta, who specializes in surface chemistry of materials, the development of environmental remediation and wastewater treatment technologies, and assessment of the water cycle in oil and gas operations.
Dr. Salman Safari, Professor / Co-founder. Salman has more than 10 years of experience in water treatment and clean technologies. In the past several years, he has been working on advanced methods for lithium extraction from unconventional resources and he has developed the core aspects of Recion’s technology.
Outstanding Achievement in Energy and Environment – Excellence in Clean Energy
Initiative: Developing a New Technology for the Clean and Efficient Extraction of Lithium
Conducting research with nanoparticles, Dr. Nafie has developed a method of lithium extraction that has the potential to be a game-changer in the industry, and affect environmental considerations in a very positive way. Dr. Nafie has recently won the Elevate pitch competition award from the Firehood for $100,000, and the Inventures Net Zero Category 2022. Her research has been funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF).
Outstanding Achievement in Energy and Environment – Excellence in Energy Applications
WINNER: Westgen Technologies Inc
Initiative: Eliminating Methane Emissions from Pneumatic Devices at On- or Off-grid Locations
Westgen Technologies Inc developed proprietary technology to overcome the two traditional limitations associated with low power range reciprocating internal combustion engines: maintenance interval and fuel gas quality. Westgen applied their proprietary power generation design to develop the EPOD integrated system. This cost-effective 6, 20, or 30 kW remote power generation solution powers an instrument air compressor using solar power and variable quality gas.
The Westgen executive team of mechanical engineers Connor and Ben (Rising Star recipients), Curtis Lynn, and experienced scale-up executive James Freeman are combining technologies and approaches to eliminate venting in specific applications – resulting in emissions reductions by more than 98%.
FINALIST: Highwood Emissions Management
Initiative: Building Net-Zero Emissions Reduction Strategies for the Energy Sector
Highwood Emissions Management – Highwood represents the necessary balance between benefiting from our environment while caring for it – taking pride in helping diverse stakeholders to expertly navigate this balance.
Dr. Thomas Fox, President, Highwood Emissions Management
Thomas completed his Ph.D. at the University of Calgary Centre for Smart Emissions Sensing Technologies, and has led the invention of the Leak Detection and Repair Simulator (LDAR-Sim), an open-source software product designed to evaluate emerging leak detection technologies, methods, programs, and policies.
FINALIST: OptiSeis Solutions Ltd.
Initiative: EcoSeis: A Solution for Net-Zero Energy Exploration & Production
OptiSeis Solutions Ltd. is a leading-edge geophysical acquisition design & software company providing innovative seismic survey designs utilizing the latest field technology, incorporating detailed GIS information, and optimizing for advanced processing techniques.
Andrea Crook, CEO and Founder. Andrea’s extensive geophysical experience in seismic processing and geophysical operations was established at Shell Canada and Boyd PetroSearch/RPS. At OptiSeis, she has built a team of geotechnical experts and oversees geophysical research, seismic acquisition design services, processing QC services, interpretation services, software development, and sales.
FINALIST: Dr. Vita Martez, Scientific Lead and NSERC-Industrial Research Chair, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Initiative: Clean Technologies and In-situ Steam Generation – Break-through Clean-Technologies in energy, environment and electricity for climate resiliency and advanced Steam Generation Research
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology – The Clean-technologies segment of this initiative advances break-through innovations such as the vanadium redox-flow-battery-system with long duration electrical storage. The steam-generation segment of this initiative uses an all electric, once-through-steam-generator to address persistent scaling, fouling, erosion and corrosion problems with advanced boiler treatment solutions. Concurrently both segments are focused on accelerating sound, clean energy solutions.
Dr. Vita Martez, Scientific Lead and NSERC-Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in In-situ Steam Generation and Clean Technologies
Leads a range of industrial applied research programs and projects through collaboration with stakeholders from academia, business start-ups, small to medium-sized enterprises, large enterprises, multi-national companies and others. She has a track record of spear-heading Clean Technologies associated with energy, industrial water and waste-water treatment, mobile desalination packaged pilots for clean drinking water among others.
Initiative: Increase Production, Protect the Environment and Reduce Operational Risks, using Remote IIoT
TOKU’s IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) system provides continuous operational visibility, high-quality data, and cost-effective remote monitoring. This enables operators to see inside their operations and better characterize its inner workings – providing the opportunity to identify innovative approaches to increase productivity. TOKU’s IIoT system was designed to encompass many applications to reduce the environmental impact of Oil & Gas operations.
Dr. Tokunosuke Ito, President & CEO. Over 40 years of industry experience architecting a business model and technology trajectory for the introduction of Industrial IoT technology to the energy industry. Founder of Zedi Inc. (acquired by Emerson). PhD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Peter Choy, General Manager. Strategic planning professional with over 30 years of industry experience in project management, operations management and strategic planning roles. He holds an MBA from the University of British Columbia.
Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Sustainability – Excellence in Forest Management Research
WINNER: Dr. Quazi Hassan, Professor of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary
Initiative: Application of Remote Sensing Technologies in Forest Fire Management
Dr. Hassan’s work includes the development of advanced forest fire danger forecasting system using publicly available satellite data from NASA; a wildland fire risk modelling framework for the Greater Athabasca oil sands region; and a policy framework for forest fire-induced risks and community resilience for the people of Fort McMurray.
Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Sustainability – Innovative Applications
WINNER: Dr. John Nychka, Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering,. Vice-Provost (Learning Initiatives), Provost & Vice-President Academic – Admin
Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair, Professor, Biological Sciences – Behavioural Ecology, Conservation Biology in the discipline of Conservation Behaviour.
Dr. Jonathan Backs, Engineering Scientist, Wilson Analytical
Initiative: Warning Systems to Improve Train Detectability and Reduce Collisions with Wildlife
University of Alberta – In response to deaths of grizzly bears and other wildlife from train collisions in Alberta’s mountain parks, the team developed and tested a warning system, consisting of light and sound that are triggered by approaching trains, similar to road crossing signals that reduce risk of train collisions for people. This pioneering work on warning system technology and understanding of collision risk has the potential to support mitigation of wildlife–train collisions in Alberta and beyond, both for existing railways with known collision hotspots and new projects where high-risk locations could be predicted in advance. Recognized by National News and the Discovery Channel – this team’s work was supported by Alberta Innovates, the Alberta Conservation Association, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Pacific, and the University of Alberta.
Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Sustainability – Innovative Applications in Environmental Protection
WINNER: Future Fields
Initiative: Applying Insect Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering to Manufacture Sustainable Recombinant Proteins
Future Fields – uses fruit flies to make sustainable recombinant proteins. Produced by the EntoEngine™, Future Fields’ insect biotechnology, Future Fields provides scientists with the quality biomolecules they need to economically and sustainably do great science. Producing serum-free proteins with the EntoEngine™, Future Fields helps agritech, health tech, and other life sciences industries in growing their innovation, while radically reducing their environmental footprint and production costs.
Outstanding Achievement in Urban Development – Research
WINNER: Lina Kattan, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary
Initiative: Transportation, Smart Cities, Sustainability
Dr. Kattan is the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Transportation through Automation and Connectivity; Director of NSERC CREATE on Integrated Infrastructure for sustainable Cities; Urban Alliance Chair in Transportation Systems Optimization.
Dr. Lina Kattan’s most recent work in emerging transportation technologies focuses on integrating Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) into existing transportation systems—a deployment that will radically change those systems. Depending on how they are deployed, the emergence of CAVs will bring tremendous opportunities, complexities, challenges. CAVs can collect and disseminate information in the traffic network through vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and more.
Initiative: Smart, Sustainable, Resilient, and Energy Efficient Cities
Evaluation and improvement of the integrated performance of two main components that can potentially mitigate housing related GHG emissions in order to ensure the efficient use of energy and the efficient self-consumption of distributed solar PV. The research team has been developing cutting-edge monitoring technologies and data analysis methods for evaluating and improving the energy performance of buildings to reduce the energy consumption, as well as to increase the use of renewable energy resources and improve their performance.
Ioanis Nikolaidis, Computing Science, University of Alberta. Researching the design and performance analysis of networked distributed systems, and wireless sensor-based systems.
Mustafa Gül, Structural Engineering, University of Alberta. Researching Civil Infrastructure Systems to improve performance by means of Structural Health Monitoring (a highly interdisciplinary research area integrating different cutting edge technologies).
Dr. Omid Ardakanian, Computing Science, University of Alberta. Research focuses on the design, implementation, and performance of intelligent networked systems.
Outstanding Achievement in Urban Development – Applications
WINNER: ZS2 Technologies
Initiative: Development & Commercialization of Low-Carbon Prefabricated Cement Technologies
Team Submissions: Scott Jenkins; Doug Brown; Kristin Davis – Co-Founders
ZS2 Technologies has developed and is rapidly commercializing proprietary Made in Canada cement products which are high strength, fire resistant, sustainable and cost effective vs. conventional building materials. ZS2’s proprietary TechBoard, TechFloor, TechTile and other solutions in various stages of development have been recognized as a Solar Impulse Efficient Solution and ZS2 was recently recognized as Milestone Finalist in the Carbon Removal X-Prize sponsored by the Musk Foundation.
Outstanding Achievement in Health – Application
WINNER: Tactile Orthopaedics Inc.
Initiative: Realistic, Tactile Surgical Training
Team Submission: Tactile Orthopaedics Inc.’s Knee and Tactile Shoulder learning platforms replicate the tactile experience of operating on a patient, allowing all (novices to experts) to learn the surgical intricacies before operating on a patient.
FINALIST: Fluid Biomed Inc.
Initiative: Polymer Brain Stent to Cure Aneurysms
Fluid Biomed Inc. – is a VC-backed, pre-clinical, and seed-stage medical device startup, that is developing the world’s first polymer-
based stent to cure brain aneurysms, a feared and leading cause of stroke. Unlike current metal devices, this technology provides revolutionary versatility in allowing physicians to treat many types of aneurysms with greater efficiency and safety for the patient in a single operation. ReSolv™is the world’s first polymer-based bio-resorbable flow-diverting stent. Its extreme flexibility allows physicians to better “shape” the stent to each patient’s anatomy and use adjunctive devices to treat brain aneurysms more effectively in one operation.
Dr. John Wong, Co-Founders & Associate Professor (Neurosurgery), University of Calgary. Serves as Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery and maintains a busy clinical practice almost exclusively dedicated to treating brain aneurysms and stroke.
Dr. Alim Mitha, Co-Founder & Associate Professor. (Neurosurgery), University of Calgary. Practicing as a Cerebrovascular, Endovascular, and Skull Base Neurosurgeon at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. Alim is the scientific leader of a research laboratory at the University of Calgary affiliated with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Libin Cardiovascular Institute, that focuses on biomedical device development.
Outstanding Achievement in Health – Research
WINNER: Pan-Alberta Team Monitoring COVID-19 in Wastewater: University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, The City of Calgary, and EPCOR – represented by Dr. Xiao-Li (Lilly) Pang, University of Alberta and Dr. Casey Hubert, PhD, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary
Initiative: Alberta’s Wastewater COVID-19 Monitoring
The team identified and tracked what can be found in our wastewater and shared this critical information with the public. Using an efficient and economically effective method, the team uses molecular tracking technology to measure, in real time, the levels of COVID-19 in communities. This technology produces evidence-based data and can be used to measure other infections such as the flu, and is shared publicly to inform officials and citizens alike to make decisions about the health of their communities.
The Pan-Alberta COVID-19 wastewater monitoring program builds upon work that has been led by research teams from the University of Alberta and UCalgary respectively, in partnership with Alberta Health Services, The City of Calgary, and EPCOR.
Initiative: Novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction disorders
University of Calgary / Enveric Biosciences Inc – Novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction disorders. The discovery and innovation engine at Enveric Biosciences targets the design of novel molecules.
Dr. Peter Facchini, Professor, University of Calgary and Chief Innovation Officer, Enveric Biosciences.
Dr. Facchini is a Professor of Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, and past Canada Research Chair in Plant Metabolic Processes Biotechnology, and is currently a Parex Resources Innovation Fellow in the Faculty of Science. Dr. Facchini co-founded and was Chief Scientific Officer of Willow Biosciences Inc. and Epimeron Inc. Dr. Facchini has published over 160 scientific papers and co-invented over 30 patents.
Initiative: Using the Power of AI and ML to Predict Risk Assessments in Dental
OraQ is a state-of-the-art clinical decision support system that harnesses the analytical power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It provides advanced patient assessments and detailed risk profiling in a fraction of the time. Learning from the thousands of dental professionals that employ OraQ as an assessment tool – OraQ improves patient outcomes by providing insights and recommendations to clinicians, focused on risk reduction and assessment while at the same time optimizing business opportunities for practices and payers alike.
Initiative: BCI4kids: Brain Computer Interface Solutions for Life Participation for Children with Disabilities
BCI4kids, University of Calgary. Many children with severe neurological disabilities, unable to move or speak, are cognitively capable but unable to interact with the world. The program’s aim is to create brain computer interface (BCI) solutions that allow them to participate in life and achieve their full potential. Patients and families are now using BCI systems in both the hospital and their own homes to achieve personalized goals they never thought possible. As the first patient- and family-centred pediatric BCI program in the world – a new future is possible for children with severe neurological disabilities.
Dr. Adam Kirton, is a Professor & Principal Investigator, University of Calgary and an attending Pediatric Neurologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kirton’s research focuses on applying technologies including neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, and brain computer interfaces to measure and modulate the response of the developing brain to early injury to generate new therapies and opportunities for life participation for disabled children.
Outstanding Achievement in Health – Medical Diagnosis
Initiative: Applications of Advanced Markerless Human Motion Capture in Healthcare
Kinetisense is based in Medicine Hat, and is the world’s first patented markerless motion capture technology that is forever changing how human motion is assessed and treated. The Kinetisense system is being used worldwide by health care and human performance organizations to better assess their patients/clients and track changes over the course of care, with advanced population norm comparisons.
Dr. Ryan D. Comeau, CEO
Co-Founder and CEO of Kinetisense. Dr. Comeau played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at the University of Alaska before completing his Doctorate at the Southern California University of Health Sciences. His love for sports performance and neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitation drove Dr. Comeau to develop an efficient and objective markerless motion capture system.
FINALIST: Syantra Inc.
Initiative: Blood test for breast cancer detection
Syantra Inc. and University of Calgary. The Syantra DX Breast Cancer test detects the presence of breast cancer from a small blood sample using an innovative new process involving a proprietary panel of biomarkers and machine learning informed software.
Kristina Rinker, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. Kristina is a biomedical engineering innovation professional focused on technology development, translation to implementation, mentoring and training, and entrepreneurial thinking. Additionally, Kristina is co-lead of biodiagnostics and a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Calgary. She’s also a member in the Charbonneau Cancer Institute.
Carol Roesler, MBA, CPHR 17+ years cross-sector experience that has included leadership roles in both startups / scale-ups and Fortune 500 multinational companies. An innovative thinker and creative problem solver, providing leadership and direction in a wide range of both strategic and operational initiatives. Passionate advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Outstanding Achievement in Health – Pharmaceutical
WINNER: Entos Pharmaceuticals
Initiative: Ushering in a New Era of Genetic Medicines
Entos Pharmaceuticals develops next generation genetic medicines with Entos’ proprietary Fusogenix proteolipid vehicle (PLV) drug delivery system – and has partnered with pharmaceutical companies, sister companies, and in-house programs to develop genetic therapies that will change the way diseases are treated and cured. Entos is passionate about playing a role in the development of Alberta as a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Lewis is the Bird Dogs Chair in Translational Oncology at the University of Alberta. As a scientist and serial entrepreneur, he pioneered the use of intravital imaging in the in vivo study of tumour cell invasion and metastasis to discover key targets for cancer therapeutics. Dr. Lewis also develops novel nanotechnology, nanoparticle drug delivery technologies, and imaging-based treatments for chronic diseases, such as aging and cancer, as well as for early detection of cancers.
Initiative: Non opioid approaches for treating chronic pain
Zymedyne – Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition that affects a quarter of all Canadians. Current pain therapies are of limited efficacy, and Zymedyne’s technology therefore had the potential to help alleviate the suffering of millions of pain patients.
Dr. Gerald W. Zamponi, Professor and Chief Scientific Officer, University of Calgary and Zymedyne Therapeutics.
2022 ASTech Award Winners – Leading Change
Social Innovation – Early-Career Change-Maker: Industry Community Leader
WINNER: Monika Rao, P.Eng, Products Lead – Enbridge Technology and Innovation Lab; Chair of the FEMINEN Calgary Chapter
Initiative: Leading Advancement of Technology and Innovation Solutions in the Energy Industry; Advocating for Advancement of Women in Engineering and Technology Roles
Monika is a young, emerging leader at Enbridge – uniquely positioned to be an innovation leader. Monika’s team is charged with developing digital products for the largest energy transportation company in North America. By providing product leadership to agile development teams that use disruptive technologies such as AI/ML, advanced visualization, agile, and design thinking practices – Monika and her team have made a material impact on business value returns. Collectively these products will optimize operations and processes, while ensuring safe and reliable operation.
Monika is also advancing Enbridge’s diversity and inclusion goals – in her role with FEMINEN (FEmales IN ENgineering), an employees resource group at Enbridge that strives to improve the attraction, engagement, and retention of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) roles.
Social Innovation – Early-Career Change-Maker: Company
Initiative: Applications of Graph Architecture and ML for Legal and Insurance Claim Automation
Painworth helps victims and insurers calculate, manage and settle injury claims without the need for expensive middlemen. The system is faster, cheaper and easier than the status quo and allows all citizens to get access to fast and equitable justice regardless of income, race, gender or age. Painworth has helped over 2,000 of the most vulnerable victims with over $200 million in claims and was the first to discover and highlight real data in our justice system around the implicit negative biases found in the status quo system that had been prejudiced against sex, race and age.
Michael Zouhri, Co Founder
Painworth was awarded the 2021 title of the ‘Global Best Emerging Insurance Product,’ and Mr. Zouhri was recognized as one of the 50 global leaders transforming the law by the Fastcase 50 award program. Through direct personal injury experience, Mike was motivated to change the system. Less than a year after the accident, he started his company, collaborating with legal and technology experts to create the award-winning PainWorth.
Social Innovation – Early-Career Change-Maker: Research
WINNER: Dr. Catherine Lebel, Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Radiology
Initiative: Study of Brain Development in Children Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Lebel has made substantial contributions to pediatric neuroimaging and mapped structural and functional brain development across early childhood in unprecedented detail. Dr. Lebel has also forged new understanding of how the prenatal environment affects child brain development, both in terms of prenatal substance exposures and psychosocial stress. She and her team continue to investigate brain development in these children to understand how these brain changes may relate to behaviour and learning.
Social Innovation – Innovative Approaches for Learning
WINNER: LX Labs by Onlea
Initiative: Lowering Barriers to Health Education through Hybrid Learning
LX Labs by Onlea – Sherwood Park Primary Care Network (PCN) quickly pivoted to online learning at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. The PCN recognized that a hybrid of online and in-person learning could meet diverse patient needs while expanding the capacity of busy clinician educators. The Onlea team supported this goal through the lens of universal design and learning design.
William Fritzberg, Lead Design Strategist & LX Labs Lead
William is a human-centred designer, technologist, strategist and storyteller. He has a Masters in Research for Design and Innovation from the ELISAVA School of Design at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of British Columbia. Today with Onlea’s LX Labs, he works with a wide range of organizations, educators and creatives to develop innovative, engaging and accessible online learning experiences and strategies.
Social Innovation – Programs Promoting Indigenous People
Initiative: I-STEAM Pathways Environmental Education and Research program for Indigenous Undergraduate Students
Dr Makere Stewart-Harawira, Faculty of Education
Dr Greg Goss, Faculty of Science – Biological Sciences
Jessica Vandenberghe, Asst Dean, Indigenous Engineering – Faculty of Engineering – University of Alberta
I-STEAM – Providing opportunities for Indigenous youth to participate in experiential post-secondary environmental research at the University of Alberta and pathways to advanced degrees; Providing hands-on mentorship or students by experienced researchers who undertake training in reconciliation. Introducing and interweaving western science and Indigenous knowledge systems throughout the program, drawing on Indigenous elders as well as scientists.
Since launching in a pandemic in 2019, I-Steam Pathways has provided 49 Indigenous students from across Canada with four months of fully-paid, mentored internships in cross-disciplinary environmental research.
Social Innovation – Programs Promoting Women (Gender Inclusion)
WINNER: AWSN, Team Submission
Initiative: AWSN Equitable Scholarship
AWSN designed an innovative scholarship program for undergraduate and re-engaging STEM students using an intersectional lens. Through the guidance of a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+), the program allows AWSN to distribute the awards in an equitable manner, limiting unconscious bias, stereotypes, and other barriers commonly faced by underrepresented groups.
Social Innovation – Programs Promoting Autism (Neurodiversity Inclusion)
WINNER: Autism CanTech!
Initiative: Empowering Autistic Individuals and Employers to Build More Inclusive Workplaces
Autism CanTech! is a recipient of the Higher Ed XR Innovation Grant through Unity Technologies and Meta and will be presenting at the Disability and Work in Canada 2022 Conference, the Cannexus 2023 Conference, the Future Works of Canada Conference, and the ASU+GSV Summit.
Initiative: National Business Coalition Supporting Harm Reduction & Drug Policy Reform
Euan Thomson, Executive Director, EACH+EVERY: Businesses for Harm Reduction aims to reduce preventable drug poisoning deaths and help build a more fair and compassionate community by adding the voice of businesses to accelerate drug policy reform.
FINALIST: Technology North Corporation
Initiative: RoboCoach and Technology North Digital Services Autism Employment Program
Technology North Corporation is an adaptable training, employment, and service delivery vehicle that concentrates on empowering youth with barriers. Utilizing assistive tech and AI to facilitate workflows and training efficiency, TN currently accept neurodiverse individuals and those suffering from adverse socio-political circumstances with a focus on autism. Autistic employees in the TNDS gain confidence and the teamwork skills needed to work in industry and hold down a career, while job coaches, customers, and managers will gain unique experience and insights from working with neurodiverse participants while creating happy family. It is a win-win-win for citizen, family and government.
Ling Huang, CEO, A senior security and management consultant who has been recognized as an innovative, quality-focused professional
FINALIST: Dr. S. Monty Ghosh
Initiative: Creating a Systems-Based Approach for Mitigating Drug Poisonings in Canadian Communities
Dr. S. Monty Ghosh Physician; Assistant Professor, University of Alberta/University of Calgary
As a Doctor of Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Dr.Ghosh specializes in patient advocacy and community capacity building for vulnerable populations in Alberta. Dr. S. Monty Ghosh has been recognized as a 2021 Top 40 Under 40 for changing social and health systems to reduce the inequities harming marginalized populations. Co-founded the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) to help mitigate drug poisonings in Canadian communities. Co-developed AHS’ Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) program. Supports Calgary’s AHS Recovery Coach program. Helped the Alberta Government with the creation of the Digital Overdose Response Service.
Initiative: Online opioid awareness and community-based naloxone training course
The Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Department of Health works to provide culturally appropriate, self-directed health and wellness opportunities that address the unique health profile of Métis Albertans and their communities. Recognized as a voice for Metis people, the MNA has received recognition for both their Metis-specific research and community wellness initiatives across a variety of health related topics that centre the voice and experiences of Metis people living in Alberta.
Reagan Bartel, Director of Health. As the Director of Health, she works to strengthen her community through health research, advocacy and public programming.
FINALIST: AI Pathways Partnership (AIPP)
Initiative- AI/ML/ data analytics – Collaborating with Industry and Post-Secondaries to Develop new AI and ML training pathways.
AI Pathways Partnership (AIPP) is a consortium of post-secondary institutions committed to working collaboratively with industry partners to train learners and retain graduates for Alberta’s dynamic AI and ML industry. The consortium includes NorQuest College, Athabasca University, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Bow Valley College, in collaboration with Amii and made possible through funding provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada. – now known as PrairesCan.
Shaunaugh Whelan, Technology Program Chair and AI Pathways Partnership Coordinator
In support of an Alberta-wide post-secondary collaboration (AIPP) – Shaunaugh developed and launched a new machine learning analyst diploma accessible to entry-level workers, the first of its kind in Canada. As coordinator of the AI Pathways Partnership (AIPP) she continues to lead projects to develop new AI training pathways for all Albertans and increase the ML workforce. Shaunaugh is a champion working hard to smash barriers to AI careers faced by groups chronically underrepresented in tech and STEM.