1989: Founding of the ASTech Awards

By the late 1980s, provincial and federal governments had made many significant investments in Alberta post-secondaries – to attract and support researchers that would further discovery, and collaborate with industry to enable innovation through technology commercialization – resulting in economic diversification. Advancements were made throughout the fields of energy, life and health sciences, agriculture, geoscience, digital innovation and more – but these individual achievements often did not make front-page news on their own.


Driven Albertan professionals saw an opportunity to create momentum – and formed a supportive innovation community comprised of industry, government, academia, entrepreneurs, and champions. Edmonton had just held an inspiring science and technology gala in 1988 – seeding an opportunity to support the growth of the tech sector through the visibility that celebration can bring. This motivated the creation of the ASTech Awards in 1989 by community members including Martin Kratz, KC, a prominent Calgary lawyer, and KPMG representatives like Peter Kinash.

Today, 35 years later, the ASTech Awards continues to bring together the innovation community to celebrate the impact made possible through the collaboration of industry, government, academia, entrepreneurs, and community champions. The momentum that this and other initiatives have created, has helped develop Alberta’s thriving tech sector and innovation-fueled economy. Shared Success, Best of All Worlds.