2010 Winner: Outstanding Contribution To The Alberta Science And Technology Community
The Legacy of Tireless Science Advocacy
There can be little doubt about the positive impact Stephen Lougheed has brought to Alberta as an open and prolific campaigner for science and technology in the private and public sectors. He has improved the quality of life in the province by his tireless advocacy of science and technology as a volunteer and business leader.
“I’ve had wonderful opportunities in business and as a volunteer to work with a great many bright people in many areas to make the world a better place to live,” Mr. Lougheed says with his trademark modesty. “Through the process, I’ve had excellent mentors and I’ve been able to mentor and help others, too.”
Mr. Lougheed is credited with spearheading the creation of the Alberta Information and Communications Technology Institute (AICTI) in 2006 during his seven-year tenure on the Alberta Science and Research Authority (ASRA) Board. He also played an instrumental role, with his board colleagues, in establishing Tecterra, Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Integrated Resource Management.
Unique in the world, Tecterra works with entrepreneurs, researchers, government and industry to use geomatics technologies to address global challenges in resource management. The Centre has been successful in attracting funding of $11.6 million from the federal government; $21.6 from the Alberta government; and an anticipated $20 million from industry.
“People sometimes ask ‘why Alberta – why not Silicon Valley?’. The reality is there’s no reason why this work should not be done in Alberta,” Mr. Lougheed says. He points to the University of Calgary, “definitely the top university in the world in geomatics engineering”, and says Alberta’s land use requirements are among the most complex in the world.
“Our jurisdiction has multi-level industrial activities that overlap in sectors like forestry, water use, utilities and oil and gas. The technology and land management systems we’re developing are contributing critically important data to help manage our resources,” Mr. Lougheed explains.
“We’ve been dealing with land information for years and have become world leaders in supplying technology and expertise. Because of that we can take on world markets,” adds the accomplished entrepreneur.
A business executive with over 30 years’ experience, Mr. Lougheed’s accomplishments include substantial involvement in multinational corporations, establishing medium-sized corporations and with evolving small- and medium-sized companies. He is currently chairman of Multiplied Media Corporation. The company’s signature product, Poynt, is a leading award-winning mobile local search application that has over 3.5 million users globally.
Mr. Lougheed has made significant breakthroughs in business activities yielding hundreds of millions of dollars in new value and hundreds of jobs in Canada and Alberta. He’s also been instrumental in developing public policy affecting Alberta’s science and technology industry.
“I’m passionate about Alberta,” says the fourth-generation Albertan and Vice-chair of Alberta Innovates Technology Futures. A result of the work done by Mr. Lougheed and the ASRA board, Alberta Innovates provides structure for universities, government-funded organizations and foundations to drive support for commercialization for small- and medium-sized technology companies working in the province.
“We have the potential and the opportunity to build and grow successful international companies,” Mr. Lougheed says. “I want to be part of putting into place all the elements that we need to do more of that.”