1999 Winner: ASTech Special Award
Fred Stewart has devoted much of his professional and volunteer life to advancing the benefits associated with a strong science and technology community in the province. From 1989 – 1992, he served as Minister of Technology, Research and Telecommunications in Alberta. During this time, he took action to develop public understanding of the importance of science and technology for Alberta’s economic future. In this regard, he created or supported such initiatives as Science City, School Science Fairs, Operation Minerva, Women in Engineering, the Premier’s Council on Science and Technology, and the ASTech Awards.
He personally led the planning and privatization of AGT, and was instrumental in Nortel Networks’ decision to develop its global wireless operations in Calgary. He also negotiated the federal/provincial/private sector partnership that developed applied research capability into advanced materials in Alberta. The result was WestAim, which continues today to grow Alberta opportunities. Fred has served as Chair of Netera Alliance since its inception as WurcNet in 1994.
Under his leadership, Netera has consistently been one of the leaders in advanced Internet development in Canada. As Chairman of the Calgary Research & Development Authority, Fred led the diversification of Calgary’s economy through growth of its advanced technology sector. This sector continues to grow 10 to 15 percent each year in terms of both revenue and employees. The organization’s incubation program has helped to launch 300+ new technology companies, which has created 700+ new hi-tech jobs. Fred continues his involvement with Alberta’s advanced technology community and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several technology-related companies.