Dr. Robert I. Thompson named ASTech Board Chair

University of Calgary Associate Vice-President (Research) and Director of Research Services Dr. Robert Thompson has been elected Chair of the ASTech Foundation for 2021.

“I have a clear vision for the important role ASTech should play to inspire innovators in Alberta,” said Dr. Thompson. “In addition to our annual Awards program, which recognizes outstanding achievement, ASTech promotes those success stories at home and abroad to inspire Albertans to transform their futures and attract outside investors to explore important opportunities in Alberta.”

Dr. Thompson joined the Board in 2018. He views 2021 as a “bridging year” for ASTech, to move toward more robust promotion and communication of ASTech Awards alumni and their success by 2022. ASTech has honoured more than 600 laureates since 1989.

Recent ASTech Award winners include:

  • Dr. Pere Santamaria, whose company Parvus Therapeutics signed a $1 billion deal in 2019 to develop and commercialize new drugs for autoimmune disease.
  • Dr. Lori West, whose seminal work in organ transplantation has led to policy changes for paediatric donor allocation around the world.
  • Interface Fluidics, a laboratory service company with a nanotechnology platform for optimizing oil production and visualizing fluid interactions through rapid chemical testing at reservoir temperature and pressure. Interface raised $4.5million USD in Series A funding in 2019.

The ASTech Foundation recognizes, celebrates and grows the culture of innovation in Alberta by highlighting the work of ASTech Awards alumni. The ASTech Awards honour Alberta’s brightest minds and their greatest achievements in the innovation ecosystem. Winners of the 2021 ASTech Awards will be announced in October 2021.