ALBERTA INNOVATION AND SCIENCE


The Ministry of Innovation and Science was created in May 1999, to bring together existing government science, research and technology activities under one umbrella, with a unified, provincial focus.

To enhance the contribution of innovation, science, research and development and its application to the sustainable prosperity and quality of life of all Albertans.
Ministry efforts are focused on:
* Accelerating innovation in Alberta, with emphasis on increasing commercialization of research, and industry growth.
* Building the capability and capacity of the research system.
* Building research excellence in the priority areas of energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and life sciences.
* Encouraging and supporting innovation within the Government of Alberta.


Alberta Innovation and Science provides leadership and makes strategic investments to enhance Alberta’s position in the knowledge economy, contributing to the sustainable development of the provincial economy and making the province increasingly competitive in global markets. Growth and development of Alberta’s innovation system is critical to the well-being and future prosperity of the province. Government, universities, and industry all play important roles in converting research and technology into products and services that benefit Albertans.

Alberta Innovation and Science provides leadership and make strategic investments to research and technology projects and related initiatives within the province. The Ministry also promotes Alberta’s innovation agenda at both the national and international level to promote research and investment opportunities within the province. The Minister responsible for Alberta Innovation and Science Victor Doerksen. The Deputy Minister is Dr. Bob Fessenden.


The Department of Innovation and Science has approximately 100 employees, but the overall Ministry has more than 800, as staff at the Alberta Research Council are included. Organizations that report to Alberta Innovation and Science are:

* Alberta Science and Research Authority
* Informatics Circle of Research Excellence (iCORE)
* Alberta Research Council
* Alberta Agricultural Research Institute
* Alberta Energy Research Institute
* Alberta Forestry Research Institute

During the Spring 2005 Legislative Session, legislation was passed to create two new research institutes: the Alberta Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Institute and the Alberta Life Sciences Institute. These Institutes will be established on proclamation of the legislation. Also, Alberta Innovation and Science is responsible for the legislation governing the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) and the Alberta Ingenuity Fund (AIF).

Alberta Innovation and Science provides strategic investment for research infrastructure and projects. These investment funds are often used to leverage additional dollars from other investors in both the public and private sectors. The department also assists new ventures through the commercialization phase by providing strategic advice and attracting “angel” investors. Alberta Innovation and Science has a key role in leading the innovation agenda under the Alberta government’s long-term strategy, “Today’s Opportunities, Tomorrow’s Promise.”


HIGHLIGHTS

In February 2005, Alberta Innovation and Science announced $38 million for prion research under the Alberta Prion Science Initiative. The research will look into prions, a type of protein that, when misfolded has been linked to BSE and other diseases.

The Alberta Ingenuity Fund is leading the Alberta Prion Science Initiative to coordinate provincial prion research with national and international research efforts to find a science-based solution to BSE.

The Minister’s 2005 Mission to California resulted in agreements with four multi-national corporations to bring their expertise to the Alberta for the benefit of students, researchers, small businesses and Folk Music lovers. The agreements include:

In collaboration with Microsoft, Innovation and Science helped to establish Centres of Excellence at NAIT and SAIT to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve business practices to become more globally competitive.

An IBM Centre for Advanced Studies at the U of A will study machine intelligence, nanotechnology and biological simulation.
For example, “autonomic computing” where computers detect malfunctions and suggest solutions to human operators. IBM is now working on developing computers that correct their own problems without human intervention.
IBM sees the U of A as an ideal partner because of the machine learning research already being conducted at the university.
The Centre will give Alberta students the opportunity to interact with the world-class industry talent at IBM, and provide access to leading edge technology.

∑ On a cultural note, the U of A, is working with Sun Microsystems, on MuDoc software which will improve public access to the university’s vast Moses and Frances Asch Collection of Folkways Recordings donated by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.In June, the University of Calgary opened a new Centre for Health and Wellness Research, funded in part by a $3.25 million grant from the Alberta Strategic Research Investments Program (ASRIP), a program that provides strategic funding for research infrastructure and equipment. The Centre for Health and Wellness Research will look at areas such as arthritis and osteoporosis, nutrition and obesity, genetic risk factors, and prevention and rehabilitation.In June, the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute announced $2 million in funding for the Alberta Lipids Utilization Research Program. The program will be home to the world’s largest team of lipid utilization scientists who will research and develop new ways of using fats and oils to create healthier food products, better cosmetics, and renewable supplies for the creation of plastics, lubricants and glues. In March, Alberta Innovation and Science, through the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) helped launch the Energy Innovation Network (EnergyINet). The cross-Canada network is led by champions from both the public and private sectors working together to advance energy innovation.


VISONARY LEADERSHIP ATTRACTS WORLD CLASS RESEARCHERS


Alberta Innovation and Science provides leadership and make strategic investments to research and technology projects and related initiatives within the province. The Ministry also promotes Alberta’s innovation agenda at both the national and international level. Activities include:
* Attracting world-class researchers;
* Investing in research and technology infrastructure and equipment;
* Attracting investment capital to support technology commercialization in the province;
* Facilitating national and international cooperation on priority research areas (e.g. the Alberta Prion Science Initiative, EnergyINet); and
* Supporting science awareness programs to encourage Alberta’s youth to consider careers in science and technology.

 

A PROUD SPONSOR OF INNOVATION ALBERTA


Alberta Innovation and Science participates the Innovation Alberta Omnimedia Project because of its excellent reputation in promoting Alberta’s science and technology achievements. Another key factor is the project’s extensive story database, which is a lasting resource being accessed by people from around the world.

TO CONTACT ALBERTA INNOVATION AND SCIENCE

Website: www.innovation.gov.ab.ca


E-mail: is.inq@gov.ab.ca


Telephone: (780) 427-0285 (dial 310-0000 for toll free access in Alberta)


Mailing Address: 9th floor, John E Brownlee Building, 10365 - 97 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7


Publications related to the department such as business plan and annual report are available on the website.