Edmonton is more than just oil and gas.We’re pretty knowledgeable about tech and innovation. We’re home to BioWare, Stantec and PCL Construction. Edmonton has a rich history in tech that reminds us all that Edmonton not only knows the importance of innovating, but how to keep soaring for growth. Here are a few interesting Edmonton-based tech and innovation facts that are just too good not to share.
1. Edmonton was home to Canada’s first computer science department in 1964. That’s right – we have more than 50 years of experience in tech and innovation at our own University of Alberta. The University of Alberta (U of A) is ranked third in the world for AI and machine learning — ahead of Stanford and MIT.
2. Edmonton is known as one of Canada’s premier research and education centres. The U of A is also home to the National Research Council of Canada Nanotechnology Research Clinic (NINT). NINT focuses its research on NanBiology, NanoElectronics and Next-generation Microscopy. Did you know that a tungsten needle, the sharpest man-made object, was created at NINT in 2006?
3. NAIT opened its Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) in the fall of 2018. PIC is designed to include advanced manufacturing labs, acceleration spaces for small and medium-sized businesses, and a dedicated hub for applied research. Did you know that PIC is NAIT’s first building to help industry partners compete at a global level?
4. We’ve been tech leaders for decades, and we’re still excelling and pushing forward. Edmonton and the surrounding areas are home to more than 15 research and development organizations including Alberta Innovates, Productivity Alberta and Nanofab.
5. Edmonton is a “Smart City” who uses innovation to improve municipal services to a build a better tomorrow. Edmonton won the Gold Prize in the Open City Category of the WeGo Smart Sustainable City Awards which recognizes and promotes outstanding information and communication technology, e-Government and Smart City innovations.
6. Tech is one of the fastest growing sectors in Edmonton growing at a rate of 20% each year for the past seven years.
7. Many Edmonton-based tech companies are expanding their global reach including Drivewyze, Granify, Jobber and Yardstick. They strive to join Intuit, BioWare, Investopedia and CompuVision as Edmonton’s anchor innovation tenants.
8. Each of Edmonton’s six post-secondary institutions has research and innovation centres to help develop and grow our tech sectors.
9. In 2017, more than 500 jobs were created in Edmonton in the tech and innovation sector.
10. Edmonton is becoming a global leader in the AI, Health and Life Sciences, and Big Data and Analytics sub-sectors of the tech and innovation industry. How? We produce high-quality research, have funding from the Government of Alberta and a passionate group of people who want to make a difference.
11. By 2038, tech will be worth $12 trillion worldwide.
Although oil and gas will always be an important sector in Edmonton, we need to start thinking of other ways to diversify our economy, and tech and innovation is an expanding part of the entire world economy… and a place where we are poised to excel. We have the infrastructure, talent and passion to make big changes. Edmonton, let’s keep adding to this list!