Regional innovation network

Latest News

  • Connectica

    Introducing Connectica: a new self-service tool for SMEs and service providers to connect with other provincial innovators, in alignment with AITF's strategic priority for contributing to an effective Innovation System...

  • Innovative pipe stands for the oil and gas industry

    Doug Thompson, owner of Hell ‘N’ Back Industries, is a journeyman welder with a flair for invention and a practical grasp of engineering. Thompson set out to create a better pipe stand in his large welding and manufacturing shop in Nampa, south of Peace River...

  • AITF at GPRC

    Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures representatives visited Grande Prairie Regional College's Centre for Research and Innovation, during a Regional Innovation Network meeting.

  • Technology Alberta launch

    Speed networking is how Claudia Sammer and Gail Powley describe the unique event held at Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures. Together with Randy Marsden, they took an idea mulled over at a Starbucks and turned it into a 250 person event.  Alberta's high tech companies, along with successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, mixed with job seekers, discussed policy, and talked about diversifying Alberta's economy through technology...

Innovation services for Alberta's small - and medium-sized enterprises

Services provided directly by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF) and through partner organizations throughout Alberta’s Regional Innovation Network (RIN) are available to support business growth. Through the RINs, businesses have access to the commercialization expertise and services required to address their unique needs. Member organizations in the Network offer a suite of geographically convenient services and programs including advisory services; technology and concept development; industry and academic funding programs; market and customer development; financing and investment attraction; and educational programs. In addition to AITF’s programs, a range of services and supports to new and growing businesses are also available through partner organizations in six RIN locations. Contact any of the following organizations to explore their offerings:

Additional services are available from CETAC-WEST, which offers small business development services.

Technology commercialization, funding and support is also provided through AITF's Centres for Research and Commercialization


Technology Development Advisors

Technology Development Advisors are senior business specialists working in the rural Regional Innovations Networks. 

Please contact the Technology Development Advisor (TDA) nearest your geographic location.

The Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures Technology Development Advisors are:

  Robert Hall 

Technology Development Advisor
Centre 2000  11330 106th Street, Grande Prairie, AB  T8V 7X9

Bob has been a champion for innovation as a key driver of economic development in Northwestern Alberta.  As early as 1999, Bob led a regional team that designed, built and managed an innovation network for Alberta's Peace Country, which later evolved into Grande Prairie Regional College's Centre for Research & Innovation (CRI) and now into the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network (GPRIN).

As AITF's Technology Development Advisor in Alberta's northwest, Bob's assists, coaches and mentors small-to-medium sized companies and entrepreneurs on advancing their innovative ideas and technologies through the commercialization process. Bob works with the GPRIN to further champion the culture of innovation in the region through building relationships and networks with federal business development agencies, economic development offices, educational institutions, chambers of commerce and industry groups. Bob's interests in special projects include: youth entrepreneurship; company productivity and competitiveness; sensors & unmanned vehicle systems; rail service infrastructure; 'pollutants-to-products' opportunities; foresight scenario planning; investment attraction and more.Bob's business experience includes urban design and project management in land development.
  Rick Davidson
Technology Development Advisor
250 Karl Clark Road, Edmonton, AB   T6N 1E4

Rick is a seasoned sales and business development professional with over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Rick offers SME’s the benefit of his years of experience in developing and implementing successful marketing, sales and business development strategies. Rick believes that Alberta’s future lies in innovation and in sustainability of SME’s in the province. Rick is excited to work with SME’s to help identify strategic partners, access funding programs and help them develop strategic business opportunities.
    Garth Likes
Technology Development Advisor
250 Karl Clark Road, Edmonton, AB   T6N 1E4

Garth has worked as a consultant, mentor, employee, and entrepreneur in multiple private start-up and fortune 500 organizations. Experience includes commercialization, sales, marketing, corporate development, financing, project management, product development and M&A experience.

Garth has served at several levels of senior management within various organizations from manager to CEO levels. He has been an independent board member for two public companies with committee chair responsibilities and understands the importance of having a strong intellectual property portfolio and the power of business collaborations. He has strong skills in product development, project management, technology transfer and commercialization. He has experience growing early-stage companies, financing/fund raising for many different types of organizations and implementing successful growth plans for these companies. His technical knowledge includes - diagnostics, therapeutics, clean tech, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food/nutraceuticals, vaccine development, renewable energy and bio fermentation.
  Kara Johnston
Technology Development Advisor
2602 - 59 Ave. Lloydminster, AB   T9V 3N7

Kara, the TDA based in Lloydminster, is a high energy individual who excels in relationship building. She has vast entrepreneurial expertise and experience in the oil and gas sector, agriculture, retail, and most recently, the construction industry. A former Dean at Lakeland College, Kara built a strong foundation of varied industry relationships and gained valuable insight into both the post-secondary sector and innovation network.

Kara is excited to use her vast experience to focus on her passion - mentoring businesses and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vibrant in our community and province. She believes that innovation and collaboration are the foundation for the future of the Alberta. As such, she looks forward to assisting entrepreneurs make advantageous connections that will endure them on the path to success.

Kara is a strong advocate of life-Iong learning and is living that belief. She is close to completing her Masters of Business Administration with a focus on Leadership through Athabasca University. Kara’s office is located at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster Campus with the Regional Business Accelerator. Both are key partners to the Regional Innovation Network in East Central Alberta.
  Matt Cornall 

Technology Development Advisor
Room 2915-100 100 College Boulevard
Red Deer, AB  T4N 5H5

Matt Cornall has a strong background in Business, Economic and Community Development, as well as in project management and program implementation. Originally from the UK, Matt worked in the banking sector and public sector in the UK and with the European Union (EU) before emigrating to Alberta in 2008.

In his time in Alberta, Matt has worked in both the public and private sectors, working with engineering companies in Central Alberta to build their respective Economic Development divisions as well as being a lead on their business development efforts. Matt has also worked as the Economic Development Officer for a community of 14,000 people and most recently as the Investment Attraction and Business Retention officer for the Central Alberta region. In addition Matt is a long running board member and 2015 President of the Economic Developers of Alberta (EDA) association, and the Alberta representative on the national Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) board. Matt is also a past community representative and chair of Red Deer’s Community Housing Advisory Board (2009-2014). He is located at the Red Deer College Centre of Innovation in Manufacturing.

  David Bocking
Technology Development Advisor
3608 - 33 St. NW Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6

David brings over 30 years experience in consulting, product management, marketing and business development to help clients launch successful businesses. He is an accomplished growth leader who delivers insight and innovation across multiple industries with a strong background in telecom, wireless, software, energy and health. He is passionate about creating enterprise value from new market entry, product development, technology adoption and business model innovation. He quickly develops empathy for customer problems, creates solutions, and turns complex scenarios into a strategic vision coupled with a corresponding business model to create, deliver and capture value.

David is an enthusiastic proponent of Lean Startup Methods and tools including Value Proposition Design, Business Model Canvases and Customer Development that guide an innovator’s efforts to rapidly create winning business models.
    Michael Kerr, B.Sc., MBA
Technology Development Advisor
3608 - 33rd Street NW Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6
office: 403.210.5365 cell: 587-575-2837

With vast experience in manufacturing for small and large businesses, Michael assists established companies in innovation (patents, prototype development) and process improvement (lean, automation, ISO). For newer firms, support focuses on technical assistance and business strategy, including cash flow management. His several years of experience funding innovative companies make Michael a valuable partner in helping firms access funding support to develop their ideas. Having been an instructor in Operations Management at UNBC’s MBA program, Michael has taught lean, quality and process improvement techniques to the leaders of numerous manufacturing and service firms from across Canada.
  Marilyn Kanerva
Associate Technology Development Advisor
3608 - 33rd Street NW Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6

Marilyn recently joined the Regional Innovation Network as an Associate Technology Development Advisor. Marilyn supports the Technology Development Advisors and Regional Innovation Network by providing a first point of contact and acting as an information hub for new and returning clients. Drawing from significant public sector experience in the creation and implementation of innovation policy and programs in Alberta, Marilyn offers a broad perspective on programs and services available to entrepreneur and small companies throughout the province, and she builds upon her relationships within the Network to help clients access the resources and services they need.
  John Stroh
Technology Development Advisor
c/o Medicine Hat College  F-1020 – 299 College Drive S.E. Medicine Hat, AB   T1A 3Y6

John Stroh is passionate about innovation and best practices that can be shared across businesses and manufacturers alike. He believes Alberta’s future direction includes innovation and productivity enhancement, and is excited about supporting manufacturers in his region achieve this. John started his manufacturing career as a young apprentice welder, developed experience through the industry, eventually managing plant and operations of a facility of over 500 employees. His manufacturing management experience comes from a career in industries including truck mounted equipment manufacture, and pressure vessels and piping for Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
  Bill Halley
Technology Development Advisor
c/o Lethbridge College,  IB2102 – 3000 College Drive South Lethbridge, AB   T1K 1L6

Bill Halley offers 34 years of experience in manufacturing management and project engineering in sectors that include plastics, aircraft, hospital support services, steel, and automotive. Bill offers SMEs the benefit of his six years experience as general manager at Pratt & Whitney Canada, and four years as vice-president of operations at Canbra Foods. Located at Lethbridge College, Bill is a board member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and participates in the sub-committee for agriculture, industrial and transportation affairs. He is also a member of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Management advisory council.


Introducing Connectica: a new self-service tool for SMEs and service providers to connect with other provincial innovators, in alignment with AITF's strategic priority for contributing to an effective Innovation System.