April 24, 2003

Six Alberta companies will share $660,000 in support from an innovative new program designed to help bolster their research capacity by giving them the resources to hire highly-skilled scientists and engineers.

The Alberta Ingenuity Industrial Associateship program allows small high tech start ups and other companies with scarce labour dollars to gain additional research expertise at a relatively low cost. The new researchers will also gain valuable experience conducting cutting edge applied research in an industrial setting.

"There is no other program like this in Alberta that gives a small start up company like ours the ability to attract such highly-qualified people who can help us advance our research," says Dr. Jed Harrison of Advanced Integrated Micro Systems. "This money allows us to keep a top scientist here and to train him as an industrial scientist working on practical research that will benefit Albertans."

He adds that there are relatively few opportunities in Canada for industrial scientists to advance their careers. Most go to the U.S. where there are numerous industry positions available. "The Alberta Ingenuity Industrial Associateship program will definitely expand the opportunities for researchers interested in working in industry and to keep them in Alberta," Dr. Harrison says.

Among the 2003 Alberta Ingenuity Industrial Associateship recipients are Dr. Abebaw Jemere of Advanced Integrated Micro Systems (Edmonton) who will help develop lab-on-a-chip technology for proteomic research; Ian Chapman of Iunctus Geomatics Corportation (Lethbridge) who will help develop special software for use in major international space projects; Dr. Padam Kafle of TRLabs (Calgary) who will help develop advanced technology for antenna wireless systems; and Dr. Anthony Anyia of Alberta Research Council (Vegreville) who is studying the effects of drought on wheat and developing a biological product to reduce its effects.

Each award is worth $55,000 per year. The total value of the six awards is $660,000 over two years. Alberta Ingenuity plans to give out about five awards per quarterly competition for a total value of $2.2 million over two years.

The new awards will be implemented this spring.

Alberta Ingenuity supports a long-term program of science and engineering research at Alberta universities, public colleges and technical institutes, and in industry.

Operating funds come from a portion of the interest revenue from a Government endowment, with an initial investment of $500 million.

Established in 2000, Alberta Ingenuity is an independent organization that reports through the Ministry of Innovation and Science.


For more information, please contact:

Rhonda Lothammer
Ingenuity Communications
(780) 423-5735