Connector finds myriad ways to boost innovation

Connector finds myriad ways to boost innovation

· The Pulse

In Episode 44 of Bloom, Technology Alberta president Gail Powley discusses the power of attention and connection when it comes to nurturing innovation.

Powley is one of those people who seems to be everywhere. In addition to her work with Technology Alberta and the ASTech Awards, she is also a member of Edmonton Unlimited's Innovation Growth Council, and she recently joined the board of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"We've got to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. So that is why I'm in many of these things," she said. "And then I stay in them when I see that their intentions are solid, are positive, and they are looking for ways to get community involved."

Innovative companies need attention, not only so they can find customers, but also to connect with job-seekers, Powley said.

"Let's spread the word so that they can attract talent and grow here in Alberta," she said. "That's one of the limitations of companies — if they can't find people to hire, then they move to markets where there's lots of people that that would fit their hiring profile."

Technology Alberta took on the NExT Level careers program to help solve that problem. The provincially funded program offers tech companies $2,000 to pay a part-time contractor to work on a short-term project, making connections that can lead to so much more.

"It's meant to take away an obstacle where a company is often saying ... 'I'd like to hire someone, but I'd have to find the funds later,'" she said. "This helps you not wait. It helps you do it now."

You'll hear more about that program, along with plans for this year's ASTech Awards and updates on Gummy Nutrition Lab, Nanoprecise Sci Corp, Deeleeo, and RUNWITHIT Synthetics in the Jan. 12 episode of Taproot's podcast about innovation in Edmonton.