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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

35 Years of Alberta Innovation: 1991

Updated: Mar 19

This post is in partnership with Technology Alberta and the ASTech Awards, celebrating the impact of 35 years of innovation in Alberta, tying our past to our present.

In 1991, a pivotal year for technological advancements globally, witnessed the launch of the World Wide Web, marking the inception of the digital age. Concurrently, the Linux Kernel was introduced, laying the groundwork for open-source innovation. The year also saw the emergence of Norton Anti-Virus in response to the surge in computer viruses.

In Alberta, the tech landscape experienced significant growth and innovation:

  • Voodoo Computers, founded in Calgary in 1991, specialized in high-end gaming PC desktops, eventually being acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006.

  • Wiz-Tec Computing Technologies Inc., based in Calgary, commenced providing point-of-sale and payment solutions, expanding its reach to serve 3,500 customers nationwide.

  • Veronica Novakowski, as part of Alberta Health Services' Screening programs, helped develop the mobile screening program for mammograms. This screening program now travels to more than 110 communities to provide on-scene testing.

  • Syntec Business Systems Inc., headquartered in Edmonton, developed Insight Software for salons and spas, now serving 45,000 users across 28 countries.

  • SMART Technologies established in Calgary in 1987, introduced the revolutionary Smart Board, among other patented solutions. Still active in Calgary’s University Research Park, the company was acquired by Foxxconn in 2016 for $200 million. Smart Technologies has served over 60 million teachers, students, and leaders worldwide. The co-founders of SMART, Nancy Knowlton and David Martin founded a new Calgary based organization, Nureva Inc. in 2014, and Nancy founded Nialli Inc. in 2020, continuing to invest in Alberta.

  • On a tasty note, Sunterra launched its first market in Bankers Hall in 1991, solidifying its status as a beloved Albertan company now operating in eight locations. They  cater to the culinary needs of tech enthusiasts in both Edmonton and Calgary.

Keep following us to learn more about Alberta Innovation as we celebrate 35 years of innovation over 35 weeks.

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