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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

APEX: Southeast Alberta's RIN

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

APEX serves as Southeast Alberta's Regional Innovation Network (RIN), playing a pivotal role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the region. Wondering what a RIN entails? Simply put, Regional Innovation Networks are grassroots organizations offering tailored programs and services to empower individuals to kickstart a business, devise innovative solutions, or propel the growth of existing technologies, thanks to funding from Alberta Innovates.

As a collaborative effort between Medicine Hat College, Community Futures Entre-Corp and Chinook, the Brooks Newell Region, Defence Research and Development Canada Suffield and primary funder Alberta Innovates, APEX stands at the forefront, dedicated to nurturing the tech and innovation sector in Southeast Alberta. Through personalized coaching, facilitated access to essential resources, and a robust ecosystem, APEX equips local entrepreneurs with the tools and support necessary to thrive.

 APEX has supported several ASTech Winners and Finalists from southeast Alberta; here are a sampling of their innovators:

  • Kinetisense is based in Medicine Hat and is the world's first patented markerless motion capture technology, which is changing how human motion is assessed and treated. The Kinetisense system is employed worldwide by healthcare and human performance organizations to assess their patients/clients and track changes over the course of care, with advanced population norm comparisons. Dr. Ryan Comeau, founder of Kinetisense, won an ASTech award in 2022 for Outstanding Achievement in Health - Medical Diagnosis.

  • TruMe Whole Health won the Regional Innovation Champion award in 2023 for their founder Melissa Hozack. Melissa founded TruMe to create innovative products free of sugar, artificial flavours and colours. 

  • Roxanne Doerksen of T.R.A.D. Worm Industries Ltd, 2022 winner for Regional Innovation in Medicine Hat, won for T.R.A.D.'s onsite vermicomposting modular system, which turns contaminated waste into biologically rich soil amendment in a fraction of the time. 

  • Finalists include VIRTUNURSE, an online walk-in and family clinic for Albertans, and the Chinook Applied Research Association (C.A.R.A.), who is building out a Soil Health Benchmarking Project. 

In 2023, at the provincial-wide Drone Conference, APEX hosted the ASTech Team to announce the inaugural Innovation in Aerospace award category, focusing on outstanding innovation in the aerospace industry, including drones, aviation, satellites and beyond. This is part of their ongoing commitment to aerospace and drone innovation, as the southeast region is rapidly emerging as a hub of innovation in sectors like Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (R.P.A.S.), and the use of both civil and commercial applications for drone technology.

Here are some examples of the Aerospace technology being built up in Southeast Alberta:

  • QinetiQ Target Systems (a finalist for the ASTech Awards in 2023) specializes in producing various uncrewed vehicle systems for training purposes. The Alberta branch, located in Medicine Hat, has a variety of aerial targets, both fixed-wing and supersonic, as well as surface targets.

  • Atlantis Research Labs Inc.- AVROAircraft Limited (a division of Atlantis Research Labs Inc.) is focused on developing advanced flight and propulsion capabilities — specifically in high-speed uncrewed vehicles.

  • Foremost UAS Range provides uncrewed aerial vehicles (aka drones) testing spaces and is one of only two BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) testing areas in Canada. 

  • UVAD (Unmanned Vehicle Applied Dynamics) and other teams in Southeast Alberta are working on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

APEX and partners are creating awareness of the unique innovation happening in the Southeast region. By championing innovation and fostering sustainable growth, APEX plays a vital role in driving economic prosperity and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the region.

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