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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

FIRST Jobs Program - Company Showcase - Week One

Technology Alberta, Alberta’s industry association for growing entrepreneurial advanced technology companies, has just launched the Technology Alberta FIRST (First Industry Research Science and Technology companies) Jobs Program. Supported by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – this program is designed to match 50 Alberta Technology companies with local Alberta Post-Secondary educated Youth (ages 29 and under) Talent.

The Technology Alberta FIRST Jobs Program has multiple goals including keeping Talent in Alberta to grow the amazing companies in the Alberta Tech Sector. Alberta’s universities and technical institutes are producing outstanding grads and we want to keep them in this province… but they need to know about the companies that exist here and be excited about the technology being created here.

Which is why each week over the next three months Technology Alberta and About Alberta Tech will be showcasing the companies that are taking part in this program. This way, not only are these 50 Young Professionals being introduced to these cool companies - but so is the wider Alberta community.

This week our showcase is focused on technology solutions for Industrial Automation:

VizworX is a Calgary-based company that is focused on using advanced technologies to improve the human element of how we use data. Industrial companies have critical business needs that are not being met by existing technology and systems - and Jeff LaFrenz and his team, partner with them to address those pain points. With a mix of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and complex data visualization with mobile and web applications, they identify ways to address those issues and where possible, turn that into product innovation.

A great example of how VizworX is helping clients, is the work that it has done with Cenovus Energy. Cenovus was building infrastructure using a modular format where portions of that infrastructure were manufactured off site. The company occasionally encountered assembly issues once the infrastructure came on site, which was very expensive and time consuming to deal with. Using immersive augmented reality with Microsoft Hololens, VizworX built what would become Panoptica. It allows the designer of the modular units to visually model what they are building and see how it relates to other aspects. From how one module relates to the other, and how different elements work together in the building process, directly targeting assembly issues and rework costs and time.

Jeff is not only a CEO, but he is a Community Builder - and is on the board of Technology Alberta, (past) Alumni president at University of Calgary, as well as is the digital lead of CRIN.

Interested in learning more about Jeff LaFrenz and VizworX? Check our interview:

Willowglen Systems provides the brains and nervous systems for metro-rail systems, pipelines and power grids through automation. The company’s software consolidates multiple systems, different technology (including aging infrastructure, sometimes bridging decades of technology) and presents users with an up-to-date interface and analysis. For Example, in Singapore, it means that the entire country’s energy supply is managed through Willowglen’s technologies. In Ottawa, the city’s metro-rail runs on Willowglen’s controls, passenger information, and power systems. A bit closer to home, Suncor manages its entire North American pipeline system from central control rooms in Alberta.

Interested in learning more? Wayne Karpoff, Willowglen’s CEO shared his background and how he came to join Willowglen, and has grown the Edmonton office to include locations in Calgary, and beyond: Wayne is also a Community Builder, and is co-founder of Technology Alberta, Board member of the National organization, ITAC (TechNation) - and many more community associations.

PSCL has close to over three decades of automated systems experience working with the cement industry, becoming an industry leader in this space from their head office in Edmonton. Matthew Furry and his team have designed software systems and solutions for two key parts of selling concrete, the first offering is for cement distribution. Cement distribution covers tracking and managing orders and allocations as well as offering quality control on loads. By introducing this, they have also been able to improve automation for the industry - as they can make it so that they can control the specific allocation for each driver and load, and even make it so that drivers can load the concrete themselves.

Their second offering is focused on cement quality, tracking the entire process of cement making, from raw materials to the cement silos. Their solution allows the integration of labs and plant processes allowing for more efficient lab testing and reporting, and makes it so that the plant can process cement more efficiently and be assured of quality. On top of this, they also offer the ability to track stockpiles allowing plant managers to reduce preparation costs and manage waste fuels easily for regulation purposes.

At this time, PSCL is responsible for 30% of the cement shipped every year in North America.

Now hiring!

Each of these three companies are currently hiring full time staff, so please check their careers pages!

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