2022 in Review: Celebrating collaboration and innovation


Collaboration breeds innovation and people are the source and reason for what we do. As the tech transfer and business incubator for the University of Calgary, Innovate Calgary provides a launchpad for researchers and startups to build new and novel solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. This year our Innovate Calgary team has worked with many of you to fill gaps in the ecosystem and find innovative ways to bring communities together so that research can be propelled into practical solutions. 

Innovate Calgary embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates our city by collaborating with government, not-for-profits, startups, founders, students, researchers, faculty, residents and other ecosystem players to do our part in making Calgary a dynamic destination to live, work and play. Together, we have been able to accomplish so much in 2022. 

Our top 8 highlights of 2022 include: 

  1. We launched the UCeed Energy Fund on December 5. UCeed Energy supports early-stage companies focused on the development of research that has the potential to bring innovation into the energy sector. The fund would not have been possible without the generous donations from the community. Read story. 
  2. We opened the Energy Transition Centre on November 8. The Energy Transition Centre (ETC) nurtures, improves and steers emerging energy transition technologies into profitable startup businesses by bringing together the energy industry, researchers, students and investors. This one-of-a-kind initiative is a collaboration between Innovate Calgary, the University of Calgary and Avatar Innovations. Read story. 
  3. Our clinical trials program expands to Hamilton. Our Integrated Management Platform to Accelerate Clinical Trials (IMPACT) will now be accessible to life sciences ventures at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). This collaborative agreement facilitates access to the leading-edge IMPACT clinical trial program for MIP tenant life sciences ventures, while providing opportunities for growing UCalgary IMPACT ventures to advance toward commercialization and manufacturing at MIP. Read story. 
  4. The Life Sciences Innovation Hub turns three years old and celebrates three cohorts of fellows graduating from the Life Sciences Fellowship.  Read more about the latest graduates. 
  5. We’ve grown our team and supports for innovators with a 36 per cent increase in Expert Advisors (20 more advisors were added to our roster). This means more community leaders sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise with startups! Our staff also grew with the addition of 14 new positions.
  6. With collaborations with the university and the startup community we’ve matched 50 students with startups to gain new skills and income through the Experience Ventures and Evolve to Innovate programs. 
  7. We’ve established a new incubator program, Research to Social Innovation, to support innovators focused on building social impact. Read more about the first graduating cohort. 
  8. We kicked off our BIPOC Founders in Tech event series by celebrating Black Founders with the Black Founders in Tech Pitch Competition in collaboration with a dozen partners. Our next event in the series will be in 2023 highlighting BIPOC women in innovation. Register for our Social Innovation Newsletter for updates. 


Thank you to the innovation ecosystem champions

2022 was a big year for Innovate Calgary and an even bigger year for the innovation ecosystem but it would not be possible without the people doing the work. As we reflect on the year, I am grateful for the progress we’ve made and the connections we have built to move the innovation needle in Alberta.  

Thank you to all of our partners working with us to build a robust and inclusive innovation community where everyone can thrive. If you are an innovator or organization that supports innovators and would like to partner with us, we would love to hear from you. Contact us: info@innovatecalgary.com. We look forward to accelerating innovation with you in the new year. 

Thank you to all of our clients for inviting and trusting us to ride with you on your entrepreneurial journey. We do not take this responsibility lightly and will continue to look for innovative ways to support you in 2023. If you need assistance to turn your research to impact consider applying to one of our programs. Don’t know where to start? Contact us. 

And finally, thank you to the incredible team at Innovate Calgary for all of your hard work this year. It has been one of the best years in our history and your efforts do not go unnoticed. 

Looking ahead 

2022 has continued to show us what we can accomplish when we work together. At Innovate Calgary, we value people and community and recognize that innovation is only effective if all experiences, communities and voices are honoured, valued and supported. In 2023 we will be launching our Social Innovation Hub (SIH), which will work towards building a collaborative ecosystem that drives a more inclusive, resilient, and equitable Alberta. The hub will catalyze UCalgary’s social innovation ecosystem by bringing together community stakeholders, researchers, and innovators to drive new solutions to our most complex societal challenges. Learn more. 


Until then, happy holidays and we look forward to driving more innovation and supporting more impact with you in 2023. 


John Wilson


Innovate Calgary