Industry and Municipal Waste as Economic Drivers for Rural Innovation
Drayton Valley Rural Innovation Forum Proceedings Summary
The Drayton Valley Rural Innovation Forum was coordinated by Sustainability Resources Ltd. as part of the Rural Prosperity Initiative. This forum was intended to bring together a diverse cross-section of industry leaders, government agencies, and innovators to share resources, ideas and identify opportunities for economic development through innovation.
The event was preceded by a tour of Brazeau County’s Solar Aquatic Wastewater Treatment System for Cynthia. This is the first cold-climate ecological wastewater treatment plant in Canada, supplemented by a storage lagoon. Currently treating 88m3 with capacity for more, the total cost of this facility was $1.4M with an additional investment by the County of $500K in upgrades. The technology of the facility required significant upgrades since it was originally built in 2010. Brazeau County has offered to share all data and learnings from this facility to support the adoption of similar facilities by rural communities across Alberta.
The March 10th Innovation Forum was attended by 65 people with representation of over 8 municipalities from across Alberta with a high concentration in the Edmonton region. Participants were encouraged to self-identify themselves as resources to innovation and share their interests in advancing economic development opportunities through two workshop and round robin feedback sessions.
- Municipal Rural Innovation Through “green projects”Guillaume Couillard, GMF Advisor, Federation of Canadian Municipalities View Presentation.
- Zero Waste for Municipalities Christina Seidel, Executive Director Recycling Council of Alberta View Presentation.
- Sustainable Bio-products from Waste Biomass Jamie Bakos, P.Eng. President & CEO Titan Clean Energy Projects CorporationView Presentation.
- Bio-Processing and Thermochemical Innovations Adding Value to Waste Feedstocks Alex Hayes, Ph.D., P.Eng. Research Engineer, Bio-Processing Technologies Functional Unit View Presentation.
- Prototype testing of a new “off-grid” sanitation product: The Delta Comfort Station Dean Jones, Principal Investigator, Green Building Technologies Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Mike Worthington, President & CEO Worthington Construction Ltd. View Presentation.
- Integrating Alternative Energy Systems Michael Roppelt C.E.T., President & CEO GSS Integrated Energy Ltd. View Presentation.
- Waste Industrial Hemp Stocks as a Rural Economic Driver Dan Madlung, Owner Biocomposites Group Inc. View Presentation.
- Resources for Prosperity - An introduction to the Rural Prosperity Initiative with Case Study Example (Solar Aquatic) Lisa Maria Fox, Executive Director, Sustainability Resources View Presentation.
- Accelerating Economic Development in Rural Alberta Kimberley Worthington, Executive Director Central Alberta Economic Partnership View Presentation.
- Delivering Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Provincial Incentive Funding Dean Turgeon RET, CGD, LEED AP President & CEO, Vital Engineering Corporation View Presentation.
- Developing Green Building Policies in Smaller Municipalities J. Ruby Cole, Regional Director and Dr. Azzeddine Oudjehane, Vice-Chair Chapter Leadership Board Alberta Chapter, Canada Green Building Council View Presentation.
- Financing Innovation in Alberta Today Barb Puhacz, Venture Partner Stratagem Innovation Capital Partners View Presentation.
- Rural Entrepreneurship & Unstoppable Youth Green Hectares/Unstoppable Conversations View Presentation.
These presentations were curated to showcase innovation and industry leadership, as well as to set the stage for small group opportunity identification in a workshop coordinated by Sustainability Resources. The workshop exercises were intended to focus group discussion on the identification of future opportunities in the geographical region defined by participants.
Opportunity Identification: The following opportunities emerged as some priority areas (among others) to be considered for collaboration with the Rural Prosperity Initiative Partners: Waste-to-Energy in St. Paul Region; Regulatory support for ecological wastewater treatment technologies; and Pilot Analysis of Solar Aquatic WWTP in Brazeau County for reapplication in other regions.