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Rural Economic Development & Opportunities for Diversification

June 27th, 2015 10:00-4:00pm Northern Lakes College, Slave Lake 

This Rural Innovation Forum is specifically designed and curated for local governments, industry leaders, economic development agencies, and technology innovators to create important relationships across sectors, learn about innovative solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable; and to identify innovative and value-added projects, partnerships and opportunities in the region.

Slave Lake Pulp & Green Energy Innovation

Shannon, Slave Lake PulpPresenter: Shannon Fehr, P. Eng, is a Chemical Engineer who has worked for West Fraser Mills Slave Lake Pulp (SLP) Division for the past 10 years, and in the forestry industry for over 15 years. As the Engineering Superintendent at SLP, she is responsible for the justification, design, construction management and commissioning of major capital projects such as the $40M Biomethanation with Power Generation Project completed in 2016. 

Abstract: The $40M Biomethanation with Power Generation project is a green-energy project that converts pulp mill effluent into biogas for use in generator sets for the production of 3 – 6 MW of green electricity for mill use and export to grid. The project reduces chemical and electrical demand of the mill and reduces the facilities GHG intensity. The project was co-funded by West Fraser, the Climate Change Management Corporation and the EcoTrust Fund.

Conversion of Tri-Municipal Region Organic Waste to Bio-Energy

Xaomi Li, Alberta Innovates Bio SolutionsPresenter: Xiaomei Li, Ph.D, PAg., Senior Advisor, Bioenergy, Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environment Solution

Biography: Xiaomei has over 25 years experience of developing and commercializing technologies that enable the sustainable development of agricultural/livestock industry and rural communities. She is a senior advisor for bioenergy with Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environment Solutions, leading the waste to value-added initiative.

Abstract: AI-EES is working with the Tri-Municipal Region municipalities to explore opportunities to divert a higher percentage of their waste stream from landfill and convert it to value-added products such as power and bio-fuels. This project will build on the findings of the Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee’s (CRWMAC) Integrated Regional Solid Waste Management Plan to provide more stability for organics processing in the region.

Availability of Wood and Agriculture Biomass Available for Bioenergy Projects

Toso Bozic, Alberta Agriculture and ForestryPresenter: Toso Bozic, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Department.

Biography: Toso graduated from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia and holds a degree in Forest Engineering.  He has over 20 years of experience in forestry, bioenergy, agroforestry and woodlot management. He is author of several extension publications, several dozen fact sheets and many newspaper articles on bioenergy, woodlots and agroforestry. He gives over 60 presentation a year at various events.

Opportunities for Funding Innovation

Presenter: Ron Matheson B.Sc., M.Sc., NRC-IRAP

Ronald Matheson, IRAP-NRCBiography: Ron Matheson, has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, and life sciences industries; initially in executive management roles within multi-national companies (Mallinckrodt and Schering AG), and then in several start-up companies (SynChem Research, Meros Polymers, and OncoMetabolics) as Co-Founder and CEO. He has significant experience in intellectual property management and licensing negotiation and agreements, as Business Unit Manager, Medical and Life Sciences, at UTI Inc. (University of Calgary) and as Executive-in-Residence at TEC Edmonton (University of Alberta). Fund-raising for start-up companies from public and private sources has also been a significant activity over the past 14 years. Ron is currently an Advisor, Concierge Service, NRC-IRAP, providing guidance and recommendations to innovative SMEs in the Prairie Region (AB, SK & MB).

Alberta Wood Waste Recycling Association Projects & Opportunities

Presenter: Jim Donaldson, Alberta Wood Waste Recycling Association (AWWRA) 

Biography: Jim has an executive management background in the listed industry sectors: Logging, Forestry, Reforestation, Woodlot, Agricultural, Cattle Ranching, Farming, Construction, Governmental, Oil & Gas, Mining, Waste Management, Environmental, Hazmat, Alberta Sphagnum Peat Moss, Wood Waste Recycling and the Biomass Waste to Energy Industries. Jim Donaldson, AWWRAJim is also President of Waste Reduction & Recycling Consultants, a multidisciplinary environmental Waste management consulting firm that specializes in providing a full range of Waste management disposal and environmentally sound recycling programs and services a Consultant and or as a Sub Consultant..  

Abstract: The Alberta Waste Wood Recycling Association is a registered non-profit association established in 2012, promoting Sustainable closed loop Wood waste recycling practices and reuse initiatives through its industry membership and the AWWRA industry resource tools platform

Innovative Water-based Bioclusters

Lisa Maria FoxPresenter: Lisa Maria Fox, Sustainability Resources Ltd.

Biography: Lisa Maria Fox is a Policy Analyst by training and she is also the Founder and Executive Director of Sustainability Resources (SRL) and its lead initiative Pathways 2 Sustainability. As the Director of Strategic Policy and Program Development with SRL, Lisa works with governments, industries and municipalities to create and influence public policy and regulatory pathways for innovations in water, waste and energy towards the implementation of community sustainability plans/goals.  Lisa has contributed to the development of several integrated resource management and sustainability planning initiatives and provincial policy frameworks.  Lisa was appointed by Cabinet to provide advice through the Regional Advisory Council for the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan under the Alberta Land Use Framework. Lisa has conducted high profile feasibility assessments, policy and regulatory analysis, and provided implementation support for alternative and innovative wastewater treatment systems, water reclamation systems, and innovative water-based bio-clusters with financing support from NRCAN, FCM, and CMHC

Horticulture, Water and Energy Efficiency

Presenter: Christie Pollack

Christie's Gardens and GreenhouseBiography: Christie is the owner of Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses Ltd. along with her husband Tanner Pollack. She has a Horticulture Diploma from Olds College, is a graduate of Marie Forleo’s B-School, and has been in the horticulture industry for 16 years. During the adventure of building the greenhouse, Christie and Tanner made the decision to install energy saving components, and designed the building to ensure they would be able to capture and recycle water in the future.

Share your story of innovation or your tools and resources with communities!

The event will provide the space for all participants to share stories of innovation, resources, tools, and programs; and to address challenges and to identify new opportunities.

This event is being hosted in collaboration with the Slave Lake Region, the MD of Opportunity, and Community Futures of Lesser Slave Lake with support of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and Stratagem Innovation Capital Partners.

Slave Lake Region  Community Futures Alberta MD Of Opportunity  Alberta Agriculture and Forestry      Rural Prosperity Initiative Partner   Sustainability Resources


Rural Prosperity Initiative

Accelerating Rural Economies

  • Identify, evaluate and implement projects that can reduce GHG
  • Reduce waste & improve and retain the supply of clean water
  • Accelerate economic development, attract investment
  • Identify opportunities and challenges of climate change
  • Create energy independence through clean energy generation

Rural Innovation Forums

Showcase solutions for Rural Prosperity - network with solution providers! 

Lethbridge Rural Innovation Forum

Lesser Slave Lake Rural Innovation Forum

Drayton Valley Rural Innovation Forum

Okotoks Rural Innovation Forum

Wheatland Region Rural Innovation Forum

 Learn more! 

Rural Prosperity Initiative Partners