Okotoks Rural Innovation Forum
November 30th, 2017
Rural Innovation Forums are carefully curated for local governments, industry leaders, economic developers, and technology innovators to: create important relationships across sectors; learn about innovative solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable; and identify value-added projects, partnerships and opportunities in the host region.
The Okotoks and Region 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.
This Forum was attended by 69 people from across Alberta with a high concentration in the Okotoks, Foothills and Calgary region. Representation came from councils and administration from several different municipalities, as well as business owners, innovators and post secondary institutions. Participants were encouraged to identify themselves as resources to innovation and share their interests in advancing economic development opportunities through three workshop and round robin feedback sessions.
- Frank Nolan, Research and Innovation Development Officer, NSERC, Building R&D Partnerships: How NSERC Can Help
- Dan Cloutier, President, Nexus Power Solutions Inc. Sprung ARK Case Study – Aquaponics in Aldersyde
- Anton Skorobogatov, PhD Candidate, University of Calgary The Story Behind the Okotoks Bioretention Research Centre
- Shawn Northwood, BSc. Eng, Project Manager, SYLVIS Environmental City of Calgary Biosolids Demonstration Project
- Liliana Bozic, MSc, PEng, Urban Systems Ltd Sustainable Storm Water Solutions for Meeting Watershed Objectives and Infrastructure Limitation in Alberta Municipalities
- Kerry Ross, B.Arch, Bacc Gen, GRP, MSc Candidate, Green T Designs The Importance of and Opportunities for Incorporating Green Roofs and Living Walls into the Built Environment
- Jennifer Neufeld, Program Director, Sustainability Resources, Rural Climate Adaptation & Community Resilience utilizing the STAR Communities Climate Guide
- Hans te Stroete, BEd, GSC, Vice President and General Manager, Scott Builders Oscar Flechas, AA AIBC CPHS MRAIC LEED AP, Flechas Architecture Video: Valleyview Mayor and Manager Michael Doornbos, LEED AP BD&C, GSC, Sr Project Manager, Scott Builders Sergio Martinez, Electrical Engineer, Integral Group Tara Ellis, Mechanical Design Engineer, Integral Group
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 facilitated by Sustainability Resources. The workshop exercises were intended to create meaningful networking opportunities, focus group discussion on the identification of future opportunities in the geographical region defined by participants and the required or available resources to drive change.
The following themes emerged as some priority areas (among others) to be considered for collaboration with the Rural Prosperity Initiative Partners:
- Increased collaboration and education across and between municipalities;
- Importance of design and end user’s needs/purpose in building development;
- Incorporating climate resilience and adaptation strategies in all planning and policies; and
- Cooperation and coordination between communities, industries and levels of government on water use/reuse.
Town of Okotoks; Eco-Smart Energy Solutions/Biovator; Canada Green Building Council; South Grow Regional Initiative; HenDen Earth Stabilization; EQUS; ECO Canada; Source to Source; Living Soils Solutions; NSERC; University of Waterloo