"Alberta has a key opportunity to take the old energy industries and revitalize them into new areas to diversify the economy through the clean tech movement and through other innovations they can take to market," says Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates.
“If we can do that together, we can have a better economic environment for all of us here,” said Kilcrease, who was speaking Tuesday during the Low Carbon Innovation Forum at the Global Petroleum Show at Stampede Park in Calgary.
“So Alberta Innovates as we work on innovation and diversification wherever we can help, we’re here to help but we think there are strong environments out there. The G7 countries are the ones where they have high innovation, high brand recognition that they are innovative and people that are going to work together to make something happen.”
The oil and gas industry is facing one of its greatest challenges as the world moves to a low-carbon economy. The energy producers are in a constant state of evolution, and investing in new technologies to produce more hydrocarbons, lower costs, and better protect the environment is not new for them. The Low Carbon Innovation Forum, which will continue on Wednesday, explores ways the petroleum sector can navigate the challenges ahead and find opportunities for development and growth. Kilcrease said the marketplace for the traditional base of products is diminishing over time.
“I think we’ve had it hard enough for long enough that perhaps we now say we can’t wait for the next oil and gas cycle. Now it’s time for us to take control into our hands and do something different,” she said. Alberta Innovates has two subsidiaries - InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies - which have expert researchers in areas that will work with industry to test their innovations and scale up so they can actually take products to the market. “This is a unique attribute to Alberta that most other provinces wouldn’t necessarily have,” added Kilcrease.