The nomination process is now open for the prestigious 2015 ASTech Awards.
The Alberta Science and Technology Leadership (ASTech) Foundation has been recognizing the best of Alberta’s science and technology companies and individuals since 1989, and is known for their stringent criteria that nominees must meet in order to be named a finalist for each award. There are 13 awards in three separate categories:
- Innovation Spectrum Awards: Research (Science, Technology), Development (Applied Technology), Commercialization (Start-Up; Commercial Achievement)
- Industry Sector Awards: ICT, Agriculture, Environment, Oil Sands
- Leadership Awards: Public Awareness, Societal Impact, Leader of Tomorrow, Community Leader
After 25 years, the organization is taking a new approach to their support of innovation.
“What’s different this year, in year 26, is that we are becoming an organization that inspires innovation in science and technology year-round,” said Sue McMaster, Executive Director of the ASTech Foundation.
This year’s theme is ASTech 2.0 Accelerate. Along with the annual awards and innovation showcase, ASTech is promoting their impressive alumni in order to inspire the next generation of innovators. ASTech has identified some of the most successful science and technology companies in Alberta over their history, including SMART Technologies, Intuit Canada, and BioWare Corporation – to name a few. The foundation has started a “Where are they now” section on their website sharing stories of their alumni.
“We’re being a lot more proactive in telling people that there’s exceptional work going on in this province,” said McMaster. “We’ve captured some of those stories and we’d like to be able to share them.”
The ASTech Awards ceremony, scheduled for November 6 at Telus Spark in Calgary, is also changing format this year. In the past, the ASTech Awards have been handed out at a black-tie gala. This year the main focus of the evening will be the Next Gen Innovators Showcase, which will have 25 interactive displays of upcoming projects in Energy, Health, Technology, Startups and Science Fair Innovators. The awards will be presented later on in the evening and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the finalists and the winners, and also go back and check out the rest of the Next Gen Innovators Showcase.
“The reality is that science and technology and innovation are key drivers of the Alberta economy,” said McMaster. “By celebrating outstanding achievement in science and technology, we’re really helping drive the Alberta economy.”
Individuals, teams and companies can apply for the ASTech Awards from now until May 31.