May 13, 2021

Let's talk about innovating in a time of crisis

Canadian Innovation Week, May 17-21, showcases practical solutions, inspires lively conversations and shares entrepreneurial ideas through its outstanding network of partners

Collaboration is key to developing new ideas, and scaling those solutions up is essential for making good progress in any field. Never has that been more apparent than this past year, which has witnessed the world’s top-level researchers and scientists create a global collaboration unlike any in history. Many new innovations have come about because of changes COVID-19 has necessitated, and seeing a bridge to the other side of this crisis is what Canadian Innovation Week aims to do.

Hosted by the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), this fourth celebration of innovation will bring together multiple partners from across the University of Calgary and stakeholders from our national innovation ecosystem to connect, cultivate and celebrate innovation.

  • Photo above: Innovation is happening at W21C’s Healthcare Human Factors Simulation Laboratory at the Cumming School of Medicine. The lab supports innovation by evaluating new health-care technologies, systems and processes to ensure they work for the people who have to use them. Photo: UCalgary Research Group 

“Canada is one of the best places for entrepreneurs to start and build their companies due to some of the best talent and resources in the entire world,” says Keri Damen, executive director of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking. “Events like Canadian Innovation Week celebrate the incredible accomplishments of these burgeoning startups, but they also encourage young people to join the innovation community, and to instill entrepreneurial thinking in every Canadian who wants to effect change and make an impact in their own lives.”

Aiming to be Canada's most entrepreneurial university, UCalgary is putting out innovation-themed articles from across campus and offering an inspiring lineup of panels and sessions. The Hunter Hub, for example, in partnership with Facilities Management, the Office of Sustainability, and the Sustainable Energy Development Program, is offering Solutions Lab: Zero Waste Challenge, targeting students who wish to become changemakers by establishing UCalgary as a zero-waste campus.

Also on the roster, in partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation, is a panel of innovators and researchers who will explore how diversity is key if we are to drive inclusive and equitable innovation.

“Innovation is about finding ways to improve our every day lives; it can make people healthier, drive economic growth, and ensure a more sustainable environment,” says Teresa Marques, president and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. “Canadian Innovation Week is an opportunity to discover and learn about the remarkable Canadian innovations that inspire us every day.”

Adds Damen: “Innovation doesn't simply mean a culture that embraces tech startups. Innovation means fostering a culture in every department that encourages students and faculty alike to think outside the box, push boundaries, and be the changemakers whose innovations will ensure Canada’s continued productivity and wealth creation in a competitive, globalized world.

By embodying entrepreneurial thinking, UCalgary is giving every member of its community the skills to be future-ready and make a real impact in their fields of study and work.

Long before COVID-19 transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, Canada was quietly becoming a hotbed of startup innovations and tech superstars. Join online sessions with the Rideau Hall Foundation and check out what’s on right here at UCalgary:  

May 14–16
Hunter Hub Solutions Lab — Zero Waste Challenge
How will we become a zero-waste campus by 2030? You can make an impact with your knowledge and ideas and help UCalgary meet its ambitious goal of becoming a zero-waste campus.

May 17
From Isolation to Inclusion: How diversity drives equitable innovation
Join our panel of innovators and researchers on campus and in the community to discuss how innovators must recognize and value difference and cultivate a welcoming space for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).

Deadline to apply for UCeed Health Fund
Apply to UCalgary’s UCeed to access capital and support for your new innovative venture. This investment program continues to accept applications from qualifying ventures in child and general health.

May 18
Innovation Salon: Scaling Up
Trailblazing entrepreneurs share their experiences starting and leading high-growth companies: the challenges associated with a rapidly growing venture, the importance of scaleups to Canada’s future prosperity, and what innovation communities supporting startups can do to help enable more successful scaleups.

May 19
Making Health-Care Innovations: From Research to Market
An exploration of how research findings in the health industry become a product that can enter the market, with a focus on clinical trials.

May 20
Prosperity and Planet: Financing the Energy Transition
Gain insights from an expert panel of business leaders and thought leaders addressing the opportunities for Calgary and Canada’s energy sector as we transition to a low-carbon economy.

Entrepreneurial Leaders in Health
Entrepreneurial Leaders in Health, in partnership with the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, aims to bring together trailblazing entrepreneurial thinkers in various areas of health innovation and showcase their accomplishments and ideas to the greater UCalgary community.

Canadian Innovation Week at UCalgary
As part of UCalgary’s partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation, we are celebrating Canadian Innovation Week. Join UCalgary experts and researchers May 17-21, for a week of conversation, inspiration and ideas. Learn how you can get involved