Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assets

Part 3 of a six-part series: ReGenerate Alberta wants to seize a business opportunity and answer a social challenge all at once

Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assetsAlberta has a skeleton in its closet no one really wants to talk about. Even when we do, the bone rattling isn’t necessarily good talk. The problem is Alberta’s steadily-growing ranks of aging oil and gas assets that haven't been properly readied for (permanent) retirement. The liability those aging assets represent has burgeoned steadily over recent…

We’re flushing money and resources down the drain

To Dr. Nicholas Ashbolt, wastewater has great value, but realizing that value requires an infrastructure overhaul

We’re flushing money and resources down the drainOnce you learn what Dr. Nicholas Ashbolt does for a living, you’ll never look at plumbing the same way again. Ashbolt believes it’s time for a paradigm shift in the way we think about water, sewage and public health. From his perspective, wastewater has value and we should stop flushing money and resources down the…

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-fork

A supercluster project is pairing the once-disparate oilsands and oilseeds industries. The benefits could impact all Canadians

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-forkCan two acronyms help position Canada as a global economic and environmental leader? Or, what do oilsands companies and oilseeds producers have in common? (Here's a hint: air, water and land.) Just ask SASC and CRIN. The first is the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster, the latter is the Clean Resource Innovation Network. One is obviously a product of…

Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiative

Four beef-sector case studies illustrate how SASC can magnify and amplify their impact

Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiativeThe Smart Agri-Food Supercluster is one of nine groups awaiting word from the federal government on whether it will share in the $950-million innovation supercluster fund established earlier this year. It’s conducting innovation community meetings across Canada to help the sector understand its economic, environmental,  job creation and innovation impact.) How big is your innovation…

Don’t wait until your business is in pain to find a cure

Prioritize your problems, identify all the best possible solutions to the most important issue and decide how to implement them

Don’t wait until your business is in pain to find a cure“Gross!” my kids yelled as I showed them the big lump of yellow wax that I had just picked out of the sink. To me, this lump of “gross” wax was a relief. A few days earlier, I had barely survived a flight from Rome to Dublin without screaming in pain. My ear was plugged and…

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economy

Nine groups await word from Ottawa on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation fund

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economyThe supercluster effect is one of the intriguing outcomes of dangling dollars in front of sectors hungry for innovation investment. Nine groups await word from the federal government on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation coffer. Ottawa established the fund last year to help reshape the Canadian economy and set it up for future…

Could Canada’s costly innovation help solve China’s coal dilemma?

Saskatchewan's $1.5-billion CCS demonstration facility at Boundary Dam in the southern part of the province is the first commercial-scale CCS project in the world

Could Canada’s costly innovation help solve China’s coal dilemma?If Santa brought you a lump of coal this Christmas, maybe you shouldn’t feel so bad about it. That coal might actually come in handy as an acceptable part of our energy future. Technology exists that can transform coal from environmental villain into a fuel that at least won’t make things worse than they already…

Grocers seek to restock the industry with innovation

Recent Canadian grocery sector layoffs are about redefining business models more than trimming costs

Grocers seek to restock the industry with innovationDownsizing is never easy. And just weeks before the festive season, reducing staff is bad for morale. But industry changes are forcing Canada’s grocers to rethink store structures, including staffing. Metro let 250 people go recently. Loblaws announced 500 layoffs. Then Sobeys said it was cutting 800 employees – about two per cent of parent…

Don’t rely on governments to spur technological breakthroughs

Governments only role should be to ensure that intellectual property (IP) rights are protected

Don’t rely on governments to spur technological breakthroughsHuman ingenuity – often motivated by profit – is generally miles ahead of government regulations in resolving problems in society. Take, for example, the issue of orphan wells in Alberta. In September 2016, the Alberta Energy Regulator said there were 84,100 inactive oil and gas wells in the province. The collapse of oil prices and…

Lack of ride-sharing legislation stalls an innovative industry

The ride-sharing industry must operate within a competitive environment rather than be regulated beyond the public’s choice

Lack of ride-sharing legislation stalls an innovative industryThe ride-sharing industry faces regulatory roadblocks as it tries to gain traction across the country. Led by Uber, the industry is disrupting traditional transportation by providing people with alternatives to taxis and buses. The competing choices now include one’s own vehicle, public transit, taxi or Uber (or a similar service). As the ride-sharing industry spreads…