In addition to its beauty, people and many strengths, Alberta is very fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources—oil, natural gas, coal—that have made it an energy world leader. This industrial engine has fueled Alberta’s economy, and made it the province with the strongest economy in Canada for the past 20 years. Alberta has many innovative companies in the energy sector. In our last Cool Companies industry guide (pictured) we also found that Alberta has an impressive and healthy collection of world-class innovators in clean technology as well. Together they are proof that Alberta has embraced the challenges of the Cleantech Revolution and is carving out a new definition of itself as a modern energy innovation leader.
Since this Cool Companies industry guide is focused on companies enabled by software, hardware and wireless communications, we have discovered and profiled 34 of Alberta’s innovation leaders using these technologies to deliver unique and significant value to clients in industrial applications. Many readers, including those living in Alberta, will likely not have heard of some of these market leaders such as CDL Systems (p.59), FLYHT (p.60), Intelligent Imaging/DriveWyze (p.60), Optessa (p.61), Evoco (p.73), Willowglen (p.75) and Zedi (p.75). Companies in this chapter have been grouped into transportation, environment & agriculture, infrastructure & security, wireless, and energy & construction sections.
Leader in monitoring moving assets in remote locations
Absolute Trac’s single powerful platform can integrate radio, cellular, wireless and satellite communications (multi-mode) to deliver reliable, real time monitoring of critical events for assets that are either mobile or remotely deployed. These portable mobile assets could be a helicopter fighting fires in the mountains, or vehicles in the energy and agriculture industry conducting remote services (pictured). Absolute Trac’s machine to machine (M2M) platform can communicate not just vehicle location and events, but also advise the driver when non-compliant on important safety procedures such as speed and seatbelt usage. Absolute Trac’s technology can also be used to monitor theft prevention of tanker trucks and to manage its liquid assets for near real time delivery logging and invoicing. In locations where communications are inconsistent or variable, Absolute Trac’s technology can also be used to monitor personnel safety.
Company: Absolute Tracking Solutions Inc., www.absolutetrac.com, 15 employees, founded 2008, Early Growth Stage, 50% exports to US and Australia, investor/revenue funded, 613 – 71st Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2H 0S7, 403.252.8522
Products & Services: Mobile asset monitoring
Growth Strategies: Seek more distributors all over the world
Contact: Steve Matthews, President & Founder, info@ absolutetrac.com, 403.252.8522
International leader in control software for unmanned vehicles
An unmanned aerial vehicle (aka UAV or drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. CDL Systems makes software that allows an operator to sit at a command centre and control an UAV by a keyboard and mouse. Leveraging automation, CDL’s vehicle control software allows operators to focus on the mission versus focusing on the flying of the UAV. UAV’s often carry payloads such as weapons or an additional camera for surveillance, which can be controlled by another operator and these might be used to see the road ahead for mines or to gather intelligence about persons of interest. CDL’s various software products are used by the Canadian, US, UK and other militaries. CDL Systems’ software is typically used on larger UAVs but can control any size UAV as well as other unmanned vehicles for land and water.
Company: CDL Systems Ltd., www.cdlsystems.com, 80 employees, founded 1992, Market Leader, 60% exports to US and EU, revenue funded, office in Alabama US, Headquarters: 301 – 96 Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2K 0S3, 403.289.1733
Products: Control software for unmanned vehicles
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and partnerships with hardware manufacturers worldwide
Contact: Sundeep Kharey, Business Development Manager, email@example.com, 403.289.1733
World’s leading provider of real time blackbox communications for the aerospace industry
Since the 1960s, aircraft are equipped with a crash-survivable electronic device known as a black box that records flight data, cockpit conversations and ambient sounds and is used to identify the cause of a crash to prevent future, avoidable accidents of the same type. Today, FLYHT’s technology provides the airline industry with real time data monitoring of aircraft inflight operations anywhere and anytime. Not only can this data be used to immediately help an aircraft if it encounters an emergency, but it has made significant improvements to safety, engine performance, fuel efficiency, preventative maintenance, decision making and reduced down time and costs. For example on a flight to the Middle East, pilots noticed an abnormal sound from an engine, and maintenance personnel used engine data from FLYHT’s technology to advise the pilots to land immediately in Frankfurt. Landing the plane as soon as possible prevented serious consequences and unrepairable damage to the engine. FLYHT’s 2011 revenue was $5.5 million.
Company: FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd., www.flyht.com, 45 employees, founded 1998, High Growth Stage, publicly traded on TSX.V: FLY, 85% exports around worldwide, 200W, 1144 – 29 Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 7P1, 403.250.9956, 1.866.250.9956
Product: Real-time data aircraft data and communications
Growth Strategies: Seek more relationships with large airlines and aircraft manufacturers
Contact: Bill Tempany, President & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.250.9956
Leader in road safety for law enforcement, public security and transportation agencies
It’s important that the brakes, tires and bearings of commercial trucks are in top condition to avoid unnecessary accidents. There were 3,797 fatalities involving large trucks in 2011 in the US alone. Intelligent Imaging Systems uses thermal imaging technology to scan trucks to identify bad brakes, over or under inflated tires, and overheated bearings and brakes. The company also makes imaging technology to recognize license plate numbers with up to 95% accuracy 24/7, in day and night-time conditions regardless of headlights, and in any weather conditions. Its subsidiary, Drivewyze, has an app that allows commercial trucks to automatically bypass weighing stations based on previous compliance history, and will soon introduce another app for toll payments and billing.
Company: Intelligent Imaging Systems Inc., www.intelligentimagingsystems.com, 100 employees, founded 2003, Market Leader, 95% exports primarily to US and expanding to Europe and Asia, revenue funded, sales offices in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Kentucky US, Headquarters: 4954 – 89 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5K1, 780.461.3355, 1.877.393.3939
Products: Road safety and convenience for everyone
Growth Strategies: Seek more opportunities to work with more traffic safety, law enforcement and public security agencies especially in Europe and Asia
Contact: Fred Ko, VP & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 780.461.3355
Intelligent ground-based robot has many applications
Mechatroniq’s technology is an intelligent robotic platform for unmanned ground vehicles that can be used in a variety of custom applications. Since it can travel well on a variety of outdoor surfaces and can mimic human behavior by stopping when hit, and running for cover when another robot is hit, Mechatroniq’s robots are used with replaceable human-like mannequins as weapon target practice (pictured) by law enforcement and military personnel. As another example, with web-based remote control and cameras (including underground radar), the robots can be used to investigate problems in a variety of industries including the integrity of oil and gas pipelines. With a different payload again, it is used as a robotic homecare assistant (See Mechatroniq HomeCare p.33). Programming of Mechatroniq’s robots is done through a graphical interface allowing easy robot programming by symbols instead of software code.
Company: Mechatroniq Systems Inc., www.mechatroniq.com, 4 employees, founded 2006, Early Growth Stage, 25% exports to US and EU, revenue/grant funded, #5, 3916 – 64 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2C 2B4, 403.287.6567
Products: Advanced target systems, environmental monitoring
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, distributors and technology partners around the world
Contact: Andras Gyorffy, CEO & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.287.6567
Optimized, near real time planning and scheduling software for manufacturers
Optessa’s planning and scheduling software is used by the world’s largest auto manufacturers and their suppliers. Thousands of new vehicle orders, with thousands of possible options, are collected from the dealers and fed into Optessa’s software where it is matched against capacities, rules and constraints. A manufacturing constraint could be that black cars need to be painted before white cars, because the change in paint requires a special setup. Suppliers also have constraints, for example being able to produce 100 leather seats a day. In a matter of minutes, Optessa’s technology then computes an optimum schedule and sequence of orders for the production. Being able to produce this schedule quickly makes it possible for manufacturers to be flexible to changes—for example, if they find out that a supplier has a problem and can’t supply parts. Increased flexibility means less inventory needs to be held, which is a big cost savings. Optessa is also interested in entering the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing industries.
Company: Optessa Inc., www.optessa.com, 15 employees, founded 2001, High Growth Stage, 85% exports to US, EU and India, revenue funded, offices in US and India, Headquarters: #1040 Weber Centre, 5555 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5P9, 780.431.8426
Products: Just in time planning and scheduling for manufacturers
Growth Strategies: Seek more manufacturing clients globally and partners for distribution and implementation
Contact: Srinivas (Vasu) Netrakanti, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 780.431.8426
Canadian leader in advanced mobile-tank fluid level measurement instruments
When crude oil production occurs in remote locations, large mobile tankers are needed to transport the oil to pipeline or railway facilities for processing. Titan Logix designs and manufactures the gauge (pictured) on these trucks that gives an accurate and reliable digital reading on the liquid level in the tank. This gives tanker truck drivers inventory control, so they know if there is room to take on additional crude oil before making their delivery run. The gauge can also include alarms and shutdowns during the loading process, preventing overfills and spills. Unlike the dipstick method, the liquid level is displayed at eye-level, keeping drivers safely off the top of the tank. Tank levels can also be monitored remotely by a dispatch centre. Titan Logix is unique in that its radar gauge has no moving parts, making it easy to service and less likely to require maintenance. It has been designed to be reliable in a wide range of temperatures, from cold winters in Canada to hot Texas summers, and is also used by other industries such as aircraft refueling and de-icing, and waste oil transport. Named a TSX Venture 50 Company in 2012, Titan Logix’s 2011 revenue was $11.1 million, up 67% from 2010.
Company: Titan Logix Corp., www.titanlogix.com, 50 employees, founded 1979, Market Leader, 54% exports to several countries, publicly traded on TSX: TLA, branch offices in Saskatchewan, Missouri (US), Headquarters: 4130 – 93 Street Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5P5, 780.462.4085
Products: High performance liquid level gauges for trucks and trailers
Growth Strategies: Seek more dealers around the world
Contact: Greg McGillis, President & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.462.4085
More efficient and lower cost distribution of agricultural ammonia fertilizer
Ammonia is an agricultural fertilizer that is a pressurized and controlled hazardous gas. When farmers inject it into the soil, it gives their crops a high yield. In the spring and fall fertilizer seasons, the agri-business retailers have a short period of time (4 weeks) to distribute a high volume of product over farmers’ fields before spring planting and autumn frosts. This creates a complex equipment scheduling and inventory management problem involving mobile nurse wagons (pictured in white) which injects the ammonia into the soil, specialized delivery trucks to deliver the ammonia, and fixed storage tanks. Ideally, a delivery truck with more ammonia should be waiting at the exact location in a field where a farmer is just emptying his nurse wagon. This is exactly the insight AgVance’s technology delivers. Using machine-to-machine (M2M) data communication technology and software-as-a-service (SaaS), AgVance monitors an agri-business retailer’s ammonia assets in real time. AgVance’s solution optimizes the use of equipment, reduces the cost of transporting the ammonia, and improves profits and customer service. It can also be used for industrial propane distribution.
Company: AgVance Inc., www.agvance.ca, 7 employees, founded 2009, Early Revenue Stage, 10% exports to US, product launched in 2012, bootstrapped/revenue/grant funded, 2815B – 12 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 7J2, 403.291.1118
Products: Asset efficiencies and cost reduction for agri-business retailers and industrial propane distributors
Growth Strategies: Seek more fertilizer equipment rental companies and investors
Contact: John Barry, President & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 403.291.1118
World leader in measuring gas emissions from multiple sources
Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from a single point, like a smoke stack, is relatively simple. It’s a lot more complicated to monitor and quantify gas emissions in large spaces like gas plants, landfill sites and agricultural operations, where the emissions can come from multiple sources. Boreal Laser’s robust, state-of-the-art, laser-based detection technology (pictured) can do this for critical hazardous gas or toxic gas detection applications, which includes greenhouse gas emissions. If a critical gas level is reached, an alert can be sent to alarms and cell phones with situation specific details available on a website.
Company: Boreal Laser Inc., www.boreal-laser.com, 15 employees, founded 1996, revenue funded, products sold in 40 countries, 80% exports, Early Growth Stage, 12846 – 146 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5L 2H7, 780.488.5173
Product: Large area sources greenhouse gas monitors
Growth Strategies: Seek market development partners
Contact: Hamish Adam, President & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.271.2007
GPS solutions for guided tractor steering, construction excavation and snow grooming
|Hemisphere GPS designs and manufactures plug-and-play GPS products for positioning, guidance, and machine control applications for several industries. One of these applications is helping farmers reduce waste from skips, or overlaps, with an automatic steering system that enables them to drive their tractors in very straight lines within 1 cm accuracy. Hemisphere GPS’ product for construction has GPS sensors attached to the shovel of an excavator so that the operator can monitor, through a touchscreen in the cockpit, the depth of the excavation progress within 2 cm accuracy and the flatness of the new surface being created. Combining both ideas, Hemisphere also makes a GPS product to guide snow grooming machines, so there is little overlap of their path and they can easily tell the depth of the snow surface. Hemisphere also makes GPS products for marine navigation, surveying, GIS mapping and machine control. The company’s 2011 revenue was $67.8 million, up 21% from 2010.|
Company: Hemisphere GPS Inc., www.hemispheregps.com, 250 employees worldwide founded 1990, Market Leader, 82% exports worldwide, publicly traded on TSX:HEM, offices in US and Australia, Headquarters: 4110 – 9th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 3C4, 403.259.3311
Product: Plug-and-play GPS systems for agriculture, construction and snow grooming
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, dealers and integration partnersContact:Gabriel Grenier-Baird, Marketing Specialist, email@example.com, 403.259.3311
Global leader in optimizing grain quality for higher returns and improved safety
OPIsystems’ sensor-based technology measures the temperature and moisture content of stored grain, and through processing algorithms and aeration fans, it automatically controls the condition of the grain to prevent shrinkage and spoilage. This technology works on all types of grain including wheat, corn, oats, rice and canola. Since grain is sold by weight, grain with higher moisture content has greater value and OPIsystems’ technology keeps the grain at a constant moisture level. If a hot spot is detected, which would indicate that the grain is beginning to spoil, the system automatically turns on the fans to cool the area to eliminate the problem, and then turns the fans off when the job is done to prevent the grain from drying out and to save energy costs for the farmer. Having this control over grain drastically increases the length of time the grain can be stored, which gives farmers control over when they want to sell it. OPIsystems’ technology also eliminates the need to enter the bin to manipulate the grain by hand, which can be very dangerous.
Company: OPIsystems Inc., www.advancedgrainmanagement.com, 75 employees worldwide, founded 1984, High Growth Stage, 70% exports worldwide, revenue funded, 1216 – 36th Avenue NE Calgary, Alberta T2E 6M8, 403.219.3177
Product: Grain temperature and moisture monitoring
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, dealers and large agricultural grain marketing companies
Contact: R.J. (Justin) Zinke, Chief Operating Officer,
Going beyond costs and energy use, a pioneer in regenerative design evaluations
Buildings and homes are more than just shelters. They, along with our neighbourhoods, affect our physical and emotional health as well as economic, ecological and social outcomes locally, regionally and globally. Considering the interaction of all these elements to create whole communities is called regenerative design. However, quantifying these parameters and using them in design decisions has been almost impossible, until now. PIVOT has developed a revolutionary body of knowledge that it has embodied into a comparative software-based evaluation tool to give designers, planners and developers an understanding of a development’s holistic potential that goes well beyond assessment of costs, material selection and energy use.
Company: PIVOT Inc., www.thinkpivot.ca, 5 employees, founded 2008, investor/grant funded, beta testing complete, exports just starting, Early Revenue Stage, 10415 Princess Elizabeth Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5G 0Y5, 780.452.2544
Service: Regenerative design building, site and community evaluations
Growth Strategies: Seek strategic partners to design and create integrated whole communities
Contact:Paul Schaefer, Director of Applied Research & Design and
Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.452.2544
Breakthrough remote sensing technology detects methane, ethane and ammonia leaks
Based on technologies developed under the Canadian Space Program and by Synodon scientists, Synodon has developed and demonstrated a remote sensing technology that can measure very small ground level concentrations of gas. Mounting this technology to an aircraft flying at 1,000 ft, Synodon’s initial application helps natural gas pipeline operators accurately and efficiently find pipeline leaks. This information helps improve the pipeline operators’ energy efficiency, safety and regulatory compliance, as well as reduce their environmental footprint and save them money. Synodon is also piloting a program to measure greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Synodon’s 2011 revenue was $1 million.
Company: Synodon Inc., www.synodon.com, 12 employees, founded 2000, 35% exports to US with distributors in China, Nigeria, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the Middle East, publicly traded on TSXV as SYD.V, 6916 Roper Road, Edmonton, Alberta T6B 3H9, 780.468.9568
Service: Gas emissions monitoring and quantification
Growth Strategies: Seek investors, distributors, joint venture manufacturers and licensees
Contact: Adrian Banica, President, CEO and Founder, email@example.com, 780.468.9568
International leader in 3D visualization and training
3DInternet turns 2D blueprints into interactive 3D worlds that allow designers of power utilities and oil & gas plants to better visualize what it will be like working in the new plant. Being able to walk around these plants virtually, looking from floor to ceiling, and even seeing the ground outside the building, makes it much easier to identify problems and find new efficiencies before they cost a lot of money and time to fix. In addition to custom virtual worlds for facilities, 3DInternet also creates 3D virtual training simulators that help train people on how to use equipment and to practice procedures (picture). This has made a significant impact on reducing injuries for people doing dangerous jobs. In addition to power utilities and oil & gas companies around the world, 3DInternet clients include the military and first responder groups (fire, police, emergency medical services). 3DInternet won first prize for collaborative training in the US Army’s 2010 Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge competition.
Company: 3DInternet Inc., www.3dinternet.com, 50 employees, founded 1986, Market Leader, 70% exports worldwide, revenue funded, office in Los Angeles, Headquarters: #4, 3510 – 27th Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 5E2, 403.250.5813
Service: 3D visualization and virtual training simulators
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and resellers
Contact:Allan Doubinin, President & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org , 403.250.5813
Leading vendor-independent smart grid integrator
In our expanding digital world, demand for electricity is growing and is expected to double in the next 20 years. To minimize environmental impact, how we use electricity today needs to improve and more renewable energy, such as solar and wind, needs to be integrated into the power grid. This is the vision of the smart grid. To bring intelligence to the smart grid, detailed data is needed. ASAT has found a way to collect electricity related data from the critical assets in electric utility substations, no matter how old it is, or who made it (vendor independent). ASAT then pulls all the data together in one unified smart grid interface so it can all be read at the same time, and can be used to monitor and control critical operating assets, as well as to improve efficiencies of all types. For example, using a smart grid, equipment maintenance can shift to condition based maintenance, where the equipment’s data gives insight to a potential problem.
Company: ASAT Solutions Inc., www.asatsolutions.com, (employee size undisclosed), founded 2000, High Growth Stage, 90% exports to Asia, US and Latin America, revenue funded, #8, 2121 – 29th Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 7H8, 403.569.1680
Products: Smart substation technologies and integration for electric utilities
Growth Strategies: Seek more utilities as clients, and more investors
Contact: Manford Kwan, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 403.569.1680
World leader in disaster and military planning simulations
In the days of kings and castles, battles were planned using a table-top war game where you moved small figures representing armies and equipment around a map. Today, C4i Consultants’ simulation software offers much more sophisticated strategic thinking for military and emergency situations. It lets users try things out, validate plans, work together across the different groups involved and train people to make good decisions in these high stress situations. Simulations allow many variations in events and outcomes, but even the basics of learning to manage time and distance requirements are always a challenge. C4i’s military clients include NATO, the US Army and the Canadian Forces, as well as public safety, energy industries and municipalities. Examples of emergency events these groups will train for include emergency response to a tornado, a train derailment, or a major gas leak. C4i also produces command and control tools for real-life situations where planning that usually takes 8 hours, can be reduced to as little as 5 minutes.
Company:C4i Consultants Inc., www.c4ic.com, 22 employees in Canada/40 employees in US, founded 2003, Market Leader, revenue funded, 70% exports worldwide, #240, 4311 – 12 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 4P9, 403.241.3264
Product: Large scale emergency, disaster and military planning simulations and control solutions
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients in military, public safety and energy markets
Contact:Bruce Gilkes, President & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.241.3264
World leader in real-time wireless detection of electrical losses for utilities
For electrical utilities, the “last mile” is where the electricity runs from the substation to individual homes and businesses. Since it is a web of cables, it is difficult to know when something goes wrong. dTechs’ product is a set of highly accurate sensors and software that address this problem by wirelessly monitoring the electrical system to pinpoint technical and non-technical energy losses. When an anomaly is detected, dTechs’ product automatically notifies the utility company with GPS specific location details. dTechs product reconciles with both analog and smart meter endpoints for highly accurate line loss estimates.
Company: dTechs epm Ltd, www.dtechsepm.com, 15 employees, founded 2006, Early Growth Stage, 40% exports to US, Caribbean, EU, investor/revenue funded, 55 Skyline Crescent NE, Calgary, Alberta, 403.930.3200
Service: Low-cost, high-resolution tool to detect electrical grid inefficiencies
Growth Strategies: Seek channel sales partners and investors
Contact:Roger Morrison, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 403.930.3201
Immediate detection of critical events and access to decision making information
The days of security guards watching walls of video monitors for unusual activity are disappearing. Analytical video technology from IntelliView Technologies’ has automated the process. If an unusual event happens, such as a potential intruder or theft of equipment, its technology automatically and immediately sends an alert and video of the event to the right person for decision making or to a machine for action, such as blowing a horn when birds are near an area that could harm them. Using thermal imaging, IntelliView’s technology can also watch for more unusual types of events such as fluid leaks near pipelines and oil pumping stations, and even very early signs of a wild fire. Since IntelliView is one of the few video analytics companies in the world that writes and owns it own video analytics algorithms, it can ensure that the video equipment it uses is customized to the unique needs of the environment such as adjustments for trees, wind and changing light.
Company: IntelliView Technologies Inc., www.intelliview.ca,
15 employees, founded 2003, Early Growth Stage, exports started 2012, revenue/investor/grant funded,
327 – 41st Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 2N3, 403.338.0001, 1.888.922.9235
Products & Service: Intelligent video-based critical event detection
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients in oil & gas, forest and asset management, more international partners, investors
Contact: Christopher Beadle, VP Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.338.0001
Easy plug and play M2M connectivity
Alta Industrial Automation (AIA) has simplified the process needed to create a machine to machine (M2M) system. M2M provides companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, mining, environmental monitoring and oil & gas industries with automated real-time access to data from their remotely-located critical assets, such as pipelines, irrigation systems, chemical tanks and automotive fleets. For example, a sensor can tell the owner the fluid level or security status of a remote storage tank. AIA’s M2M solutions connect a remotely-located sensor wirelessly (via cellular communications) to a control platform that both collects data from the sensor and gives dashboard access through the web to a decision maker. As a result, AIA enables its clients to quickly benefit from M2M connectivity at minimum technical risk, investment, time and installation demands.
Company: Alta Industrial Automation Ltd., www.aialtd.com, 5 employees, founded 1991, 25% exports, Early Growth Stage, revenue/grant funded, #659, 3553 – 31 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 2K7, 403.717.0310
Products: Cellular data modems, and machine-to-machine communication solutions
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, distributors and investors worldwide
Contact:Gary Allbee, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 403.717.0310
Global leader in real time instruments to test circuit boards (PCB) and antennas on the lab bench
Manufacturers of wireless devices, such as cell phones, aim to optimize the antenna in order to avoid dropped calls, and extend the battery life. To do this, electronic devices are designed and tested to emit low levels of electromagnetic (EM) energy. Engineers need to know how much, and exactly where, EM energy is emitted. In the past, a probe with a sensor has been used to take point-by-point measurements in a test room (anechoic chamber). These traditional processes took a very long time and were tedious. Fortunately, EMSCAN has a better way. Instead of just one sensor, EMSCAN’s measurement instrument is a bed of thousands of sensors on top of which the circuit board or wireless device is placed; a graph immediately tells the engineer where the EM energy is coming from, or how well the antenna is performing. EMSCAN enables engineers to focus on fixing the issues so they can get their new product to market faster, and reduce the risk of failing expensive regulatory approval tests, or having product performance issues. EMSCAN’s instruments are used by the world’s leading manufacturers of cell phones, electronics, WiFi devices, RFIDs, semiconductors, as well as devices for the automotive, military and medical industries.
Company: EMSCAN Inc., www.emscan.com, (employee size withheld), founded 2010 (restructured), High Growth Stage,
90% exports worldwide, revenue/investor funded, #1, 1715-27th Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 7E1, 403.291.0313, 1.877.367.2261
Products: Real time testing of electromagnetic energy in circuit boards and wireless devices
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, distributors and partners for new applications
Contact:Erkan T. Ickam, Director of Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.2910313 x270
An innovation leader of affordable and accurate satellite-based positioning
Nexteq Navigation develops leading edge technologies to improve GPS accuracy. Its technologies “correct” errors in GPS satellite-based signals to produce positioning readings that are accurate to within 2 centimeters. Nexteq offers both correction data services and products. Its correction data services allow users of a wide variety of GPS equipment to obtain improved positioning accuracies anywhere in the world. Nexteq also makes a line of rugged GPS handhelds (pictured) with Nexteq’s technologies built-in. These handhelds have excellent accuracy that make them ideally suited for applications such as oil and gas surveys, geological mapping, forestry and urban planning, where errors of even a few centimetres can be costly. Compared with its competitors, Nexteq’s technologies allow it to offer its data services and products at 30% lower cost for the same accuracy.
Company: Nexteq Navigation Inc., www.nexteqnav.com, 20 employees, founded 2008, Early Revenue Stage, 90% exports to several countries, revenue/grant funded, Suite 204, 3016 – 19th Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 6Y9, 403.250.8186
Products & Services: GPS hardware and position correction services
Growth Strategies: Seek more dealers, marketing partners and end users worldwide
Contact: Jessica Ji, Sales and Marketing Manager, email@example.com, 403.250.8186
Better data performance on mobile devices in areas with lots of wireless users
Have you ever been to a mall, business office, stadium or airport where wireless data access was poor or non-existent? That’s because of the high density of wireless data users from that area overloading the shared available wireless bandwidth at the nearby cellular tower. To fix this problem, TEKTELIC has developed a small base station (only about the size of a shoebox, pictured) that increases the available wireless bandwidth in densely populated areas. Instead of a single large base station, service providers can deploy many small base stations which allow for wireless bandwidth reuse and for the increased capacity needed to handle the wireless demand. The result is significantly better data performance on mobile devices. Since the small base stations radiate very low energy compared to traditional cellular towers, they can even be installed in a home, apartment building or business campus improving performance and enabling access for more service provider offerings.
Company: TEKTELIC Communications Inc., www.tektelic.com, 37 employees, founded 2009, Early Growth Stage, 95% exports primarily to US, revenue/bootstrap
funded, 7657 – 10th Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 8X2, 403.338.6900
Product: High efficiency, low energy small cell substations
Growth Strategies: Seek partnerships with telecommunications equipment manufacturers all over the world
Contact:Roman Nemish, CEO & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.338.6900
Innovation leader in enabling legacy dial-up modems to talk over the internet
Modems enable a computer to send and receive electronic data through a regular copper wire telephone line. Even though it’s old technology, there are still millions of modems in use today, such as credit card modems that dial out a small set of numbers to be verified, metering modems used to send electrical data from utility substations and industrial machines sending data from remote locations. As the world becomes more digital, communication is shifting to the internet (IP networks that include digital, cellular, private WAN, LAN, WiFi, WiMAX and public internet). At $5/month compared to $50/month for regular phone lines, the internet offers interesting cost savings. However, instead of making the conversion by trashing current analog data equipment and modems, Teletics has developed a significantly less expensive alternative technology that allows the legacy analog technology to stay. Teletics’ Modem over IP (MoIP) technology acts as a bridge that enables the old legacy analog modem to talk with the newer internet based infrastructure. Its technology is as simple to install as plug and play.
Company: Teletics Inc., www.teletics.com, 12 employees, founded 2003, Early Growth Stage, 80% exports primarily to US, revenue/investor/grant funded, 54 Discovery Ridge Gardens SW, Calgary, Alberta T3H 5L6, 403.681.6380
Product: Allows legacy dial-up systems to communicate over the internet
Growth Strategies: Seek distributors selling M2M communications worldwide
Contact: Eric Larson, VP of Sales, email@example.com, 403.681.6380
Innovation leader in low cost, long range, large deployments of machine-to-machine communication
Times Three has developed a wireless technology to receive data from a large volume of sensors, meters and machines at a significantly lower ongoing operational cost compared to other wireless technologies. Such communications are required in smart grids by electrical utilities, as well as gas and water utility metering, and municipal infrastructure and building security applications. Times Three’s technology was originally developed for and has been very effective in Brazil’s stolen vehicle recovery market, where it is important to have low operating costs, support for a large volume of vehicles and to be resistant to interference and intentional jamming. To achieve this, Times Three perfected communication using the unlicensed frequency band (2.4GHz). The combination of operating in an unlicensed frequency band, at long range and at a low bit rate allow for quick and low cost deployment. Times Three Wireless’ 2011 revenue was $553,000.
Company: Times Three Wireless Inc. (previously Cell-Loc Inc.), www.timesthree.com, 6 employees, founded 1998, Early Growth Stage, 95% exports in North and South America, publicly traded on TSX-VE as TTW, Suite 208, 1600 – 37 Street W, Calgary, Alberta T3C 3P1, 403.569.5700
Product: Very low cost monitoring of large volumes of machine to machine sensors
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and strategic partnerships around the world
Contact: Bruce Fielding, VP of Network Operations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.569.5700
Enabling navigation everywhere
Traditional navigation using GPS needs a direct line of sight to four or more satellites to function. This means GPS will not work well inside buildings, underground, underwater, under trees or downtown in cities where high buildings obstruct satellite signals. These are the conditions where Trusted Positioning’s robust positioning software excels. It provides continuous, accurate and affordable navigation in these challenging environments for both consumer and enterprise markets. By integrating Trusted Positioning’s software into smartphones, users can navigate through malls, airports or underground subway systems. The software works with the phone’s pre-existing GPS and inertial sensors to measure a user’s position, orientation and speed. The software platform can also be used to position vehicles and machines. Trusted Positioning’s core technology was developed by experts at the University of Calgary’s Department of Geomatics Engineering.
Company: Trusted Positioning Inc., www.trustedpositioning.com,
25 employees, founded 2009, Early Growth Stage, 75% exports to US, Asia and EU, investor/revenue/grant funded, Suite 311, 3553 – 31 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 2K7, 403.210.6651
Product: Core navigation technology for GPS challenged environments
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, investors and strategic partnerships
Contact: Sarah Carmichael, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, email@example.com, 403.210.6651
World leader in industrial training simulations
Flight simulators train pilots to fly airplanes so that mistakes can be made in a safe environment without harming people or planes. Serious Labs uses similar technology to train operators of oil and gas, mining and construction equipment. 3DI is currently developing a new simulator for the oil and gas industry that will enable well drillers to practise drilling on simulated or estimated parameters of a well site. Through this experience, the driller will develop an optimized drill plan that can hopefully avoid costly mistakes in the field. The new simulator can also handle complex geological formations and horizontal drilling scenarios.
Company: Serious Labs Inc. (formerly 3D Interactive Inc.),www.seriouslabs.com, 32 employees, founded 2005, Market Leader, 90% exports worldwide, new drilling guidance product available early 2013, revenue/investor funded, Suite 202, 7718 – 104 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 4C5, 780.440.1128
Products: Interactive simulation-based training systems
Growth Strategies: Seek strategic partnerships in oil and gas, mining and construction
Contact: Wade Carson, Business Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.554.7709
High performance computing for advanced software used to discover hard-to-find oil
It used to be that GPU cards (Graphics Processing Unit) were mainly used in high end gaming computers to drive high quality graphic displays. Realizing the GPUs highly parallel architecture could process data significantly faster than the average CPU, Acceleware pioneered applying GPUs to business applications and has now become a market leader in this space. One application requiring this intense computing power is seismic exploration in the oil and gas industry. Not too long ago, finding oil underground was simpler—but today the easy oil is gone and future oil reserves are buried deep beneath the surface in complex geological structures. Acceleware offers a sophisticated approach that can meet this challenge. Using GPUs and its software library to power advanced algorithms that were previously too computer-intensive, Acceleware helps oil companies process seismic data into high definition maps of the subsurface geology of potential oil fields. Acceleware’s 2011 revenue was $2.76 million.
Company: Acceleware Ltd., www.acceleware.com, 25 employees, founded 2004, Market Leader, 95% exports worldwide, publicly traded on TSX-V:AXE, 435 – 10th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0W3, 403.249.9099
Products: High performance software for complex algorithms
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients worldwide
Contact: Robert Miller, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, email@example.com, 403.249.9099
New possibilities in cost and productivity management for large construction companies
Traditionally, the construction industry accepted that capturing field data—labour, equipment
and materials—was a slow and manual, inefficient process. But recent technology advancements have automated field data collection, and this can eliminate paperwork bottlenecks and create simple new efficiencies. DRAXware’s software for the construction industry is designed from the business perspective to deliver process and cost data based on updated field data and to enable and enhance faster and more accurate decision-making. DRAXware allows its clients to have the software configured to their specific
business processes without the need for additional source code changes, which translates to very fast return on investment. There are modules for managing subcontractors, quality control, document management and
payroll that are all interoperable so companies can access their information through a single user experience. DRAXware also incorporates leading edge technology developed by Dr. Jianfei Xu, of the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty at the University of Alberta.
Company: DRAXware Solutions Inc. (DXi), www.draxwaresolutions.com, 22 employees, founded 2007, High Growth Stage, 20% exports primarily to US, revenue/grant funded, Suite 4-122, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4P6, 780.487.9668
Product: Large scale project cost and productivity management
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, resellers and partners in construction industry
Contact: Scott Cuthbert , President & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.221.6737
Leader in helping high volume retailers build new locations quickly, accurately and on budget
Evoco’s software helps large multi-location businesses that rollout at least 30 new store locations a year to manage their construction related work, process and paper flow. Evoco provides clients with a dashboard view of building projects that includes construction progress and sign-offs so they can better manage their costs, see potential problems and control project delivery timeframes across multiple projects. The software also helps ensure each location is compliant with building codes and branding demands. Since Evoco’s software is cloud-based, it is accessible over the web from any device. Evoco currently has over 25,000 users among its clients who are retailers, restaurants, hospitality providers and builders of all sizes, including the world’s largest retailers. Listed on the Branham300 and Profit100 lists, Evoco’s 2012 revenue was $10 million.
Company: Evoco Inc., www.evoco.com, 80 employees, founded 1999, High Growth Stage, 85% exports, product sold worldwide, revenue funded, 4th Floor, 402 – 11 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0W4, 403.232-6633, 1.800.274.5250
Products: Construction project management software for high growth retailers
Growth Strategies: Seek increased market visibility, product positioning for leadership and leverage of existing relationships
Contact: Alice Reimer, President & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 403.232.6633
Global leader in durable RFID based safety and asset management solutions
In the oil and gas, construction and mining industries, equipment safety inspections are done regularly, but due to abuse and the harsh environment, equipment becomes difficult to identify and track. An innovative paperless approach is to use an InfoChip RFID tag (Radio-Frequency IDentification, pictured) and a mobile computer. With over 2 million RFID tags in operation, InfoChip has developed an extremely durable RFID tag that gets embedded into tools, rigging, hose and many other types of industrial equipment. Using InfoChip’s low cost, plug-and-play, weatherproof RFID reader, the unique ChipID is sent to any Bluetooth-enabled device such as a smartphone or laptop. Completed inspection and inventory details are uploaded to InfoChip’s online database for future reference. This database is shared by equipment manufacturers, distributors and end users for cradle-to-grave asset management. As a result, asset managers now have a digital identification, inspection and reporting solution for safety and predictive maintenance to avoid equipment downtime and potential disasters.
Company: InfoChip Systems Inc., www.infochip.com, 10 employees, founded 2002, High Growth Stage, 90% exports worldwide, revenue funded, 111 Northwood Crescent, Wetaskiwin, Alberta T9A 3L4, 403.720.2331, 1.877.747.2448
Products: Better identification and tracking of industrial assets
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and distributors
Contact: Tom Bamford, VP Sales and Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.720.2331
Real-time equipment monitoring for reduced critical failures, downtime and lower repair costs
Unexpected failure of a machine or heavy equipment like a hauler (pictured) can cause large oil sands or mining operations to halt production and, at $6 million a day in lost revenue, it can be expensive. Scanimetrics created an integrated system of rugged wireless miniature sensors (inset pictured) that attach to the potential failure points of the metal parts on machines and equipment, and measure the strain and fatigue of the metal in real-time in actual operating conditions. The sensors wirelessly transmit this data and it is analyzed to produce an evaluation of the condition of the equipment, including an estimate of its remaining useful life. In addition to reduced critical failures and downtime, this technology also optimizes the maintenance cycle of the machinery which results in lower repair costs. Scanimetrics is currently also investigating using these strain sensors to measure the integrity of production facilities and infrastructure such as bridges.
Company: Scanimetrics, www.scanimetrics.com, 15 employees, founded 2001, Early Revenue Stage, 15% exports primarily US and South America, investor/revenue/grant funded, 5120 – 75 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6W2, 780.433.9441
Products: Wireless automated real-time structural integrity monitoring
Growth Strategies: Seek new distribution partners and more international clients
Contact: Dr. Chris Sellathamby, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, email@example.com, 780.433.9441 x300
Leading developer of estimating and 3D design software for retail lumber dealers
Seljax clients are lumber stores that sell wood and related products to consumers and contractors. Every day these stores receive a dozen requests to estimate the amount of material their customers need for a new deck or home improvement project. The result of an estimate is a shopping list of items, including the appropriate quantities and estimated price of materials. By hand these estimates take hours to do, but using Seljax software this process can take just a few minutes, which increases a customer’s chances of making a purchase and getting everything they need. With only a 3% margin of error between the estimate and actual material required to complete the project, a Seljax quote is quite accurate, which increases customers’ satisfaction. To make it even more user-friendly, Seljax’s software has mockup models of projects that people can customize to their individual needs, which is a lot easier than starting from a blank page. 3D designs of home and cottage plans from TIM-BR MART integrated into Seljax software allow users to customize design features and understand the impact on cost. Seljax has also integrated several brands of building products into their software. Seljax is sold in 1,500 stores across North America.
Company: Seljax Int’l Inc., www.www.seljax.com, 17 employees, founded 1992, Market Leader, 60% exports primarily to US, Suite 303, 314 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 0J6, 780.960.9515, 1.800.651.7955
Products: Estimating and 3D design software for lumber stores
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and distribution partners around the world
Contact: Braven Blackwell, President & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.960.9515
Leader in human-centred smart dashboard system control of SCADAindustrial environments
Vancouver’s driverless SkyTrain monorail is loaded with all kinds of sensors that provide real-time data on the train’s location, status, operating data, and many types of subsystems, that do everything from open/close doors, collect fare and even automatically modify message boards to convey information, such as train delays. Willowglen’s products integrate the data from many of these sensors and subsystems into a single monitoring fault-tolerant control system (called a SCADA system) that coordinates all the interactions and interconnections between sensors and subsystems using leading human factors approaches, and putting the control in the hands of the decision maker. Not just for electric rail systems, Willowglen’s products are used in many industries around the world including power stations and grids, airport control towers, wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, and electrical power transmission and distribution.
Company: Willowglen Systems Inc., www.willowglensystems.com, (employee size undisclosed), founded 1971, High Growth Stage, 65% exports, products sold worldwide, revenue funded, 8522 Davies Road NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T6E 4Y5, 780.465.1530
Product: Smart dashboard monitoring and control of industrial processes
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients and integration partners
Contact: Gail Powley, VP of Corporate Development, email@example.com, 780.465.1530
A global leader in oil and gas production operations management
There are over 100,000 conventional oil and natural gas well operations (pictured) in Alberta alone and most of them are in remote locations that are traditionally served by operators who visit each site on a regular basis. Zedi’s technology makes site monitoring easier by using hardware that remotely monitors well sites and cloud-based applications that allow operators to view and control their wells in real-time without travelling to the site. Using Zedi’ technology, well operators have access to production data from anywhere, through their computer or smartphone. The data transmitted from Zedi’s technology is then used to forecast production, identify areas that need improvement, and meet regulatory compliance. In addition to giving well operators the data to react immediately to emerging situations, it also provides economic, environmental, and safety benefits from reduced travel times to the wells.
Company: Zedi Inc., www.zedi.ca, 250 employees in Canada, founded 1987, High Growth Stage, 30% exports to 25 countries, publicly traded on TSV as ZED, 20 offices worldwide,
Headquarters: 902 – 11th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2R 0E7, 403.444.1100, 1.866.732.6967
Products: Online oil and gas production data and management, field instruments and services
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, resellers, partners (measurement & monitoring devices) and acquisition targets
Contact: Larry Spagnolo, Senior VP Market & Customer Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.802.7058