only have to bring together six or eight
leaders across the organization to make
Edmonton’s post-secondary schools
are another strength. Their health,
wellness and medical researchers are
discovering a wide array of knowledge,
ranging from new ways to diagnose
and treat illness to making Alberta’s
healthcare system more efficient. Their
faculty members teach and mentor
students in all areas of healthcare.
On the investment and incubatorside, Edmonton has Alberta Innovates,the Edmonton Economic DevelopmentCorporation and TEC Edmonton (a jointventure between Edmonton EconomicDevelopment and the University ofAlberta).
Many of these players have workedtogether in the past. Now they have aclearly defined network and a sharedgoal. “Health City brings everyone tothe table and they find new linkages,”says Reg Joseph, who until Februarywas Alberta Innovates’ vice president ofHealth.
Joseph and Pincock made such a linkin 2017 after hearing Dr. John Lewis, anoncologist and University of Albertaprofessor, talk about cancer research.
They reached out to the Alberta Cancer
Foundation to hold a competition to
find and fund cancer research that was,
Pincock says, “near the finish line.”
They chose two winners. One was
Lewis’s company, Nanostics, which is
working on a blood test to replace the
traditional multi-needle biopsy used
to diagnose prostate cancer. The other,
Syantra, is a University of Calgary
spinoff developing a blood test to replace
“Historically, we would see outsideinternational players buy up thoseideas and they would be developedelsewhere,” Pincock says. “Albertawould then have to buy the technologyback, but on the retail market, frominternational players late in the game.
“That model doesn’t create jobs in
Edmonton or promote opportunities in
Alberta,” he says. “If we can adopt those
companies here in Alberta when they’re
coming to the finish line, then we can
push them across so that all that benefit
happens in the province. Companies that
cross the finish line here will stay here to
develop their next product.”
Mehadi Sayed’s medical records
company, Clinisys EMR, was past the
finish line when Wichuk asked him to
join a Health City organizing committee
in 2016. A former instructor in new
technologies at the Northern Alberta
Institute of Technology in Edmonton,
Sayed joined because he felt the initiative
He never expected to benefit directly.Then software giant Microsoft contactedhim and asked to partner with Clinisysto produce cloud-based solutions toimprove health records.