April 7, 2022

Introducing the Innovation Ecosystem Directory

A new online tool makes navigating UCalgary's vast network of innovation supports easier
Innovation Ecosystem Directory
Innovation Ecosystem Directory, screenshot

The UCalgary Innovation Ecosystem Directory is making it easier for entrepreneurial thinkers at UCalgary to search the extensive structure of innovation resources.

The directory is the latest tool for the innovation-based community of researchers, students, faculty, staff, and entrepreneurs who are looking to Start Something. The online platform simplifies navigating the vast ecosystem of resources to help advance innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.

The directory is a compilation of programs and service providers, funding opportunities, events and competitions, courses, and more.  

Something for everyone

There is an extensive network of resources available to the UCalgary community of entrepreneurial thinkers and innovators, but a centralized location from where to search for resources that best suit an individual or team’s needs has not been readily available.

The Innovation Ecosystem Directory will help UCalgary-based innovators identify and connect with supports to help them advance their innovation. Users can refine their search among more than one hundred listings, allowing them to quickly identify which resources best suit their needs. 

The directory includes numerous on-campus services like those offered at the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

Nicole Tan, Jennifer Shearer, Joy Wang, and Micaela Francese won first place in a 2021 Experience Ventures challenge after accessing the program through the Hunter Hub. The team of undergraduate innovators designed a mass-production meal plan program called L!FE Lunches for Education that offers affordable and nutritious daily lunches for kids. Tan credited the Hunter Hub Solutions Lab with their success. “We were encouraged to think creatively about a problem and collaborate to find a solution” says Tan. “In our case, we discovered a solution that already exists in the world and redesigned it to work for our community.”

Dr. Alex Chee, MD, Dr. Sumesh Thomas, MD, and Dr. Wiley Chung, MD turned to the Life Sciences Innovation Hub when they were in early planning stages on a new medical device. Their Smart Drain device has the potential to save lives in emergency medical situations. The team is now working on a marketable prototype. Chee and Thomas credit their team's current success to the continued support from the Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

Any individual or team looking to advance their innovation can now search the directory to find what they need to move their work forward.

Identifying suitable resources

Dr. Steve Larter, PhD

Dr. Steve Larter, PhD

Steve Larter, associate vice-president (research and innovation), recognizes the improved potential the directory brings to connecting students, researchers, faculty and staff with programs in the innovation ecosystem. “Regardless of where you are on the pathway from research and discovery, through invention, to innovation and solutions for the world, the expanded innovation ecosystem at UCalgary is bursting with incredible programs and opportunities for all,” says Larter. “By helping researchers, future innovators and those interested in pursuing entrepreneurship opportunities become aware of every available possibility, UCalgary is helping you grow your next great innovation.”

The Innovation Ecosystem directory was a project initiated by the Calgary Innovation Coalition and created by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) to provide a list of province-wide support programs and infrastructure hosted by post-secondary institutions available to the UCalgary community.