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The Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee (ARIAC) works with key innovation support agencies, publicly funded post-secondary institutions, industry and government to advance research and innovation in the province and make Alberta more competitive in the global economy.

The Committee provides strategic advice and recommendations to the Government of Alberta through the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation on matters such as:

  • identifying leading research areas and innovation policies that will support the diversification of Alberta's economy
  • providing the Minister with regular reviews and reports on the performance of Alberta's research and innovation system
  • making recommendations to increase Alberta's competitiveness
  • exploring, gathering and synthesizing information on best practices in other jurisdictions
  • utilizing benchmarking strategies to assess the status and progress of Alberta's research and innovation system
  • identifying emerging global science, research, technology and innovation trends of greatest impact to Alberta


The following documents are available in the Open Government Portal:

These documents are also available by searching the list of public agencies.


The Chair of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee has an extensive background in business leadership and philanthropy.

Photo of Heather Culbert, Chair for ARIAC

Heather Culbert, Chair

Ms. Heather Culbert has more than 27 years of experience in the oil and gas sector and was a senior vice president at Enerplus, a mid-sized oil and gas company. As an active volunteer and philanthropist for many years, Ms. Culbert has received many awards and accolades.

Current positions

  • Vice-Chair of the Export Development Canada
  • Board Director of Whitecap Resources Inc.
  • Chair of the United Way World Leadership Council
  • Chair and Founder of Board Ready Women
  • Chair and Co-Founder Axis Connects (Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards)
  • Co-Chair Calgary Cancer Centre Owncancer Campaign ($250 million)
  • Member of the She Leads Economic Council of Alberta
  • Ex Officio member of the Board of United Way Calgary and area

Career highlights

  • Senior Vice President Corporate Services, Enerplus Resources (1996 – 2006)
  • Various senior management roles at Suncor, Cody Energy and her own IT Management Consulting Corporation (1988 – 1996)
  • Completed 2 terms as Chair of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Former Board Chair, United Way Calgary & Area
  • Appointed a presiding judge for Canadian citizenship ceremonies
  • Former trustee of the Alberta Cancer Foundation
  • Founder of Concerned Citizens for the Calgary Cancer Centre
  • Board Chair of the Alliance to End Violence
  • Campaign Chair of the SAIT Promising Futures Campaign


  • Governor General’s Sovereign Volunteerism Award (2019)
  • SAIT Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree (2014)
  • AFP Philanthropist of the Year (2014)
  • Alberta Centennial Medal (2005)
  • BMO Celebrating Women Community and Charitable Giving (2016)
  • SAIT Distinguished Alumna (2003)


Compensation disclosure

Public sector bodies are required to post online the names and compensation paid to:

This disclosure is a requirement under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. The postings are required by June 30 each year and will be maintained for 5 years.


ARIAC Secretariat

For general enquiries:
Email: [email protected]

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