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New council to develop tech industry

Brad Zumwalt, a Calgary-based venture capitalist and CEO of Zinc Ventures, will co-chair the council tasked with advising government as it invests in necessary tech training and education to grow Alberta’s tech sector.

Sixteen members have been selected by government to form the Talent Advisory Council on Technology to provide advice and input on strategies, investments and outcomes on tech-related training programs.

The council – a mix of leaders from the tech industry and post-secondary institutions, along with student and labour representatives – will share ideas, help inform policy decisions and identify current and future opportunities to expand Alberta’s tech economy.

“We want to make sure students entering our universities and colleges have the best possible chances at success. Our economy is changing rapidly, and we must continue to ensure that our post-secondary training programs keep pace. With advice from our impressive TACT membership, I know we can continue to offer Albertans the high-quality, innovative training programs needed to succeed in our new and diversified economy.”

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

“It’s the dream of many parents that their child graduates from college or university and has the opportunity to move right into their chosen field for their first job. Our government is investing in programs and training that align with our evolving economy. We’re supporting our province's growing tech sector in innovative and collaborative ways, listening to our stakeholders, and ensuring all Albertans can benefit from this economic growth.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The creation of the Talent Advisory Council on Technology is an important milestone in the implementation of the Growth and Diversification Act – the government’s commitment to create an economy built to last, and is an example of how the province is preparing Albertans for a diversified and tech-savvy economic future. Also included in the act are a number of tax credits to incentivize job creation in the tech sector, and a $50 million investment over three years to add an additional 3,000 tech learning spaces to the province’s post-secondary system and provide scholarships to students.

“It’s an honour to be selected as co-chair of TACT, and to be able to use my extensive industry knowledge to help guide the government toward continued success in the tech sector. I care about the future of the tech sector in Alberta and I’m glad the government is committed to helping it succeed and grow.”

Brad Zumwalt, co-chair, TACT

Council members

The 16 members who were selected to serve on TACT will begin their work in August and continue to meet until February 2019.

Co-chairs:

  • Brad Zumwalt, venture capitalist, Zinc Ventures
  • Rod Skura, Deputy Minister of Advanced Education

Industry representatives:

  • Myrna Bittner, co-founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics
  • Barbara Carra, chief operating officer, Cybera
  • Aaryn Flynn, independent consultant
  • Evan Hu, chair, Calgary Technologies Inc.
  • Tara Kelly, president and CEO, Splice Software
  • Stephen Kenny, founder and president, Above and Beyond
  • Sharon McIntyre, co-founder and process lead, New Cottage Industries
  • Mashhood Qazi, senior project manager, City of Calgary
  • Robert Saik, founder, Agri-Trend group of Companies

Post-secondary representatives:

  • Robert Andruchow, chair, department of art and design and assistant professor, MacEwan University
  • Dru Marshall, provost and vice president academic, University of Calgary

Student representatives:

  • Nadia Ady, PhD student in computing science, University of Alberta
  • Stefan Radeta, undergraduate student in computer information systems, Mount Royal University

Labour organization representative:

  • Anthony (Tony) LeBel, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1944

Media inquiries

Government of Alberta