Internet of Things organization receives $100,000 from OCIF

A non-profit organization that aims to advance IoT, or Internet of Things, technology in Alberta is the latest recipient of a grant from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

The Alberta IoT Association — a  Calgary-based not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2017 with 150 members — has been awarded up to $100,000 over two years from the city fund to support the launch and operation of its Entrepreneur Fast Track Program. Through the program, 90 companies working with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are expected to complete an eight-week training cohort. In total, there will be three cohorts of 15 entrepreneurs per year over two years.

In consumer terms, IoT — a term used to describe a network of inter-related smart devices that can communicate with other over the Internet — incorporates things like smart thermostats and smart home security systems. IIoT, the Industrial Internet of Things, refers to connected devices used in an industrial setting such as the energy sector or manufacturing.

The Entrepreneurial Fast Track Program is intended to help businesses already working in this area to scale up, increase revenues, gain access to new markets, and increase collaboration between tech sector businesses to create new jobs.

“The intense focus of the Fast Track Program will expedite the advancement of Industrial Internet of Things companies in Calgary,” said Brenda Beckedorf, Executive Director of the Alberta IoT Association, in a release.

The digital transformation of industrial sectors is a major focus of the Calgary Economic Development’s strategy for the city. According to CED, IIoT is applicable in many sectors, including agribusiness, clean tech/environment, oil and gas, geospatial, digital technology, transportation and logistics, and emerging sectors artificial intelligence.

The $100-million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) was created by city council in the spring of 2018 and is administered by Calgary Economic Development. The fund is open to applicants who propose projects that will create jobs, help diversify the economy and expand the property tax assessment base.

Alberta IoT is the 13th organization to receive support from OCIF. More than $39 million has been committed from the fund to date and it has spurred investment commitments of $282 million within the city of Calgary.

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