Impact Action Lab

Leaders in Impact

The Alberta Innovates Impact Action Lab partners with ecosystem players to activate and amplify the collective economic and societal impact of investments in research and innovation.

Our Value Proposition  

How do you know that you are making a difference to people’s lives? Do you hope to make a greater difference in the future? Do you wonder about the ripple effects of your work? Are you facing increased pressure to demonstrate and communicate return on investment (ROI), do more with less, and meet growing expectations for public accountability and societal impact?

If you answered yes to any of the above pain points, the Alberta Innovates Impact Action Lab can help! We work closely with a network of experts and the research and innovation community to foster an impact mindset. We help organizations plan, assess, and measure their progress. We support you in demonstrating and communicating your impact, whether it’s economic, environmental, health, or social.

The Impact Action Lab helps our clients convert their investments into outcomes and impact for Albertans, Canadians, and beyond.

What We Offer

The Impact Action Lab works with research and innovation ecosystem partners, including funders, government agencies, organizations, entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators.

We can help you maximize your impact through the stages of planning, implementing, managing, and communicating.

We combine impact science expertise plus practical implementation and scaling experience, along with a global network of experts and alumni, to deliver best-in-class supports in these areas:

Our Publications

Browse past works produced by the IAL and its network partners.

Alberta Innovates Meta-Analysis of Networks

The purpose of this report is to synthesize network effects on entrepreneurial ecosystems, as well as on economic and societal impacts. The report examines how different network analysis techniques are used to assess and measure networks and discusses network effects associated with high performance and impact. A summary of key findings and actionable insights are presented.

Read the report here.

Alberta Innovates Meta-Analysis of Accelerators

This report presents a meta-analysis of business accelerators and draws out relevant insights to inform on the Alberta entrepreneurial ecosystem. A summary of key insights are presented in the document.

Read the report here.

Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA) Impact Case Study

This report presents the findings from the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta using a retrospective realist impact case study approach. It was conducted to deepen our understanding of network effects and RINSA’s contribution to economic and societal impact in the local region. This report is one of a number of studies being conducted to collectively learn more about the effect of networks on research and innovation ecosystems and provide actionable insights for moving forward.

Read the case study here.

Nascence - Find Your Future Phase 1 Report (Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Navigation)

The Find Your Future project report focuses on entrepreneurial ecosystem navigation, or ‘wayfinding’ for entrepreneurs to find the “right services at the right time” that supports a seamless journey for scaling up and growing of their businesses. The report explores how wayfinding currently works and identifies solutions that enhance a positive experience for entrepreneurs. The Find Your Future project report is the first report in a three-part series. This is the Phase 1 report, which we title ‘Nascence’. It serves as a new beginning, an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, and where we go next. Phase two will engage the community to co-develop processes and tools to enhance the connections between entrepreneurs and ecosystem resources in an entrepreneur-centric way, to promote collaboration on solving scale-up and growth challenges and creating future Alberta ecosystem opportunities.

Read the report here.

Compendium of Tools

The purpose of this report is to understand the current and emerging tools used by policy makers and funders to help foster stronger and vibrant research and innovation ecosystems. The tools and instruments outlined in this report have different goals and features and can be used as levers for change. Understanding jurisdictional gaps and assets across the research and innovation continuum and designing portfolios of programs that include, objectives, the economic and societal impacts, beneficiaries and design the journey from the user perspective is a useful heuristic for stimulating innovation. This report is a starting point in providing a lay of the land and will be used to inform portfolio and program decisions for making a difference to those in our research and innovation ecosystem.

Read the report here.

Featured Webinar

Wayfinder: A Presentation of Dr. Simon Raby’s Findings

The vision of the Alberta Innovates “Find your Future” project is to enhance the connections between entrepreneurs and ecosystem resources to promote collaboration. Phase 1 of the project focuses on entrepreneurial ecosystem navigation, or “wayfinding,” with the aim of exploring how wayfinding currently works and identifying solutions to enhance the experience for entrepreneurs.

Our Vision

We aim to be a leading collaborator for excellence and innovation, achieving positive economic and societal change with and for the Albertans and Canadians who need it most.

We focus on four desired impacts aligned to this vision:

  1. Maximizing collective impact and (social) return on investment;
  2. Building capacity and skills in impact;
  3. Mobilizing evidence to inform policy and practice; and
  4. Embedding, scaling, and optimizing impact in organizations.

Contact Us

To learn more about the work of the IAL, or if you are interested in partnering or working with us, please reach out to

The Impact Action Lab is an interdisciplinary team led by international impact expert Kathryn Graham and Jasper Buys. To contact Kathryn or Jasper directly, please reach out to:

Kathryn Graham, PhD, FCAHS
Executive Director – Impact Action Lab

Jasper Buys, MSocSc
Director – Impact Action Lab