(Calgary, Alberta) March 30, 2021 - Alberta Innovates and Innovate Calgary are pleased to announce the third cohort of the Life Sciences Fellowship. The program provides the necessary tools to help life sciences researchers develop entrepreneurial skills so they can navigate the commercialization process and create a successful start-up. The third cohort follows on previous competitions but with an emphasis on digital health.

These start-ups are driven by strong, emerging co-founder teams supporting viable technologies that meet a distinct and unmet need. The successful Fellows have the deep technical expertise needed to successfully translate their research and development into commercially viable products or services.

Through the program's support, Fellows will receive extensive entrepreneurial training and professional development programming, one-on-one mentorship from expert advisors, and access to lab space in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub. Each company will receive up to $200,000 in start-up funding, including a stipend of $55,000 per year. In the end, the program will create more confident and competent research and business leaders and prepare them for the launch of their start-up.


"Providing high-tech careers and diversifying our economy is critical to our province. Commercializing the world-class ideas of our researchers will build on our momentum as a leader in life sciences and pharmaceuticals. We are proud to support the Life Sciences Fellowship program."

Hon. Doug Schweitzer, Minister, Alberta Jobs, Economy and Innovation

"With Fellowships like these, entrepreneurs can advance their research and develop successful businesses around their innovations. These Fellows and their projects demonstrate why Alberta is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, and an attractive place for technology investment."

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

"Talent retention is vital to strengthening our economic growth. Fellowship programs provide an avenue for innovation-focused talent to diversify their skills and accelerate their careers as entrepreneurs."

John Wilson, President & CEO, Innovate Calgary


The Life Sciences Fellowship is supported by $3.5 million in funding from Calgary Economic Development's Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation and Alberta Innovates. The Life Sciences Innovation Hub, including equipped lab space available to Life Sciences Fellows, was established thanks in part to $3.1 million in federal funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada. This is the third cohort of Life Sciences Fellows to be supported by this program since its launch in April 2020. The first two cohorts (listed below) are less than one year into their program, but have already created 10 full-time equivalent jobs, secured one patent (with four additional patent applications under review), secured over $1 million in further grant funding plus $141,000 in investment, and have generated $575,000 in revenue.

Visit Innovate Calgary's Life Sciences Fellowship application page for full program details.

Cohort 3 Fellows and Start-ups (program start: January 2021)

Fellow Start-up Description
Alex Chee Smart Biomedical 'Smart Drain': Facilitating safer chest tube insertion in patients with lung collapse.
Neil Christensen VITAL XR Simulated learning environment and platform for medical training.
Geoff Frost augMEnt Gamifying Low Back Pain Treatment.
David Rosenegger SenseSi Wearable Real-Time Stress Sweat Biosensor,
Logan Skori AgGene Development of high-protein commercial crops using gene editing.


Cohort 2 Fellows and Start-ups (program start: July 2020)

Fellow Start-up Description
Raied Aburashed Vibratus Wearable peripheral neurological testing to characterize and correct gait.
Christopher Bladen Zymedyne Novel pharmaceutical for chronic pain.
David Katz AIndlit Medical Aesthetics Quantitatively-driven cosmetic surgery visualization software.
Ling Tang AnthoBio Proprietary natural health product formulation neuroprotective in multiple sclerosis models


Cohort 1 Fellows and Start-ups (program start: April 2020)

Fellow Start-up Description
Chechen Bing NovusTX Devices High-resolution medical ultrasound imaging with beam focusing.
Jeremie Bourqui Wave View Imaging Non-invasive, non-radiation medical imaging for breast cancer.
Cody Doolan Illucidx Point-of-care diagnostic chip for COVID-19.
Chris D'esterre Andromeda Medical Imaging Perfusion algorithm calculated from standard MRI medical imaging for stroke imaging.


Innovate Calgary is the innovation transfer and business incubator centre for the University of Calgary. As part of the Office of the Vice-President (Research) portfolio, and as a member of the UCalgary innovation ecosystem, we work closely with researchers, faculty, and students to help bridge the gap between discovery and creating economic and societal impact. We do this by going beyond traditional technology transfer services to include focused start-up support programs and services for research-intensive companies.

Innovate Calgary also manages the Life Sciences Innovation Hub programming that offers access to infrastructure, equipment, expertise, and start-up support services for life science-based companies.
For over 30 years, we have supported UCalgary's innovation-driven community. We work alongside the university to create new initiatives to transition discovery to the market.

To learn more: or follow us on LinkedIn.

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignite the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, promote the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans. Alberta Innovates provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity - from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do - bringing together bright minds and great ideas.

Learn how Alberta Innovates.