A Message from the CEO ...
- April 16, 2013
April 16, 2013
Dear Colleagues, Partners and Friends,
I am honoured and delighted to be at the helm of Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS). The opportunities for AIHS and its partners to make a real difference in the health and lives of Albertans have never been greater. I am excited about these possibilities and want to share some initial thoughts with you about the emerging and future roles for this tremendous organization.
I believe AIHS’s critical role is that of a collaborative leader—proactively working with our partners, in networks and teams, through alliances—to establish Alberta and Canada as a global leader in health research and innovation. The results of such a role will be manifest in quantifiable scientific, socioeconomic and health impacts.
As a community, we share a wealth of established strengths in science and innovation, research, education and health. We have the need in this province and the opportunity to use those strengths to develop an exciting new "knowledge translation industry". What does that mean? In addition to the translation of health research discoveries into health and economic benefits for Albertans, I strongly believe we need to create a new environment and culture for the rapid use of high quality health information that has the potential to become as valuable as the natural resources that originally put this province on the map.
A recent change in our structure supports our growing leadership role in the health arena. Our new home as of April 1 is with Alberta Health. As a partner with Alberta Health, we can deliver a key research and innovation piece to the development of a health system that can create efficiencies, grow knowledge capital, and deliver excellent patient experiences. We will retain essential linkages to the other Alberta Innovates corporations and to their communities of science, innovation and commercialization expertise.
Our proximity to the health system is optimal for helping us deliver on our vision: to make a real difference in peoples’ health and wellbeing. The priority areas where we need to work to support that vision are laid out in Alberta’s Health Research and Innovation Strategy. Over the past two years, AIHS has restructured its funding opportunities to invest in top quality research that supports those priorities. And we are supporting at full throttle: our latest Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunities (CRIO) funding announcements mean that more than $54 million is committed to health research and innovation over the next five years—look for more news in the coming weeks about upcoming funding opportunities.
We’ll continue building on our existing CRIO tools with the focus on supporting excellence in research and knowledge translation in provincial and national networks. We will work closely with all of our government, academic, industry and public stakeholders across Alberta—as well as nationally and internationally—to build a rich research and training environment. This in turn will attract research and innovation investments to the province as will new global partnerships focused on essential platforms that will benefit all stakeholders involved in all modes of research. Specifically, AIHS will continue to support activity within and across all four pillars of health research—biomedical, clinical, health systems and services, and health of populations—that truly engages end-users as active participants.
We have a responsibility to Albertans to show that we are making a difference in their lives. The best way we can uphold that responsibility is to make it a shared one whenever possible. We all have a role to play in unleashing opportunities for innovation, no matter if we are researchers, students, administrators, clinicians, policy-makers, patients, funders, industry partners, or front-line health professionals. Working in community, through engagement, in collaborations, in partnership—where ideas, resources and expertise can cross-fertilize—this is how we will have an impact. Together we can make a difference in the lives of Albertans.
I look forward to meeting and re-meeting as many of you as possible over the months and years to come.
Cy Frank, MD, FRCPC
Chief Executive Officer
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions