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Energy sector professionals in discussion in a factory

When you think of Calgary, do you think of advancements in industrial technology? This is another area where the city shines, as new companies drive innovation in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The industrial tech space offers huge growth opportunity for Calgary, and our city is ready to show its strengths in this area. Why is innovation in this space such a great fit for Calgary? It’s a fantastic way to take advantage of the deep roots of technical expertise that already exist here.

The IIoT combines the benefits of machines, data, and human insights to create a landscape where we can make better decisions based on real information, in real time. This gives industrial companies a chance to offer significantly better and faster work, and gain a competitive edge.

Energy sector expertise easily translates to the IIoT. Tom Groenland, President & CEO of mcThings, has enormous confidence in our ability to stand out in this area. mcThings is a Calgary company providing businesses with easy access into the world of the Internet of Things. They offer a host of affordable, battery-powered IoT devices as well as the software and services needed to deliver data to the cloud.

As an innovator in the industrial tech space, Groenland says the energy sector was doing this work for a long time before it was called the Industrial Internet of Things. The energy sector has become very technologically advanced, far more than most people realize. It’s not the old-fashioned business that people imagine existed in this region decades ago.

Engineering and efficiencies in the sector are very sophisticated, and companies can build very successful businesses using these resources. The sector is incredibly complex and creative, and in his opinion, the downhole innovation they're doing is just as complex as sending things into space.

Why is Calgary the right city for this sector to advance? Groenland says it's no secret that the Bay area is saturated and investors are looking outwards. It's a gold rush looking for cities that hold new opportunity.

Investment is more effective here, and that’s a huge selling point for those looking for new opportunity. Investors are looking for results and sustainability, so they’re willing to look beyond established Silicon Valley companies.

Calgary is a natural choice, and stands apart from potential competition with the right mix of lifestyle, a vibrant downtown core, and global connectivity. People hired here are ready to make an impact, and appreciate the great culture offered by new companies.

Innovation in the IIoT is a timely shift in the right direction. Groenland says, “In challenging economic times, creativity blooms. That creativity makes people start businesses, innovate, and look for new ideas.”

He pointed out that people and knowledge don't disappear as the economy ebbs and flows. When the price of oil goes down, all that knowledge is still here in the province. Tech talent is significant in Calgary as the energy sector already has a long history of investment in people and technology.

Will those who move to the industrial tech space shift back once the energy sector picks up pace? Groenland isn’t worried. He says people are getting a strong message in Alberta that the industry should diversify, and because of this, there are talented people looking to use their experience in new ways who will stay with new industry even as oil recovers

With an attractive lifestyle, affordable cost of living, and deep wells of technical talent, Calgary has everything needed to make its mark in the industrial tech space.


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