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					                                    TRIP REPORT

                   MINISTERIAL MISSION TO MINNEAPOLIS

                                 December 8 – 10, 2008

Overview:

Minnesota is a national and international leader in groundbreaking scientific research and
innovation in the healthcare and life sciences industries. The life science industry is
extremely important to the state of Minnesota’s economy employing more than 250,000
in nearly 600 organizations in numerous fields (medical devices, pharmaceuticals,
agricultural and industrial biotechnology, and renewable energy).

The mission to the Minneapolis- St. Paul region was anchored with the Life Sciences
Alley Conference and Expo, the largest biotechnology event in Midwestern USA.
Mission planning was done by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology in
collaboration with Trade Team Alberta and participants included 18 Alberta companies.
Major partners and contributors for the mission included the Alberta government
departments of Advanced Education and Technology, International and
Intergovernmental Relations, Finance and Enterprise; Western Economic Diversification
Canada; and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Mission Objectives:

The Alberta mission was undertaken to facilitate growth of Alberta’s knowledge-based
industry sectors through expanded opportunities in the USA. A key growth factor is
increasing awareness of the province’s innovation capacity and highlighting our areas of
strength in biomedical engineering, cardiovascular, and imaging. Minister Horner met
with leading industry representatives and investors to attract research and development
investments from major US companies, promote partnerships, and develop networks for
technology, expertise, and capital sourcing.

Results:

Tuesday, December 9 Minneapolis
Breakfast with the Alberta Delegation
 Met with 30 representatives from Alberta research institutions and life science
   industry to interact and engage with members of the mission to reinforce the
   mission’s objectives.
 Provided an update on Alberta’s Action Plan: Bringing Technology to Market and
   discussed opportunities for collaboration with US companies.
Meeting with Bracco Imaging and Acist Medical Systems Inc. (Bracco-Acist)
 Discussed infrastructure and capabilities in Alberta for biomedical engineering, health
  product development, and clinical trials.
 Explored three major areas of potential collaboration with Bracco-Acist: multimodal
  imaging including software development, interpretative imaging, and soft tissue
  visualization.

Meeting with Bose Corporation Electroforce Systems Group (Bose)
 Discussed potential synergies between corporate research needs, Alberta biomedical
  engineering, and product development capabilities.
 Supported the University of Calgary’s discussion with Bose to determine
  opportunities for collaborative research and the Centre for Integrated Biomedical
  Technology.

Venture Capital and Investor roundtable and luncheon
 Delivered a keynote speech to over 40 Minnesota and area investors describing
   Alberta’s history of innovation and industry success and the new Action Plan for
   Bringing Technology to Market.
 Discussed the features, advantages, and benefits of collaborating with Alberta and
   described potential opportunities for commercialization partnerships and investment
   attraction.

Meeting with Otoka Energy (Otoka)
 Met with senior executives and discussed Otoka’s present activities in Alberta
  and future development of their Drayton Valley biogas facility (announced
  January 14, 2009), opportunities to collaborate with feedstock providers, and
  Alberta’s Nine-Point Bioenergy plan.

VIP Reception of Life Science Alley
 As the sponsor of the main networking event at the Life Science Ally Conference and
   Expo, the Alberta government heightened the profile of the delegation to create
   greater exposure and networking opportunities for our life science sector.
 Minister Horner addressed over 200 senior life sciences executives who attended the
   conference, including keynote speakers Nobel Laureate, Peter Agre, MD, Director
   Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and Paul Keckley, PhD, Executive Director
   of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

Wednesday December 10, 2008
Meeting with Medtronic
 Met with senior executives from Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device
  company, to discuss Medtronic’s long history of supporting cardiovascular clinical
  research at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta in Calgary.
 Explored the challenges of initiating large international clinical research trials and
  discussed opportunities for additional collaborations with Alberta research and
  technology organizations in Medtronic’s target areas of cardiovascular, bone and
  joint, and neurological medical devices.

				
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