11 Questions with Perry Kinkaide

Cybera is running a series of blog posts that will showcase Alberta's innovative technology and research community. Over the course of 11 months, we are asking 11 people 11 questions related to technology and research in Alberta.

This month's 11 Questions interview is with Perry Kinkaide. He is currently on a leave of absence from his role as President of ABCtech as he's currently working to create a technology industry association for Alberta.

1. What brought you to Edmonton and what's kept you here? 

I was accepted into graduate school at the University of Alberta and found appeal in spending a few years in a friendly, foreign country (I'm originally from Long Island, New York), as well as the many opportunities for continuous learning by participating in projects promising meaningful change.

2. What three words would you use to describe Alberta's tech sector?

Young. Growing. Promising.

3. What would you say is the greatest challenge of working in the research / tech sector in Alberta?

The value of research is unappreciated as a business process. For example, commercialization is not well understood, prosperity impedes curiosity and Alberta's commercialization infrastructure is still in its infancy. Something I always like to say is, "knowledge without relationships has no value."

4. Following on that, what would you say is the greatest benefit of working in the research / tech sector in Alberta?

There is so much potential to lead, the field is young, and its value is still emerging. Relationships are only now being established between our world-class research universities and Alberta's business sector.

5. How do you stay connected and tapped into Edmonton's research / tech sector?

Mostly, I stay in touch through the Alberta Council of Technologies, meeting entrepreneurs over coffee, attending and organizing networking events among diverse interests, and connecting with student groups province-wide through ABCampusTech.

6. Who inspires you and why?

Ray Kurzweil with his insightful views on singularity and the implications of the rapid emergence of new technologies and the convergence of fields of science. And Mahatma Ghandi with his leadership style: 'There they go, I must hasten after them as I am their leader."  And I'm constantly impressed with today's youth and their "Just do it!" mentality.

7. What book are you currently reading and what do you think of it?

Mancur Olson's The Rise and Decline of Nations analyzes the problem created for the economy as a whole, when successful (narrow) interest groups impose accumulating rigidities which distort resource allocation and slow economic growth. He professes that it is the emergence of new disruptive technologies that contribute to the dramatic economic dislocations that pervade history and we should be aware of is so we want to sustain our prosperity.  The problem he addresses has profound implications for impeding the flow of new knowledge, and sustaining the status quo.

8. What do you think of when you hear the word "cyberinfrastructure"? 

Cloud computing and analytics '€” the transition of human centric to knowledge centric decision making.

9. In your opinion, what are the most exciting technologies out there right now?

Energy '€” fusion; Environment '€” cleanTech, Health '€” cell therapy, Information/Communications '€” analytics.

10. Are there any other fields you're not currently involved in that you would like to see yourself working with?

I would love to do more to promote the relevance of management processes in the commercialization of emerging technologies, as well as exploring the artificial and problematic chasm between Liberal Arts (ethics and leadership, and the professions) knowledge and practice.

11. What advice would you give to someone just starting out as an entrepreneur / researcher / business etc.?

Develop your local and global networks and learn about the role of management in the commercialization of technologies.