Officially a Canadian entity, Advanced Expert Systems (AES) Canada Ltd has expanded its business from the United Kingdom to Redcliff, Alberta; opening a new location in the Redcliff Technology Enterprise Centre (REDTEC). AES does sophisticated fluid analysis for a complete range of equipment; testing oil, fuel and coolant to provide early failure detection thus improving equipment availability and reducing support costs.
Steve Poke, VP Operations with AES Canada Ltd explained that they began as a UK company doing work primarily with the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), from there they saw a potential in local commercial markets, which is why they became a Canadian Entity. Southeast Alberta was seen as a prime location based on cost of doing business, proximity to industry as well as support from organizations like the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of Southeast Alberta.
“The EDA has helped us tremendously, especially with connecting us to REDTEC. REDTEC met our needs financially and was exactly where we wanted to be- with the oil and gas industry, in Redcliff,” said Poke. “Overall, they moved us in the right direction; we got quite a few leads from the EDA, in particular within Cypress County and the City.”
Poke explained that the organization also acted as a marketing arm promoting AES at events such as the Innovation Experience, held in 2010 and focused on highlighting the tech savvy companies in southeast Alberta.
The EDA’s work with AES since 2008, helped them identify opportunities to diversify into other sectors and ensure that there would be a demand for their services.
“In the initial stages we advised them on the requirements and process of becoming a Canadian entity. They also needed to explore financial and incentive opportunities available to tech savvy companies, to which we advised to look to our community partners such asEntreCorp for assistance” said Tracy Heebner, Associate Director for the EDA. “From there the EDA facilitated meetings with companies and potential buyers in the region, mostly in the energy sector including wind developers, to see how strong the demand for their service would be and to show potential future markets. It was important to identify a variety of opportunities to ensure that the company had room for growth.”
The process of becoming a Canadian entity took approximately 18 months. Due to the company’s overall objective in working with the Department of National Defence (DND) across Canada, they chose to become a federal incorporation versus provincial. Currently they are working with potential clients all across Alberta.
AES is located at REDTEC; a centre that helps small service and manufacturing businesses meet their accommodation and facility requirements. They provide adaptable accommodations for individual needs while retaining common areas such as meeting, reception, kitchen and lunchroom areas. It is an environment with peer-to-peer mentoring and support, with an opportunity to build working partnerships and alliances.