Croft, Mr. William D.

1997 Alberta Science and Technology Community, Recipient

Setting up the Future of Alberta's Science and Technology Sector

Enthusiasm, a driving passion, a keen mind, untiring commitment – these words only begin to describe Mr. William Croft. The tremendous contributions that he has made to Alberta through his dedication to the science and technology community are widely recognized.

A Vision for Alberta

Mr. Croft’s passion and commitment were instrumental in the development of a vision for Alberta that extends well beyond the traditional economic pillars. His vision has founded a strong science and technology community in Alberta driving the creation of wealth and diversification of the economy well into the 21st Century.

Arriving in Alberta two decades ago, Mr. Croft identified fundamental strengths, niches and strategic opportunities for Alberta in order to build an advanced technology infrastruture. Working tirelessly, he succeeded in bringing industry, university, and governments closer together. His efforts were paramount in establishing the Alberta Research Council’s presence in Calgary, Alberta Microelectronics Centre, Calgary Council for Advanced Technology, INFOPORT, and in recruiting key private sector investment.His vision has founded a strong science and technology community in Alberta driving the creation of wealth and diversification of the economy well into the 21st Century.

Bringing Business to Calgary

Mr. Croft’s dedication is visible in his mainstream participation with the Alberta Economic Development and Science and Research Authorities Committees, and the provincial government’s Toward 2000 Together. William Croft as President of the Calgary Research and Development Authority was the architect behind Alberta’s first-ever technology incubator and Discovery Place. While marketing Calgary’s science and technology interests in Canada and around the world, his efforts contributed to the development and relocation of numerous companies to Calgary. Among them are Nortel, Computing Devices Canada, SMART Technologies, Hughes Aircraft Canada, VisuaLabs, and LSI Logic.

A catalyst of growth, William Croft’s dedication has contributed to significant progress. Over the past 15 years, employment in Southern Alberta’s advanced technology community has doubled to 30,000, and the annual revenue from that business sector quadrupled to more than $6.0 billion. Through all of these efforts and accomplishments, Mr. William Croft has achieved a pre-eminent and respected place for Alberta in Canada’s science and technology-based industrial community.

Leaving a Lasting Mark

The future of Alberta’s strong science and technology infrastructure bear many of the fingerprints of Mr. Croft, resulting from his hard work and many substantive contributions, and reflecting his knowledge and dedication to the long term needs of Alberta communities. His enthusiasm, his focus and his drive make Mr. William Croft an outstanding and significant contributor to the advancement of the scientific and technology of Alberta.