Iunctus a field leader

Building strong academic and public institutions is fundamental to fostering innovation that will lead to a successful and sustainable technology sector.

As well, strong business communities and research hubs are required to create a viable technology economy to provide jobs for graduates and skilled professionals. In that regard, Lethbridge-based Iunctus Geomatics Corp. is leading the way.

The company, which was founded by U of L alumnus Ryan Johnson (BSc '98, MSc '00) and employs a significant number of U of L graduates, was recently an Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) winner in the Outstanding Achievement in Applied Technology and Innovation category.

Back Row (L to R) Sam Lieff (BSc '03, MSc '06), award presenter Alex Zahavich – SAIT, Scott Soenen (BSc '03, MSc '06). Front Row (L to R) Brett Michelson (BSc '99), Ryan Johnson (BSc '98, MSc '00, 2005 Alumni Honour Society Inductee).

Since the company was founded in 2000, Iunctus (a Latin mathematical term meaning "to bring together") has developed leading remote sensing products. Among them is the TerraEngine, which facilitates the storage and transmission of large files of digital imagery over the Internet.

Additionally, their remote sensing data is used to create geographical maps and other data for industries including agriculture, disaster management, forestry, telecommunications planning and oil exploration.

Iunctus has two sister companies, BlackBridge, a data centre company, and PrioraNet Canada, a joint venture with the Swedish Space Corporation which operates ground stations.

The company currently employs more than 50 people who support the satellite operations of the German Space Agency (DLR), French Space Agency (CNES), as well as manage all the data over North America for SPOT Image. Iunctus supports the operational requirements of clients across Canada in all segments of land management from commercial to government.

Iunctus is also a partner with the University of Lethbridge in a separate business called the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Corp. (ATIC) that focuses on developing more commercial applications for remote sensing technologies.

True to its name, Iunctus is literally bringing together the geomatics industry in Lethbridge. Iunctus recently invested $1 million into a partnership with the City of Lethbridge to sponsor tecconnect – an Alberta centre for new commerce in a new facility designed to attract, incubate and develop technology companies through commercialization of their products and services.

"We hope to make a big difference in the community by attracting other technology businesses to our city," says Johnson, the Iunctus president. "We are helping young entrepreneurs by building a hub for technology companies to grow and stay in Lethbridge."

This story originally appeared in the December issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue of the December Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.