The University of Calgary and W21C were honoured to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their first official tour of Canada. The tour took place on July 7 at the University of Calgary’s W21C Research and Innovation Centre.

On July 7, the W21C Team welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the W21C Research and Innovation Centre. We were honoured to be part of the Royal Tour and to help represent the University of Calgary. This historic event allowed us to showcase key technology within the W21C Research and Innovation Centre and our multidisciplinary efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care.

The Tour was a tremendous success! Their Royal Highnesses were very interested in all of the W21C demonstrations including: the ASL Mobile Eye (an eye movement tracking system); iStan (human patient simulator that breathes, bleeds and can tell a doctor where it hurts); WiTAT (wireless bandage that monitors a patient’s core temperature); XSENSOR ForeSite Patient Turn System (a mattress overlay that monitors pressure and indicates when a patient needs to be moved); and CleanKeys (a solid-surface keyboard that can be easily cleaned).

Throughout the Tour, the Royal Couple and other esteemed guests (including Premier Stelmach and Mrs. Stelmach) engaged with our leaders, health care professionals, researchers and graduate students to learn about the technology. The Royal Couple even volunteered to save iStan from cardiac arrest!  After being revived, iStan (voiced by one of the W21C’s Physician Leads) thanked Their Royal Highnesses for visiting the University of Calgary and the W21C, wished them well on the remainder of their Tour and congratulated them on their wedding.

Following the tour of the W21C Research and Innovation Centre, Chancellor Jim Dinning and Board Chair Douglas Black (University of Calgary) presented gifts to Their Royal Highnesses, and Premier Stelmach invited them to unveil a plaque to honor the visit. We will proudly place the plaque in the W21C Research and Innovation Centre.

We want to thank everyone who was involved in facilitating this tour, including all the planners, presenters, volunteers and industry partners (WiTAT, XSENSOR and CleanKeys) who helped ensure the seamless execution of such a milestone event.  We value the contributions of our collaborators at Applied Science Laboratories (ASL) and Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) Air Ambulance. It was also very helpful to utilize technology shared by SMART Technologies and Research in Motion (RIM). These tools helped us present in a professional and sophisticated manner.

We extend our sincere thanks to the University of Calgary and the Government of Alberta for including us in the Royal Tour and creating such an incredible opportunity for the W21C. We also acknowledge the Government of Canada for their support. We were proud to exemplify to Albertans, Canadians and the world some of the exciting work being conducted at the W21C – in partnership with the University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and a number of key collaborators and industry stakeholders.

Funding for the W21C Initiative is provided through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA).  In addition to funding through federal-provincial partners Western Economic Diversification (WED) and Advanced Education and Technology (AET), WEPA funding includes contributions from Alberta Health and Wellness (AH&W), AHS, the University of Calgary, Alberta Innovates (AI), private/corporate donations and contributions through industry partnerships. This funding has helped strengthen the W21C’s position as a leader in the health technology innovation sector.


The W21C Team