Alberta Innovates

Alberta has a new way to drive research and accelerate great ideas into innovations to improve our lives and economy. The Government of Alberta is consolidating existing agencies (Bio Solutions, Energy and Environment Solutions, Health Solutions and Technology Futures) into one corporation called Alberta Innovates that will fund and drive innovations.

As of November 1, 2016, Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) will be one part of Alberta Innovates (AI).  All references to Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions should be changed to Alberta Innovates.


Standard Operating Procedures

On July 1, 2016, Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (HREBA) adopted the Research Ethics Board Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which have been developed by the Network of Networks (N2) and the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB).

These SOPS are compliant with applicable Canadian and US regulatory and ethics guidance criteria.  They provide a model which will  facilitate the distribution, adoption and maintenance of a single standard for REBs in Canada.

Use of SOPs also ensures that the ethics board is constituted appropriately and conducts its processes in a way that protects the rights and safety of study participants.

A list of the SOPs and links to the pdf documents can be found here.


New Main Consent Form Template

As of 01 July 2016, all new adult oncology studies will be required to follow the HREBA Cancer Committee main consent template, which is now posted.  Study teams are welcome to begin using the new template at any time before 01 July, after which point it will become mandatory.

Clinical Trials – External View of Studies in IRISS

To assist researchers whose studies also require approvals from Alberta Health Services (AHS) or Covenant Health for the use of their resources for research purposes (e.g., facilities, equipment, staff, patients or their records and systems), the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (HREBA) at Alberta Innovates (AI) is allowing AHS and Covenant Health access to the IRISS system. Access is being granted in order to facilitate applicable organizational approvals. This new agreement will streamline processes and eliminate duplication, resulting in greater efficiency. Please note this does not apply to purchasing AHS lab services for study purposes, as there are separate service provider agreements that are to be completed.  More information is available here.  

HREBA Reviewing All Cancer Studies

The HREBA Cancer Committee is now receiving all new adult and pediatric cancer studies from across Alberta which require ethics review.  This significant step continues the harmonization of the work of Alberta’s research ethics boards.

Studies which have been approved by other ethics boards in the province will be transferred to HREBA during April 2016.  More information is available in this background document.

Expanded External View Access to the IRISS System

To assist researchers whose studies, in addition to ethics review, also require approvals from Alberta Health Services (AHS) or Covenant Health, the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (HREBA) at Alberta Innovates (AI) is providing AHS and Covenant Health with expanded access to the IRISS system.

This new agreement will streamline processes and eliminate duplication and result in greater efficiency.

Read more…