"Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress."

                                              Li Keqianq

Dr. Barry E. Prentice is a Professor of Supply Chain Management, at the I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba and a charter member of the Transport Institute. His major research and teaching interests include logistics, transportation economics, and trade policy. Dr. Prentice holds degrees from Western University (1973), University of Guelph (1979) and University of Manitoba (1986). Dr. Prentice has authored or co-authored more than 300 research reports, journal articles and contributions to books. His popular textbox, Concepts of Transport Economics, is in publication. Through scholarly works, he has been recognized for excellence in national paper competitions and awards. In 1999, National Transportation Week named him Manitoba Transportation Person of the Year.

In 2002, Dr. Prentice began the resurgence of interest in using cargo airships in Canada for Northern transportation, at the first Airships to the Arctic conference, held by the University of Manitoba.  In 2005, he co-founded ISO Polar as a not-for-profit institute to coordinate airship research and hold further Airships to the Arctic Conferences. In 2011, Dr. Prentice opened Buoyant Aircraft Systems International (BASI), to undertake airship and drone research at a newly constructed hanger at St. Andrews Airport. A 24-meter airship was built at the University of Manitoba as a research platform. A smaller 18-meter, radio-controlled airship was flown to test systems for the shipment of supplies to remote communities and mines. The entire research facility and aircraft were destroyed in a violent storm in 2015 www.buoyantaircraft.com.  In 2018, his proposal for an “Electric Cargo Airship System” won the People’s Choice Award at the CanInfra Challenge.

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Dr. Barry Prentice

Founder, President & CEO of Buoyant Aircraft Systems International (BASI)

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Dr. David Robinson

School of Northern and Community Studies
Laurentian University

Dr David Robinson is associate professor of economics at Laurentian University in Northern Ontario. An expert on Northern Ontario economic development, the first to identify and promote the central role of the mining supply and services sector in Northeastern Ontario. He also conceived of and initiated the new McEwan School of Architecture at Laurentian and has consulted for forest-dependent communities and first nations groups.

He is the author of books on game theory and on the economic theory of community forestry, as well as book chapters on innovation and economic development for Northern Ontario. He is best known locally for over 150 columns focussing on Northern economic issues in Northern Ontario Business Magazine. He does frequent interviews for the broadcast media and chairs the Editorial board of Sudbury Mining Solutions Magazine.

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Dr. Pierre Rivard, P. Eng., M. Eng., MBA

Executive Chairman of TUGLIQ Energy Co

Mr. Rivard serves as Executive Chairman of TUGLIQ Energy Co., dedicated to energy diversification of Northern mining sites through renewable energy and innovative storage technologies, including small-scale LNG Liquid Natural Gas and hydrogen systems. Prior to Executive Chairman, Pierre Rivard served as President & CEO from 2011 to 2016. Mr. Rivard’s past successes include the launch and IPO of a NASDAQ-listed hydrogen fuel cell company (Hydrogenics NASDAQ : HYGS, TSX : HYG), that he served as founding President & CEO and later as Executive Chairman. At Hydrogenics, he built an award winning high performance team that was recognized as Canada’s fastest growing company in 2003 and received numerous awards. Mr. Rivard now serves as an investor in and director of several Cleantech enterprises, having raised more than $150 M in capital, and having secured strategic alliances with global partners. He holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, for life-time achievements in energy technology and entrepreneurship, M. Eng. (Mechanical) from the University of Toronto, MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, B.Eng. (Mechanical) from Royal Military College of Canada. Pierre Rivard is married to Catherine Paquet-Rivard, a Cisco Press author and network architect. They have a daughter, Laurence, and a son, Simon.

Sébastien BOUGON

Founder of Flying Whales

Sébastien, 51, is an engineer. He started his carrier in construction industry, then moved to media industry. He has also been Managing Director of a private equity fund. He completed his own buy out and a successful restructuration of a company he sold in 2012. Finally, he founded FLYING WHALES.


Douglas Morrison

CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI)

Douglas Morrison has over 35 years of industry experience; 15 years in operations in the deep nickel-copper mines in Sudbury, and 16 years consulting internationally with Golder Associates, living and working in Australia, South America and Europe.  His focus has always been on mine safety and productivity and he has participated in many of the early attempts to introduce new technologies in mines.  Since 2012 he has been the CEO of CEMI, helping to develop technologies that will dramatically increase the ROI and NPV of mining projects by increasing production rates and reducing labour and energy costs, and changing mine waste management systems. Given the importance of developing new mineral deposits in remote locations, and how lack of conventional power and transportation infrastructure limits these developments, he believes we have to develop alternate solutions to delivering power and transportation systems in remote arctic locations, first for the benefit of local populations and second to help enable natural resource development.

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Dirk Naumann

President at Torngat Metals Ltd.

Dirk has been involved with rare earths for more than 30 years: first in the 1980s developing rare earth magnets and their manufacturing processes, then producing rare earth compounds as the active material for rechargeable batteries, and more recently using rare earth in a wide range of catalysts as a means for process intensification. Now Dirk is driving the development and engineering for Torngat Metals` Strange Lake Project.

Dirk`s career path spans TH Goldschmidt AG, a specialty chemicals company in Germany, (now Evonik); Bayer AG in Germany and Canada, construction of production facilities in Sarnia, Ontario; VALE, and Juniper Associates, an international consulting firm. Dirk has a degree in chemistry and a doctorate in natural sciences.

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Jim DeLaurier 

Independent Aviation & Aerospace Professional

Professor James DeLaurier received his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and worked at the NASA Ames Research Center during the Apollo Program in 1965–66.  In 1970 he worked at the Sheldahl Corporation to develop modern aerostats as well as designing a wing-shaped balloon that would later be the inspiration for a configuration of hybrid airship.


In 1974 Dr. DeLaurier established a research team at the University of Toronto, and was in charge of the Low-Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory.  This group tested wind-tunnel models and flying prototypes for several new types of airships, as well as developing flight-dynamic simulations for aerostats and airships that have been used for the certification of new commercial airships in England, the U.S. and Germany.


Other projects include the first successful airplane powered by microwave power transmission.  This was the initiative of the Communications Research Centre, and was called SHARP (Stationary High-Altitude Relay Platform).  Also, fundamental research has been performed on the challenging topic of flapping-wing flight, which led to three successful ornithopters (1991, 2006, and 2010) that are now at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.


Prof. DeLaurier continues to perform consulting work on LTA topics, and his recent clients are Lindstrandtech, Goodyear Airship Operations, and TCOM.


Gennady Verba

President & CEO of RosAeroSystems / Atlas 

Gennady Efimovich Verba graduated from the Lviv Polytechnic Institute in 1990 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics. Tsiolkovsky, Vice-President of the Russian Aeronautical Society, a member of the International Airship Association. Author of scientific papers, developments and inventions of a number of key technologies in the production of modern aeronautical equipment.

In 1987-1991, he was one of the founders and chairman of the scientific and technical council of the Scientific and Technical Center for Aerostatic Engineering "Eros" (Lviv, Ukraine); 1992-1996 - Vice President, Worldwide Aeros Corporation (Los Angeles, USA); From 1997 to the present - Chairman of the Board of Directors of RosAeroSystems Scientific and Production Association, leading topics - ™ New transport system based on ATLANT ™ technology the largest and most modern Russian airship, the AU-30, was created, a number of tethered balloon models ranging from 400 to 19,000 cubic meters.

Since 2017, Gennady Verba has headed the Israeli company ATLAS LTA Advance Technologies, Ltd., where he has been developing high-altitude aerostatic platforms, ATLANT transport airships, and other advanced technologies in the field of aeronautics.

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Jeff Armstrong

President of Cold Climate Building Inc.

Jeff Armstrong has been designing and building energy efficient buildings since his days as a carpenter in the late 1970’s. With degrees in architecture from Ryerson and McGill Universities, he has been a leading-edge designer, builder and teacher for over 30 years, including 13 years as a trainer for CMHC International. His construction firm, DAC International, exported pre-fabricated wood-frame buildings to the Canadian Arctic, Japan, the UK, Ireland and the US.  Jeff now heads Cold Climate Building Inc., a consultancy with a focus on Arctic housing.


Dale George

Founder & CTO of Buoyant Aircraft Systems International (BASI)

Dale George holds an Industrial Design Degree from Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario where he majored in New Product Design, Materials and Methods. He has won many awards and scholarships including the prestigious Design Canada Award and Ontario's Premiers Award. As well, he holds many design and intellectual patents and was a guest of honour at the Innovation Center at The University of Waterloo.


Mr. George has over 35 years of entrepreneurial experience specializing in “start-up” companies and new idea development. He owned and operated Advertising Airships along with hands-on repairs and new designs. Currently designing a cargo airship transportation system for operations in Northern Canada. His research includes the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas in LTA vehicles and as a fuel source with zero carbon emissions. Revolutionary gas cells have been developed using advanced materials and methods to secure helium and hydrogen.


Dale is a member of the Airship Association, EAA, COPA, UPAC, and MAAC, holds a private pilot's license, and has restored and owned many different aircraft, including airships.


Jay Godsall

CEO Solar Ship Inc.

Jay is a Canadian entrepreneur based in Toronto. At McGill University in 1989, Jay wrote an economics thesis proposing the use of airships for transport in landlocked countries in Africa. In the early 1990s, Jay created Idea Bank Inc., a venture catalyst that has launched 30 new ventures and raised over $100M in start-up financing - primarily in transport, health, environment and communications.

In 2006, Jay created Solar Ship Inc. to develop a solar powered hybrid aircraft for delivering critical cargo to remote areas. Solar Ship recently partnered with the largest investors in African aviation to develop an aircraft for delivering cargo to remote areas, starting with a focus on disaster relief and emergency response applications.


Dr. Robert R. Boyd

Program Manager, Hybrid Airships Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Robert (Bob) Boyd is the Program Manager of Hybrid Airships for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Advanced Development Programs. He is responsible for leading all Hybrid Airship development and production activities including the LMH-1, 20 metric ton capacity commercial airship.  He oversees development, certification, and production of the LMH-1 vehicles.  Additionally, he leads the advanced development activities for the proposed larger LMH-2 and LMH-3 airships.


Dr. Boyd has a diverse background in the aerospace field with industry, government, and university experience over three decades.  His experience includes low and high altitude airships, high speed concepts including missiles, aircraft and space launch systems, in-space architectures such as tethers, advanced unmanned aircraft and heavy transports.


Dr. Boyd holds doctoral and bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from The Ohio State University, has authored papers, has five patents granted and others pending, and is a graduate of numerous leadership training programs.  He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and serves on the Airship Technical Committee.  He and his family reside in Valencia, California.

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Patrick Walsh

CEO AirSign

Patrick is a passionate aviator and marketing guru. Specializing in creating fun and engaging campaigns for his clients through social media and various aerial advertising products, Patrick has found airships as the ultimate catalyst in outdoor advertising. In 2017 AirSign acquired the Lightship Group and the American Blimp Company and currently operate airships in North American for advertising and broadcast capabilities. Patrick resides in Williston FL with his wife and nine children.

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Toby Page

Toby Page has 20 years of experience in the Lighter-than-air industry, predominantly in the areas of airship sales, marketing and campaign management. A British citizen by birth, he joined The Lightship Group (TLG) in 1998 as an Account Manager touring Europe with one of Goodyear’s famous blimps. TLG, owned by the Virgin Group, was formed as a joint venture by Richard Branson and the American airship manufacturer, American Blimp Corp., and grew to become the world’s largest and most successful blimp advertising company. In 1999 Toby moved to the United States to head up TLG’s North American sales, and then in 2003 became Global Marketing Director. In 2012 TLG was acquired by Van Wagner, and when Van Wagner Airship Group was acquired by Airsign in 2017, Toby became EVP Sales.

Toby has experience selling and managing blimp campaigns across the globe, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, China, Japan, and extensively throughout Europe. During his time with TLG Toby has been directly responsible for sales worth in excess of $150 million, and has worked closely with many Television Networks and Fortune 500 companies to design and manage some of the world’s most successful blimp campaigns, such as Goodyear, Anheuser-Busch, Monster.com, Sanyo, MetLife, Saturn (General Motors), Holden (General Motors Australia), NBC Universal, and AT&T/Directv.

1995 – Graduated University of Lancaster (UK) with a BSc in Marketing.

Toby lives in Orlando, Florida, with his wife and three children, and is a dual UK/US Citizen.

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Klaus Lynge Petersen

Klaus Lynge Petersen is the Director of Ideation and Cluster Technologies at the Danish wind turbine company, Vestas Wind System A/S.

The thread of his career is to link upcoming sustainable technologies, with commercially viable sales solutions. During his former employment at Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, his focus was the commercialization of a new and European railway solution, to take over cargo volumes from traditional road haulage solutions. Today this rail solution is more reliable, less polluting and even more cost efficient for significant trade volumes.

Now at Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine company, Mr. Petersen is devoted to reducing CO2 emissions when moving wind turbine components. As well as increasing the global transportability of wind turbines, his goal is to enable accessibility to even more geographically remote areas so that they may obtain affordable, sustainable electricity supply.

Guy S Ginter

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Guy has been working with Moose Cree First Nation for the past seven years as the Director of the Impact and Benefit Agreement. an agreement between Moose Cree and De Beers Canada.  In addition, Guy is the Vice President and represents Moose Cree First Nation on the Board of Directors of Kimesskanamenow Corporation, the company responsible for managing the building and maintenance of the James Bay Winter Road. 

Guy received his Business Degree from Lakehead University.  Guy is a Certified Professional Purchaser (C.P.P.) and a Certified Supply Management Professional (SCMP) through the Supply Chain Management Association of Canada.  Guy is also a Certified Instructor  with the Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario and has been teaching supply chain professionals since 2002. Guy has been working in Supply Chain Management for thirty years with specialized knowledge in the areas of  logistics, negotiations and contract law.

His work experience has been focused on First Nations, mining, and energy.  In the past several years, Guy has participated in bringing airships into Canada and as a result has been a speaker at a number of national and international events for the promotion of this exciting opportunity.  Guy and Moose Cree have formally studied the value and business opportunities associate with airships and hope to bring these benefits to First Nations in the north.

Igor Pasternak

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Igor Pasternak is the Founder and CEO of Worldwide Aeros Corp. (Aeros), a global destination for the design and manufacturing of lighter-than-air (LTA) aircraft. Pasternak is internationally recognized, as one of the world’s leading experts in the design and construction of FAA certified airships.


Pasternak was born in Kazakhstan inside the Soviet Union, and formed a childhood fascination with LTA aircraft, that has driven his life’s work. He formed his first company, Aeros Ltd., in the Ukraine. Pasternak then immigrated to the US in 1993 and founded Aeros.


As Aeros’ Chief Engineer, he is the architect of the Aeroscraft, the world’s first rigid-hull, variable-buoyancy air vehicle with true vertical take-off and landing capability at maximum payload, while operating without external ballast. The Aeroscraft will globally expand military mobility capability, aid global commerce and commercial cargo logistics, and reduce fuel consumption, as well as implementing other clean energy innovations.

Grant Cool, Ph.D., P.Eng

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Grant Cool is the President of Thor Aerospace Inc., bringing Lockheed’s Hybrid Airship operations to Canada. Prior to this, Dr. Cool was the operations subject matter expert for Lockheed Martin on the development of its LMH-1 Hybrid Airship. From 2000 to 2011, Dr. Cool was the President and Chief Engineer of Kivalliq Marine Exploration in Canada, an Arctic and Antarctic marine exploration, survey and logistics firm that served many governments, mining and energy companies.  Previous work includes non-GPS based navigation systems design and delivery, design and testing of cold weather aircraft systems for aircraft manufacturers, and management of on-orbit experiment systems and systems design for Canadian Space Agency.


Dr. Cool holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, System Design and Testing from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and is a licensed professional engineer in Canada.

Brian Bosse

Vice President, Murenbeeld & Co.

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Brian Bosse began investing as a floor trader on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1995.  During the 1997-2003 technology boom and bust he was a successful proprietary trader for Dundee Corporation. In 2003 Brian resigned from Dundee to begin investing in, and then rehabilitating, troubled investment dealers. Société Générale’s Canadian Newedge division recruited Brian to build an institutional trading business in Canadian Equities. 


In late 2012 Ned Goodman as CEO of Dundee Corporation asked Brian to return as founding Portfolio Manager for the Goodman Bluespring Fund. Family offices in Toronto now turn to Brian for strategy and leadership after existing investments turn sour.


In 2016 Brian, together with Doctor Martin Murenbeeld, started the research subscription business Murenbeeld & Co. where he is an integral part of building models and indices, such as equity market valuation models and the Mining Finance Window Index. 


Brian is also the CEO of International Corona Capital Corp and Chief Financial Officer of Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. He invests in both private and public equities through growth inputs which raise intrinsic value. Brian holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and an Honours degree in Economics from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Canada.

Nancy Wood


Nancy Wood has earned the respect of clients with her wealth of experience, gained not only through the work she has carried out at for over 22 years working with Indigenous communities at McLeod Wood Associates Inc., but also from her early career working in the Canadian mining industry and within the Ontario Government. She has a fundamental understanding of how government works, of how First Nations function and what the private sector needs to navigate a complex landscape in a constantly changing future. She’s up for the challenge.

Recognizing the value that multi community infrastructure development projects bring to Indigenous communities, (including electricity transmission, electrical distribution, infrastructure development, and transportation projects) Nancy has been instrumental in seeing First Nation owned and operated multi-million dollar projects successfully through to completion.

Serving as the President of Kimesskanemenow Limited Partnership and First Logistic, she has been integrally involved with the Western James Bay Winter Road for over 17 years, building a multi million company from the ground up. Her work has involved developing local capacity while balancing community and local contractors’ needs with the requirements of a major mining company and government, ensuring that the road gets safely built each year on time and within budget.

Ely Paiva

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Ely Paiva is PhD in Electrical Engineering and is Professor of the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Until 2010, he was a researcher at the Federal Research Center Renato Archer (CTI), also in Campinas, when he was co-responsible for the modelling, simulation and control of the pioneer AURORA airship, which in year 2000 made the first autonomous flight of an outdoor unmanned airship of the scientific literature.


At this moment, Prof. Ely Paiva is in a Sabbatical program at the Concordia University of Montreal, Canada. He is investigating the optimal guidance approach for the new NOAMAY airship to be used for monitoring/surveillance in Amazonia. His research interests include modelling, simulation, nonlinear control, autonomous vehicles and robotics.


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Ernesto Soria

Director of Business Development for Varialift Airships

Ernesto Soria is the Director of Business Development for Varialift Airships PLC. He was educated in Mexico, Europe and East Africa. A private pilot, he has a BSc in Engineering and MA Degree in International Studies from the University of Reading in the UK. Speaking various languages, he has directed business development for innovative high-tech software and hardware solutions including technology transfer worldwide with major public institutions, private, financial and industrial corporations. He is an advisor for Carbon Africa. He is married and has three children