August 3, 2021 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada
Successful small and medium- size businesses provide quality jobs for Canadians, spur innovation and contribute to a resilient Canadian economy. The Government of Canada is committed to helping these businesses access the tools and supports they need to grow and bring their innovative products and services to new regional, national and international markets.
Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced a $5 million investment under the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program to increase access to supports and resources for Alberta-based small- and medium sized technology companies.
The federal investment will enable Alberta Innovates to expand funds available to not-for-profit business accelerators participating in its Scale-Up and Growth Accelerator Program. Alberta Innovates is a provincial organization that provides funding programs, advice, connections, technical expertise and applied research services to stimulate and grow research and innovation across Alberta. Funding will further bolster Alberta Innovates’ efforts to attract and encourage local and global business accelerators to Alberta. Business accelerators play a critical role in enabling companies to scale and grow at a faster rate through supports such as training and mentorship, access to investors and networks, and logistical and technical resources.
Approximately 300 Alberta technology firms across a range of economic sectors are expected to benefit from the initiative over the next three years. Western Economic Diversification Canada funding will complement an investment of up to $25 million from Alberta Innovates, bringing total funding for the initiative to up to $30 million.
“Alberta has a burgeoning technology sector, but we’ve heard from early- and mid-stage companies about the critical need to help accelerate their development and growth. We are making this investment to help encourage and attract local and global business accelerators to offer their supports to Alberta firms. This is a proactive and collaborative approach to providing Alberta’s tech entrepreneurs with the networks, capital, and resources they need to bring their innovative products to market and create quality jobs for Albertans.”
– The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies
“Alberta has a burgeoning technology sector, but we’ve heard from early- and mid-stage companies about the critical need to help accelerate their development and growth.” – Hon. Jim Carr
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“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovation across the country as we build back better. Innovative businesses, like those participating in Alberta Innovates’ Scale-Up and Growth Accelerator Program will be drivers of our economy in the future. That’s why strategic investments from our Government are positioning innovators for Canada’s future economic success.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovation across the country as we build back better.” – Hon. Mélanie Joly
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“This additional funding augments the $25 million that our government is putting towards tech accelerators in Alberta. With funding from all three levels of government, we are going to fill the gap that exists and build on the huge momentum we are seeing in tech companies across Alberta.”
– Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“Business growth and scale-up is critically important to Alberta’s technology-based businesses. This partnership with Western Economic Diversification extends our ability to help these businesses grow, attract investment and thrive.”
– Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
The Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), is investing $5 million for Alberta Innovates to attract and encourage local and global business accelerators to Alberta.
Business accelerators play a key role in helping to propel promising technology companies through scale up and growth at a faster rate.
WD funding will support the Alberta Innovates’ Scale Up and Growth Accelerator Program, which launched with a request for proposals from business accelerators on March 31, 2021. WD’s contribution to this program will only be used to fund not-for profit accelerators.
The Government of Canada’s regional development agencies are delivering the RIE program across Canada. WD is delivering RIE in Western Canada.