Minister Vandal announces nearly $4.5M investment in Yukon innovation and entrepreneurship

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Funding for the linked efforts of Yukon University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Yukonstruct Society supports resilience and growth

A key part of Canada’s economic recovery is supporting businesses as they adapt, grow, and move forward from the pandemic. Businesses and entrepreneurs need a strong foundation, built on technological innovation and clean growth to create the workforce of the future.

Across the territories, Northern and Indigenous partners are building a path forward through creativity, collaboration and determination. In the Yukon, this is demonstrated by the united efforts of the Yukon’s innovation community, which has worked closely together to adapt and grow through challenging times.

CanNor invests in innovation ecosystem across the Yukon

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor, and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, announced that the Government of Canada is investing nearly $4.5 million through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to support the Yukon innovation ecosystem as it continues to adapt, grow and build beyond the pandemic.

This funding, delivered by CanNor, supports two five-year projects located under one roof in Whitehorse but with impacts that span the territory.

Managed by Yukonstruct Society, NorthLight Innovation is the first innovation hub North of 60. The facility brings Yukonstruct members and services together with hub partners. CanNor is investing $2,123,248 towards NorthLight Innovation with a further investment of $743,250 from the Government of Yukon for the first three years as well as $5,255,040 from the proponent. The total cost of the project is $8,121,538.

A key hub partner, Yukon University uses NorthLight Innovation to house the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E). The I&E fosters business growth and innovation to support early-stage entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovative companies with high-growth potential. CanNor is investing $2,341,818 towards the I&E with a further commitment of $2,505,000 from the Government of Yukon for the first three years and $560,000 from the proponent. The total cost of the project is $5,406,818.

During the first year, funding provided relief and support to innovators and entrepreneurs and tools needed for fast development of products such as personal protective equipment. I&E and the broader NorthLight facility were able to pivot programs and services online and offer flexible support for start-ups, businesses and innovators based on emerging needs. Funding will allow these facilities to offer stable, responsive support to the Yukon’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Small- and medium-sized businesses, innovators and early-stage start-ups and the organizations that support them represent the backbone of regional economies. They generate quality local jobs and are a source of pride for their communities. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of economic sectors with a focus on strengthened entrepreneurship and Northern innovation.

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