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Bringing investment back to Alberta

Provincial Press Release September 17, 2020 @ 11:31am published at 11:50 AM

A government-wide strategy will create jobs and drive investment and diversification in Alberta, while a new consultation will modernize intellectual property in the province.

Alberta’s Investment and Growth Strategy (IGS) is a $75-million initiative led by the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. The IGS builds on Alberta’s existing strengths – including energy, tourism and agriculture – as well as emerging sectors like technology in order to create jobs and jump-start Alberta’s economic recovery.

As a key component of preparing Alberta’s economy for the future, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, and Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish have also announced a consultation with the technology sector to modernize Alberta’s intellectual property laws.

“Alberta is coming to play in the tech and innovation space. We’re putting the rest of Canada on notice that we are going to beat provinces like Ontario and B.C. to punch by moving policy at the speed of business. The first of many policy steps is to develop the best framework for intellectual property so ideas can be turned into businesses and jobs.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“Our post-secondary institutions are home to groundbreaking research and new discoveries which, often times, have incredible potential to translate into new startups and business ventures. This commercialization of research is an important mandate for our post-secondary system, and in consultation with our institutions we are working to strengthen their commercialization potential which will help diversify the economy and set our students up for success.” Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Tech is not just an industry – it’s the future of every industry. This announcement is a bold step to break down barriers and attract technology investment in Alberta, which will create good jobs for a modern economy. With the right IP framework, more investors will put their capital to work in Alberta to develop new technologies.” Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

The IGS will help showcase Alberta to the world, and highlight why the province is one of the best places in the world to do business. The strategy highlights key areas of strength that set Alberta apart from other jurisdictions, including the province’s young and educated workforce, strong economic fundamentals and exceptional environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

The IGS also outlines a number of sector-specific strategies currently under development by the government and builds on the immediate actions in Alberta’s Recovery Plan to create jobs and diversify the economy.

The strategy also addresses longer-term actions needed to create a stronger and diverse economy so Alberta can adapt to new opportunities that arise as the global economy changes.

Alberta’s government will work with other levels of government, as well as with industry stakeholders, to carry out the actions in the strategy. The IGS also outlines the importance of the Invest Alberta Corporation, which was created this summer to bring high-impact investment to Alberta and to increase investor engagement, both nationally and internationally.

“We’re moving faster than any government in Canada to create an economic recovery that puts Albertans back to work. Alberta has always been an economic engine for the rest of the country, and the Investment and Growth Strategy will jumpstart growth and investment in the economies of the future.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

 “The Government of Alberta’s focused intention on building the best framework for intellectual property laws as part of its Investment and Growth Strategy will help attract more investment and continues to support the vision for Calgary being the destination for people who embrace technology to solve global challenges such as cleaner energy, safe and secure food, safer transport of goods and people, and better health solutions. With government policies that support growth of our key industries and emerging sectors, we can create a better future for our city and our province.” Mary Moran, president and chief executive officer, Calgary Economic Development

“It is critical at this time that Alberta has a solid strategy for how to reignite its economy, create jobs and be a highly competitive place to invest and do business. Economies all around the world are looking for a jump-start and Alberta has the key foundational pieces in its Investment and Growth Strategy. By being focused on the development and growth of key sectors where we have natural assets and strengths, we have the potential to pull away from our competitors.” Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta

“Alberta Enterprise Group is excited to see the continued focus on jobs, the economy and innovation. Alberta has thrived in key areas like energy tourism and agriculture, and we have to keep focus on those fundamental areas while developing technology and other sectors to properly diversify our economy. Alberta is about diversification; it is ‘as well as’ not ‘instead of’ energy. Alberta has always demonstrated the pioneering attitude for adapting to new opportunities.” John Liston, president, Alberta Enterprise Group

“This announcement sends a message that Alberta is stepping up to the plate to foster an environment where ambitious entrepreneurs, emerging companies and experienced talent come together to build the next generation of global companies. Creating an infrastructure that helps entrepreneurs develop and commercialize their IP right here at home creates high-skilled, high-paying jobs that will expedite recovery for Alberta’s economy.” Sandi Gilbert, CEO of InterGen and chair, National Angel Capital Organization

“The Alberta Chambers of Commerce looks forward to working with the Government of Alberta to facilitate and implement this recovery and diversification plan. This plan will provide a pathway to diversification and therefore benefit workers, businesses and communities as a foundation is set for a diversified, prosperous Alberta. It draws on our traditional strengths as well as looks to the future for our underdeveloped opportunities.” Ken Kobly, president, Alberta Chambers of Commerce

“It is critical for both the public and private sectors to continue to invest in technology and innovation to not only diversify the economy, but capitalize on the incredible opportunities within industries like finance, agriculture and energy. At Harvest, we are working to remove barriers and help fill the gaps within the Prairie tech ecosystem to de-risk new ventures, and successfully scale them into globally competitive companies. It is imperative that we continue to strengthen our position as a Canadian tech hub in order to keep businesses and talent in the local market and continue to fuel the funnel of new innovation and technology here in Alberta.” Chris Simair, CEO, Harvest Builders

“The government’s new Investment and Growth Strategy is an incredible opportunity to position Alberta as a global technology and innovation leader. Exergy has demonstrated that a skilled team, whether it is in oil and gas or mining, can thrive in the technology sector given the right conditions. We commend the government’s forward-looking approach which will drive investment in Alberta, along with efficiency and environmental performance in our energy sector, and bring the jobs of tomorrow to the province today.” Billy Rideout, president, Exergy Solutions

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure, we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts

  • The IGS aligns with – and builds on – Alberta’s Recovery Plan to diversify key industries in Alberta: energy, agriculture and agri-foods, and tourism, as well as emerging growth sectors, advanced technology, aerospace and aviation, and financial services.

  • The government previously announced it would allocate $75 million over three years to implement the strategy, which includes $6 million annually for the operations of the Invest Alberta Corporation.

  • The Invest Alberta Corporation is a key outcome in the Investment and Growth Strategy, and integral to Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

  • The strategy includes shifting the focus of Alberta’s international office network to boost investor engagement in key markets around the world.

  • Government is developing specific strategies for the following sectors:

    • Agriculture

    • Aerospace, aviation and logistics

    • Energy

    • Financial services and fintech

    • Technology and innovation

    • Tourism

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