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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.