(adapted from Government of Alberta news release)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, May 10, 2022 – Alberta is investing in networks that support startup businesses by helping them bring their products to market.
Alberta’s technology and innovation sector is an important part of the government’s efforts to diversify the economy. The Alberta Innovation Network plays a strategic role in helping to ensure that Alberta innovators and entrepreneurs have access to the supports they need to be able to bring their products and solutions to the market and grow their businesses.
The Alberta Innovation Network was established in 2008 and is made up of eight regional innovation networks (RINs). In the last three years these community-based organizations have helped over 7000 innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies which has led to 354 new innovations.
Each RIN helps small and startup technology firms bring their products and solutions to market. They do this by creating a network of programs and services to accelerate the growth of technology-based and knowledge-based businesses. They provide small and medium-sized enterprises with coaching, business advice, technical expertise, connections and access to capital.
The province will invest $18.7 million over three years in the eight regional innovation networks to foster and support high-potential startups and entrepreneurs, help diversify the economy and create jobs.
“Alberta has some of the most ambitious and industrious entrepreneurs anywhere. We want to ensure they can get connected with regional innovation networks where they can draw on world-renowned business and technical experts, to accelerate the growth of their businesses, diversify the economy and create jobs.”
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“Through the Regional Innovation Networks, Alberta Innovates has brought together the power of a network of strong regional supports across the province to create opportunities for SMEs, entrepreneurs and innovators to be successful.”
Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
“At Wash-Bots, we are designing new technologies for the operations and maintenance of servicing large-scale utility-grade solar installations. Through ERIN, we have been able to access coaches to help us navigate managing our intellectual property and product development as we move from prototype to patent-pending and now manufacturing and commercialization. We’re excited to see more funding coming into our community that provides entrepreneurs with local experts we can lean on to help us launch and scale businesses from Alberta.”
Carrie Nystrom, Co-Founder, Wash-Bots
“Through this funding, we were able to award contracts to service providers and organizations who deliver programs and services that will accelerate the growth of Edmonton-based business. We’re also thrilled to announce that Innovate Edmonton was voted as lead proponent by our steering committee. In this role, they will be responsible for administrative leadership, contracting staff, reporting and liaising with the steering committee.”
Zack Storms, Edmonton RIN Steering Committee Chair, Edmonton Regional Innovation Network
“The Regional Innovations Networks (RINs) throughout the province are like the central nervous system of the startup ecosystem in Alberta. Organizations that participate in the RINs are dedicated to building a diverse economic landscape in Alberta by breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs in the province, which is especially important to those who are outside of urban centres. The RINs are there to listen to entrepreneurs and respond to their needs. There is a real sense of collaboration to build new relationships on behalf of innovators, to cross-deliver programs, and to share learnings or best practices that make each RIN stronger.”
Madeline Kendrew, Director of Academy at Platform Calgary
The $18.7 million will be distributed over three years as follows:
|Calgary Technologies Inc.||Calgary Innovation Coalition Application to the Regional Innovation Networks Program||$6,946,000|
|Innovate Edmonton||Edmonton Regional Innovation Network (ERIN)||$4,888,500|
|Olds College||Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network||$1,638,000|
|Community Futures Entre-Corp Business Development||Regional Innovation Network of Southeast Alberta (APEX)||$1,171,700|
|Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society||Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society to the Regional Innovation Networks Program||$1,785,000|
|Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation||Wood Buffalo Regional Innovation Network||$735,000|
|Lloydminster and Region Business Incubator Board||East Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network||$787,500|
|Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region||Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network||$778,500|
- Regional Innovation Networks started as part of the 2008 provincial Action Plan for Bringing Technology to Market.
- Regional innovation networks connect and provide supports to more than 1,600 technology entrepreneurs from around the province every year.
- Originally, there were three such networks. Today, there are eight
- Learn more about the Regional Innovation Network program.