May 17, 2021

Supporting the Front Lines of Technology-Based Business Across Alberta

NEWS RELEASE

Supporting the Front Lines of Technology-Based Business Across Alberta

Alberta Innovates provides an additional $3.53 million to support Alberta’s Regional Innovation
Networks

EDMONTON, AB, May 17, 2021 – Alberta Innovates is announcing an additional $3.53 million investment to the Regional Innovation Networks (RINs) in Alberta. The RINs are a network of community-based, collaboratively governed, networks that provide access to entrepreneurial supports to their region. Alberta Innovates provides $4.32 million in funding to the RINs annually. With the top up the RINs will receive $7.86 million for 2021/22.

$3.035 million of the new funding will be divided among the eight RINs to increase supports, identify gaps, and pilot new initiatives targeted at accelerating high-potential, high-growth technology-based companies in all sectors at both the early stage of the entrepreneurial journey as well as the scale-up and growth stage.

$500 thousand of the new funding will be targeted to strengthen the Alberta Innovation Network (AIN) and support Alberta-wide initiatives. AIN is a province-wide collaboration between the RINs which intends to strengthen Alberta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by sharing assets and delivering programs across the province. AIN will be governed by the eight RINs and will strive for equitable access to programming and network supports.

“Today’s investment is critical to helping our start-ups get on their feet and scale up. As our tech sector matures, we need to ensure entrepreneurs get the support they need at every step of their journey as they create jobs across the province.”

Minister Doug Schweitzer, Jobs, Economy & Innovation

“The Regional Innovation Networks tap into the innovation coming from Alberta entrepreneurs in communities across Alberta. Additional supports and coordination through the Alberta Innovation Network will enhance the ability of technology based small and medium-sized businesses to succeed in their own community and compete with the world.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

BACKGROUND:

Alberta Innovates will allocate $2.015 million to early-stage support renewed from last year. This funding will be used to support early-stage entrepreneurs around the province with programing and coaching opportunities around business models, customer discovery and product/market fit. Examples of programing offered includes Propel at Startup Edmonton. Resources for Technology companies at Startup YMM (Fort McMurray), Startup Lloyd and TEC Connect Lethbridge are also supported by the early-stage support funding.

Alberta Innovates will further allocate $1.02 million for scale up and growth funding. This funding will be used to build regional capacity in scale up and growth supports to enhance Alberta’s ecosystem; define regional and Alberta-wide gaps in scale up and growth for technology-based companies, and to provide programs and training for scale up and growth companies to test and fill gaps.

The Regional Innovation Networks (RINs) program is designed to accelerate technology and knowledge-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing connectivity and coordination in Alberta’s innovation ecosystem, contributing to entrepreneur and company development through programs and services, and strengthening the entrepreneurial culture. A well connected and coordinated innovation ecosystem in Alberta will contribute to the economic, environmental and social outcomes of the province.

RINs form the backbone capacity, collaboration mindset, and structure to support other initiatives in the ecosystem such as the recent accelerator request for proposals (RFP). They are a mechanism to strengthen local ecosystems and connect assets around the province to help all Alberta high growth high potential technology companies no matter where they are from. The eight RINs include:

Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first public research and innovation organization. For a century we have worked closely with researchers, companies and entrepreneurs – trailblazers who built the province’s industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide, driven by emerging technologies across sectors. We are a provincial corporation that provides seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, along with avenues for partnership and collaboration. Learn how Alberta Innovates.