While the mantra of "going global" makes sense in terms of growing business revenues, it can be daunting for small or medium sized companies whose success is based on local markets. Technology development can be a softer, less risky way to go global.

Our Global Partnerships programs are designed to do just that. They support Alberta companies and partnering jurisdictions in Mexico and China to enter into joint projects to develop and commercialize novel technological solutions that address a defined market need while generating economic and social benefits in both jurisdictions.

"Partnerships are key," says Sandra Candie, Director of Alberta Innovates Global Partnerships Programs. "A partner can open up numerous possibilities. Their insight can reveal how a technology developed for local Alberta needs may be suited for another purpose. They can provide access to new, different resources. A partner may directly help with generating sales in their jurisdiction. The partner's business network and in-country experience may prove invaluable to the Alberta company."

The first partnership program was the Alberta-Jalisco Innovation Commercialization program, created in 2009. Alberta now has partnership agreements with two jurisdictions in Mexico (Jalisco and Neuvo Leon) and three in China (Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Guangdong). The programs involve workshops, matchmaking events to find partners, and funding for joint projects. The funding model is based on equal contributions from the two companies and the two jurisdictions. As is clear from the RoboGarden experience, matchmaking on its own can lead to significant business benefits.

Alberta Innovates is awesome at matchmaking. They put a lot of thought and effort into ensuring that you could potentially collaborate with several companies.

Mohamed Elhabiby President, RoboGarden Inc.