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The Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy will help position Alberta as an internationally recognized technology and innovation hub that attracts talent, business and job-creating investment from across Canada and around the world. This will diversify Alberta’s economy as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, increase productivity and create a more resilient economic future for all Albertans.
It fulfils an Alberta Investment and Growth Strategy commitment to finalize strategies for key economic sectors and supports Alberta’s Recovery Plan to put us back on course for long-term financial sustainability.
The Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy sets 5 key goals to establish Alberta as a global technology leader. Each goal identifies a variety of initiatives to advance the sector, some of which are already in place.
Numbers at a glance
The Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy seeks to create 20,000 new jobs for Albertans by 2030.
Alberta’s technology companies could generate $5 billion more in annual revenue by 2030.
Increase the depth of Alberta’s technology and innovation talent pool
Building a strong workforce is critical to growing Alberta's technology and innovation ecosystem.
With bold steps to transform the post-secondary system through the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs initiative as well as the Alberta at Work initiative, we are helping attract, develop, grow and retain the province’s talent pool.
By making quality employment and skill-building opportunities available, we will ensure Alberta has a future-ready workforce with skills to support economic diversification and growth.
- Expand Alberta’s talent pool so our province continues to compete globally.
- Strengthen industry and academic partnerships to generate the knowledge and skills for Alberta’s future workforce.
- Direct government funding to advance talent goals that align with Alberta’s research priorities and drive commercialization in key sectors.
- Establish and fund initiatives to support short-term skills development and apprenticeship-style programs in a wide range of occupations, including emerging high-tech trades.
- Enhance entrepreneurship programs for science, technology, engineering and math graduates that provide mentorship, networks and seed funding for start-up technology companies that are building on discoveries made at Alberta universities.
- Expand work-integrated learning opportunities for students from across the province to develop skills in key economic sectors, including increasing placements in technology related businesses.
- Develop micro-credential programs with the technology and innovation sector and post-secondary institutions to support Albertans in rapidly gaining the education and skills they need for high-demand jobs.
- Increase access to high demand post-secondary programs to address labour shortages in the province, such as computer science, information technology, computer engineering and data modelling.
- Explore opportunities to support the growth of the digital media sector in Alberta.
- Expand the Major Innovation Fund to advance post-secondary innovation and technology development that aligns with Alberta’s research priorities and are market oriented.
- Introduce an accelerated technology pathway under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program to accelerate the growth of Alberta’s talent pool.
- Establish a public sector artificial intelligence (AI) lab, with the Alberta government as the anchor tenant, to develop talent, produce new AI solutions for the government, and enable innovators to create commercialization opportunities.
Increase access to private capital and public investments in Alberta’s technology and innovation sector
It’s critical that we enable improved access to early-stage and start-up capital to establish Alberta as a place to innovate and grow a business.
We must support experienced investors, such as angel and venture capital investors, as well as attract and leverage public investment to grow the technology sector.
By attracting investment to Alberta’s technology and innovation sector, we are creating the conditions to further attract and retain talent in the province while creating quality opportunities and diversifying our economy.
- Leverage public and private investments to enhance Alberta’s investment and capital environment.
- Attract more private capital into Alberta’s technology and innovation ecosystem.
- Leverage federal public investments to maximize support for Alberta’s technology and innovation priorities.
- Explore options to address gaps in access to venture capital funding in Alberta.
- Advocate for Alberta’s fair share of federal research and development funding.
- Continue to invest Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) proceeds in technologies that reduce emissions, create jobs and increase the value of Alberta’s natural resources.
Advance a system of supports that facilitate commercialization of Alberta research and innovations
Research advances in technology and innovation ensure Alberta’s priority sectors remain competitive. By commercializing research, we generate economic value from knowledge and ideas as businesses, entrepreneurs and spin-off companies from post-secondary institutions all help turn knowledge into products and services.
Goal 3 of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs initiative identifies the need for innovation and commercialization support for post-secondary research.
- Convene institutions, industry and potential investors to advance cutting edge research and innovation collaborations and grow federal and industry investment in priority areas.
- Accelerate Alberta as a leader in the commercialization of technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum science.
- Enhance access to public data to support the creation of new products and services.
- Invest in fundamental infrastructure that enables Alberta’s technology and innovation sector to thrive.
- Establish networks of research excellence to advance the commercialization of research in priority sectors.
- Introduce business accelerators to support local entrepreneurs to grow the province’s technology start-up sector through Alberta Innovates.
- Work with ecosystem partners to establish and fund a central entity to build and provide first-rate commercialization and entrepreneurship capabilities system-wide.
- Support implementation of an intellectual property framework for Alberta, which will include fostering industry/ institution collaboration, and adoption of faculty promotion and tenure policies to incentivize faculty to pursue entrepreneurial activities.
- Strengthen research and innovation planning, and work across entities to align provincial contributions for post-secondary research to promote commercialization to meet economic diversification priorities.
- Develop an Alberta Data Strategy to fully leverage the value of the data government creates and collects to allow for better access and analysis, and enhance the secure and open exchange of data while continuing to protect the privacy of citizens.
- Invest in technologies such as quantum science and artificial intelligence that have significant potential for commercial applications.
- Establish a clean hydrogen centre of excellence to leverage Alberta’s existing expertise and infrastructure to become a world leader in hydrogen innovation.
- Leverage an agreement with the federal government to match the province’s commitment of $390 million, dollar-for-dollar, to make a total of $780 million available to support the Alberta Broadband Strategy and improve internet speeds and connectivity in underserved rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.
- Explore opportunities for Alberta-based start-ups, small businesses and students to pitch innovative ideas and technologies that address a wide range of government issues.
- Engage with Alberta public agencies, as well as with Alberta-based private industry cybersecurity leaders and educational institutions, to establish an Alberta Cybersecurity Community of Interest that will be used to discuss common cybersecurity challenges with a goal to strengthen Alberta’s overall cybersecurity, while encouraging development of new Alberta-based talent and solutions.
Optimize Alberta’s technology and innovation ecosystem
An effective and cohesive technology and innovation ecosystem is essential to attracting and retaining talent and helping entrepreneurs grow their companies.
While many organizations are providing these supports, some entrepreneurs struggle to navigate the system and still report gaps.
- Improve system efficiency and ensure supports are responsive and robust to entrepreneurial needs.
- Work effectively with Alberta’s innovation agencies to ensure that entrepreneurs and innovators are receiving targeted and timely support.
- Maintain an ecosystem with strong communication and collaboration mechanisms between innovation agencies and the business community that enable seamless service delivery.
- Continue to monitor the ecosystem to identify gaps as well as opportunities to support the success of Alberta’s entrepreneurs.
Enhance Alberta’s reputation as a leader in technology and innovation
Alberta is open for business and has a strong foundation for technology and innovation companies to thrive.
The advancement of the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy’s goals will be a key part of building our reputation as an attractive location for innovators and entrepreneurs to invest, do business, work and live.
- Strengthen Alberta’s reputation as a technology hub and the best place to start and grow a technology business.
- Attract investment by global anchor firms to Alberta to enhance the technology and innovation sector.
- Work with industry and ecosystem partners to build Alberta’s international reputation as a place to innovate, invest and grow.
- Through the Invest Alberta Corporation, continue to tell Alberta’s story, improve investor awareness and attract investment from global technology firms.
- Undertake a labour-related marketing campaign to attract technology and innovation talent to Alberta.
- Explore new investment incentives to attract anchor companies to build out Alberta’s technology and innovation ecosystem.
The Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy will guide targeted initiatives to grow the province’s technology and innovation sector, driving economic recovery and creating a new future for Alberta.
We will continue to consult with industry, investors, other governments, entrepreneurs, post-secondary institutions, innovation system agencies and others to build a future-focused and sustainable Alberta economy driven by technology and innovation.