Government moving forward on research and innovation
Government would control spending, create jobs and diversify the economy with the proposed creation of a single Alberta Innovates entity.
Bill 11 proposes to merge four existing Alberta Innovates corporations into one. This leaner entity would build on the strengths of each corporation while enabling a stronger, more responsive research and innovation system. This change would make it easier for Alberta companies, innovators and researchers to get opportunities and develop connections across the province and beyond.
“A leaner, more focused innovation system is part of government’s plan to create jobs and diversify the economy. We are committed to making it easier for Alberta’s researchers and businesses to navigate the province’s innovation system, driving excellence in research and turning innovative ideas into products and companies.”
Under a single board and CEO, the corporation would focus on Alberta’s strengths in health, environment, energy, food, fibre and emerging technologies. This model is based on several reviews and expert reports on the system. The single corporation is expected to save Alberta taxpayers approximately $2 million annually through streamlined governance.
Pam Valentine, former acting CEO of Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, will serve as transition CEO. Judy Fairburn, who served as chair of Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, will chair the new, consolidated board. Together with current Alberta Innovates leadership, they are working to ensure a smooth transition. A permanent CEO will be selected through an open and transparent process to begin this spring.
“This decision positions the province to build on our strengths while positioning us solidly for success in the 21st century. We are committed to working with innovators, whether from academia, entrepreneurial ventures or established businesses, to enable them to accelerate their good ideas through to impactful application and job growth.”
“Alberta’s research and innovation system can be a key driver in the economy—creating jobs, cutting-edge research and attracting talent and funding from around the world. I’ve seen first-hand the benefits from health research and how it can transform the health and well-being of Albertans. I look forward to working closely with researchers and industry clients to ensure Alberta is a leader in research and getting ideas to market.”
As part of the transition, and to ensure Albertans receive the greatest return on their research and innovation investment, a performance measurement framework is being developed and will be reported annually to the government. The Government of Alberta is also inviting the Auditor General to assess the intended outcomes of the performance measurement framework and to examine whether the necessary processes are in place to achieve the desired results.
Backgrounder: Bill 11
While the four Alberta Innovates corporations remain legal entities until Bill 11 is passed and in force, the Government of Alberta has appointed a new board of directors to serve for all four of the Alberta Innovates corporations.
Once Bill 11 is passed and in force, the board of directors will stay on. The members of the new board come with diverse experiences and backgrounds. They include members of the four former boards, to provide continuity, as well as new members from across Alberta who reflect key sectors of the provincial economy.