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Alberta businesses grow with European partners

Six Alberta small businesses are creating new jobs and expanding their operations with partners in Germany and France.

The Government of Alberta is supporting their work through the Alberta-Germany Collaboration Fund for Product Development and Commercialization. The program helps innovation-focused Alberta companies turn their ideas for new technology into products ready for international markets by connecting them with European counterparts.

“Local innovators and entrepreneurs are making Alberta proud – attracting attention and investment from around the world. Helping connect our small businesses with companies abroad means more opportunities at home, with new jobs, increased exports and a more diversified economy.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The fund will support Alberta companies OrbSurgical, HCT Sustainables, MWD Planet and Lumen Cooperation, CNA Diagnostics, Boreal Laser, and Nanalysis Corporation. The funding is a joint effort supported by Alberta Economic Development and Trade and Germany’s Central Innovation Programme. Up to $250,000 is available per project, and all proposals must involve an industry partner from each jurisdiction with an interest in commercialization.

The fund is administered by the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research (GCCIR), an organization that helps develop information-sharing networks to create collaborative partnerships in business, including technology transfer and commercialization. 

"Canada, Germany and France stand for outstanding success in science, research and development. The German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research is pleased to work with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to administer programs that foster cutting-edge technology development and meaningful commercialization opportunities for Alberta companies, while at the same time furthering the goals of internationalization and economic diversification."

Bernd Reuscher, president GCCIR and Honorary Consul Emeritus for the Federal Republic of Germany

The fund was established in 2012 and, to date, it has provided support to 24 projects. Of the twelve projects completed, participating companies have cited new hires, new intellectual property created and an average increase in annual revenue of C$870,000, with new projected revenue increases of nearly $148 million over the next five years. German innovation partners have recognized it as one of their top two international partnerships in technology collaboration.

The fund builds on other Government of Alberta initiatives to help small businesses expand their exports, including the Alberta Export Expansion Package, launched last year. 

In the first seven months of 2017:

  • Alberta goods exports were up 40 per cent to $59 billion, compared to the same period in 2016.
  • Alberta has exported more than $75 million worth of goods to 20 countries in 2017, up from 16 in 2016.
  • Alberta accounted for more than 55 per cent of Canada’s entire exports increase in the first seven months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
  • Alberta currently represents 21 per cent of Canada’s goods exports with less than 12 per cent of its population.

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