There’s no better time to be in tech in Alberta than right now. As more tech companies, innovators and investors continue to choose Alberta, the provincial government is creating opportunities for startups to thrive. 

The Innovation Catalyst Grant will not only support Alberta’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD and Masters graduates with starting up their own cutting-edge company, it will also help create jobs, attract investment and continue Alberta’s economic momentum. Alberta is already a tech and innovation hub of North America and this grant will help ensure Alberta continues to be a leader in this vital sector.

“The Innovation Catalyst Grant continues to make Alberta a world-wide technology talent hub that helps graduates become entrepreneurs as they apply their research to solve real-world problems. Our investment in this program will create jobs, attract investment and strengthen Alberta’s tech and innovation ecosystem.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

The Innovation Catalyst Grant program is boosting technology commercialization from Alberta’s universities, increasing the pool of highly talented people and enhancing public and private investment attraction to the province.

The program awards up to $250,000 over two years to successful applicants to encourage company creation, technology commercialization and economic diversification while connecting them to business and technical mentorship and access to labs at Alberta universities.

“This new program will harness the academic brilliance and entrepreneurial vision of Alberta’s own science, technology, engineering and math graduates and equip them with the tools they need to create world-class innovative technology companies, and other opportunities right here in our province.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

"Investing in graduate students and their education is essential to fostering innovation. By supporting their potential, we cultivate a thriving community dedicated to developing new ideas, research breakthroughs and technological advancements. Graduate students are integral to securing Alberta's position at the forefront of innovation, and ab-GPAC is encouraged to see these contributions recognized by the announcement of the Innovation Catalyst Grant."

Jessica Revington, co-chair ab-GPAC

The Innovation Catalyst Grant has annual intakes in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 and is administered by the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge with participation and oversight by the Ministry of Technology and Innovation.

The program is currently accepting a second round of applications. The deadline to apply is Sept.15.

“This provincial investment to promote technological innovation will nurture entrepreneurial spirit in our students while providing university graduates with support and mentorship to take their great ideas and make them a reality.”

Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

“We are very pleased with the Government of Alberta’s investment in Alberta talent through the Innovation Catalyst Grant. This funding will expand the University of Alberta’s ability to drive innovation and prepare our graduates for jobs and entrepreneurial ventures that will shape the future of the province." 

Aminah Robinson Fayek, vice-president, Research and Innovation, University of Alberta

“This government investment in recent graduates of master’s and doctoral programs in STEM fields speaks to the value of supporting our aspiring entrepreneurs, whose talents and ideas are building the province’s economy now and paving the way for an exciting future.”

Dena McMartin, vice-president, Research, University of Lethbridge

In 2022, Alberta’s government released the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy to cement Alberta as a dominant player and internationally recognized technology and investment hub. Funding for Innovation Catalyst Grant is an important part of achieving the plan’s strategic goals.