Established in 2022, the NRED program is helping to attract job-creating investment and support economic growth and diversification across Alberta by providing up to $200,000 in funding to projects that help deliver business supports, increase labour force attraction and retention, enhance tourism and build capacity for economic growth.

To ensure Alberta’s regional economies can continue to prosper, the NRED program has provided $7.3 million to 74 unique projects in 2023-24 in communities across the province.

“Alberta’s government remains steadfast in our commitment to fostering economic growth and diversification across every region of our province. The NRED program demonstrates this commitment. We look forward to collaborating with the next cohort of successful applicants from all corners of Alberta, empowering them to realize their goals and contribute to our province’s prosperity.”

Matt Jones, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade

The NRED program has supported a total of 144 initiatives to date, with funding for feasibility studies and planning, economic sustainability strategies such as investment attraction and sector development, and support for local small businesses, among many other relevant and impactful projects. Budget 2024 commits $3 million per year to the program over the next three years.

“Our government’s continued investment in the NRED program will empower local organizations, drive tourism initiatives and foster community development. I look forward to seeing the economic growth that stems from this program in northern Alberta and across the province.”

Tany Yao, parliamentary secretary, Small Business and Northern Development

The 2023-24 grants provided by the NRED program include funding to Biohubx, a not-for-profit that provides support to health ventures and the life science ecosystem in Alberta; Samson Cree Nation’s strategic tourism plan, including conceptual design and costing of a Cree Cultural Powwow Centre; Stoney Nakoda Nations’ sustainable economic growth strategy; and the City of Cold Lake’s hosting of the 2025 Aerospace Industry Symposium in collaboration with aerospace and defence sectors.

“The City of Cold Lake will be facilitating an important discussion regarding the future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and unmanned systems technology. Home to an air force base, the oil patch, and an increasing interest from aerospace and unmanned systems companies, our region is well-placed to bring people building the future of aviation together with the people who will be using the technology. We are honoured that the Government of Alberta shares this vision and has made this crucial investment in our project.”

Craig Copeland, mayor, City of Cold Lake

In addition to the support provided through the NRED program, Alberta’s government continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the province’s northern and regional economies in Budget 2024. This includes $500,000 annually for the Northern Alberta Development bursary program, which helps students to live and work in the province’s north.

The Small Community Opportunity Program (SCOP), administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, also provides grants to tackle challenges and tap into opportunities in rural areas, building capacity for small business and the agriculture industry. Budget 2024 includes up to $3 million in grants per year in 2023-24 and 2024-25 for the SCOP program.  

Quick facts

  • In 2023-24, the NRED program invested a total of $7.3 million in 74 projects that supported regional economic growth and diversification. This includes:
  • $3.12 million to 28 projects based in northern Alberta and Indigenous communities.
  • $4.18 million to 46 projects based outside of northern Alberta and Indigenous communities.
  • The program provides up to 50 per cent of total eligible project costs. Projects led by Indigenous communities will receive up to 75 per cent of total eligible project costs.

Related information

Related news