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Must-Read: Alberta’s 2022 Technology and Innovation Strategy Sets Concrete Initiatives for Tech Sector Investment

On April 12, 2022, the Government of Alberta (the Province) released its Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS). The strategy aims to add 20,000 new tech jobs to Alberta while providing concrete commitments to support tech innovation.

This blog provides a concise summary of ATIS’ key initiatives. It is highly relevant to Canadian companies operating in the tech, research, and education sectors. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Expect widespread skill and immigration investment

The Province is committed to addressing labour shortages in the tech sector. Following a successful micro-credential pilot in 2021, Albertans can expect a more robust introduction of micro-credential programs to support rapid skill growth. In addition, ATIS pledges to support the Major Innovation Fund to advance research investment in key sectors including autonomous systems, antimicrobial resistance, smart agriculture, and Indigenous, rural and remote water management. Finally, the Province intends to fast-track immigration by introducing an accelerated technology pathway under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.

2. Expect more access to private and public capital

The Province is committed to increasing access to capital for tech start-ups. ATIS pledges a $175-million recapitalization of Alberta Enterprise Corporation to support start-up funding. In addition, the strategy affirms its continued support for the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction in developing technologies that reduce emissions and increase the value of Alberta’s natural resources.

3. Expect more R&D investment and commercialization

The Province is committed to research and infrastructure development. ATIS pledges investments in the creation of a clean hydrogen centre to leverage Alberta’s expertise in hydrogen innovation, AI research, and improving internet speeds in underserved rural, remote, and Indigenous communities through the Alberta Broadband Strategy. In addition, ATIS pledges to develop an Alberta Data Strategy to leverage the Province’s Open Data Program with private sector collaborations to identify emerging business trends.

In response to a growing need for tech innovation, ATIS sets out several tangible initiatives to foster a welcoming climate for change. For further information on tech sector investment, financing, and M&A in Canada, please contact your McCarthy Tétrault trusted advisor.