A provincial funding boost for six Central Alberta businesses will give them a leg up in introducing new products and services to the market, says an Alberta cabinet minister.
Doug Horner, minister of advanced education and technology, said on Tuesday that the businesses will receive a total of $260,000 in innovation vouchers.
Two businesses are in Red Deer while the others are in Olds, Bentley, Sundre and Sylvan Lake.
The innovation projects range from fences to waste water.
There were 204 vouchers worth almost $6 million that were awarded to businesses in 33 communities.
The vouchers can be redeemed at designated labs, fabrication centres, business development centres and other organizations, and used to cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of specialized services from approved, non-profit service providers.
Red Deer College and Olds College have approved centres.
The voucher program is designed to create opportunities for small industries to succeed, Horner said.
In their early stages, he explained, many promising small companies struggle to obtain the resources they need to take them to the next level. That’s where the voucher program can make a difference.
Businesses can receive only one $10,000 voucher and one $50,000 voucher over the life of their enterprise.
The Red Deer recipients include Rock Data Services Ltd., which gets $50,000 for its development of high-temperature, electronic sensors capable of measuring and recording downhole temperature and pressure data for the development of geothermal and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Accurate monitoring of pressure and temperature is critical in the development of more energy-efficient production methods, a government news release said.
Tri-Western Industries Ltd. receives $50,000 for developing a portable combination pressure tank and flow-back tank with a flare stack to be used in shallow gas well-testing. The product reduces transportation requirements and reduces ground disturbance.
Greenedge Precision Fence Inc. of Olds was awarded $50,000 for creating SmartFence, which has worker safety and environmental benefits. The company is working to complete the automation process and guidance systems for its One-Pass Fencemaker, which uses GIS, GPS, satellite or aerial photographic data in planning, estimating, locating and installing SmartFences.
Bentley’s Kingdom Farms Inc. gets $50,000 for developing a commercial livestock water recycling plant that captures and treats storm runoff for swine drinking water. Using wastewater through this system reduces or eliminates the need for fresh water.
Alwayz Ltd. of Sylvan Lake will get $10,000 for developing a portable, lightweight, durable, compact, multi-use massage chair.
Finally, Wild Rose Environmental Waste Inc. of Sundre was awarded $50,000 for a portable sewage treatment plant that will produce high-quality effluent water. Reducing the need for fresh water and reusing water benefits the environment, the release said.