Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer said the goal is to create another 20,000 jobs and to see Alberta’s technology companies boost annual revenues by $5 billion by 2030. (Photo courtesy Government of Alberta)

Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer said the goal is to create another 20,000 jobs and to see Alberta’s technology companies boost annual revenues by $5 billion by 2030. (Photo courtesy Government of Alberta)

Alberta announced technology and innovation strategy

Strategy aims to create 20,000 jobs and boost tech company revenues by $5 billion by 2030

The Alberta government released its strategy to strengthen the technology and innovation sector on Tuesday.

Creating jobs and diversifying the economy are also goals of the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy unveiled by Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer.

“Alberta’s technology sector is already seeing record growth, and now is the time to build on that momentum,” says Schweitzer in a statement.

“We’re taking action to establish Alberta as a global leader, taking bold steps that will transform industries, develop new opportunities for our province and set Alberta above the rest.”

The strategy builds on several technology and innovation programs rolled out as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, including the $175 million recapitalization of the Alberta Enterprise Corporation and the launch of the Scale-up and Growth Accelerator Program by Alberta Innovates.

The goal is to create another 20,000 jobs and to see Alberta’s technology companies boost annual revenues by $5 billion by 2030.

An additional $73 million in new funding for the technology and innovation strategy was included in the recent provincial budget. The funding will be used to attract, retain and develop talent and to invest in areas such as artificial intelligence and quantum science.

The budget also included $171 million to promote student enrolment in areas such as computer science, information technology and data modelling, engineering, financial technology, health care and aviation. Another $320 million over three years is earmarked for rural broadband and $15 million was added to the Investment and Growth Fund.

NDP economic development and innovation critic Deron Bilous dismissed the announcement as a rehash of previous announcements and existing programs.

“The UCP has eliminated tax credits that were attracting investment into the tech sector. They have caused historic damages to post-secondary institutions — including cutting 2,600 tech spaces — that would provide the skilled workforce we need to grow our tech sector,” said Bilous, adding the UCP also scrapped an artificial intelligence strategy introduced by the previous NDP government.

“Because of the UCP, we have lost our competitive edge and are falling behind other jurisdictions in attracting venture capital investment.

The NDP has proposed reinstating tax credits and the creation of an Alberta Venture Fund that would invest in Alberta-based startups, as well as the creation of an innovation district in Calgary, he said.



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