Federal government provides $1.3 million to Alberta Innovates for programs supporting SMBs amid COVID-19

Edmonton Thawing

Alberta Innovates is receiving a cumulative $1.3 million investment from the federal government’s Western Economic Development (WD) regional development agency.

The new funding will go toward programming and resources aimed to help tech-focused small to medium-sized businesses adapt to a business environment impacted by COVID-19. The federal funding is being delivered as part of the federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This funding is part of the previously-announced $263.7 million investment for WD to help businesses through the RRRF.

The funding is being delivered through federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

“This collaboration between Alberta Innovates and Western Economic Diversification Canada will help Alberta firms develop and refine their technology products and processes, to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever,” said Canada’s Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Mélanie Joly.

A spokesperson for Alberta Innovates told BetaKit the exact allocations for these programs have not yet been determined. Of the $1.3 million, roughly $300,000 is earmarked for its Innovation Relief and Recovery program, while roughly $690,000 is earmarked for eight Regional Innovation Networks (RINS), which are spread across Alberta, in addition to the Alberta Innovation Network GrowthX program. The balance of the funding will go to education, growth, and scale-up events, the spokesperson said.

The Alberta Innovation Network GrowthX program aims to scale-up technology-based companies in Alberta. The Alberta Innovation Network is made up of Alberta Innovates’ RINS.

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The six-month cohort-based program will be focused on strengthening product management knowledge and the marketing and sales plans for post-revenue tech companies. Coaching will be provided by GrowthX’s Sean Sheppard along with business coaches from the eight RINs.

The Innovation Relief and Recovery offers high potential technology-based businesses access to technical and business supports that are not covered through other relief programs.

Project activities may include product testing and refinement, manufacturing capacity improvement, customer discovery work as well as professional services such as human resources, legal and financial required to support relief and recovery.

This latest funding from the federal government follows the launch of the Alberta government’s $75 million investment strategy, which outlines various strategies for specific sectors, including technology and innovation and FinTech, among others. That strategy was hinted at when the province revealed its economic recovery plan, which was focused on driving capital into Alberta.

Image source mikenickel.ca

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast