Posted on Feb 22, 2021
NEW VENTURE CAPITAL FUND WOULD GROW ALBERTA TECH, ALLOW ALBERTANS DIRECT INVESTMENT IN DIVERSIFIED FUTURE ECONOMY
CALGARY - Alberta’s NDP is releasing a suite of economic proposals to grow Alberta’s technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) sectors as part of its Alberta’s Future initiative.
“Alberta’s tech and AI sectors have enormous potential to create jobs and grow our economy but they need consistency and certainty when it comes to support for their area,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “Albertans are known for their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. Together, we can harness these strengths to create and expand on innovative made-in-Alberta technologies that are needed on the global stage.”
The latest set of economic proposals includes the creation of the Alberta Venture Fund and a $200-million initial investment. The fund would provide opportunities for Albertans to invest directly in the growth of Alberta’s tech and AI sectors. The fund would exclusively support early-stage companies, start-ups and scale-ups that are suffering from a lack of growth capital
The proposal is based on successes in other jurisdictions and represents an opportunity similar to Ernest Manning’s Great Canadian Oil Sands project and Peter Lougheed’s Alberta Energy Company wherein Albertans were able to own, support, and share in the success of world-class industries right here at home.
“The main reason I believe so strongly in the value of a technology tax credit and the other initiatives announced here today, like the Alberta Venture Fund, is because of the opportunities they provide Albertans to participate in the new economy where most of the growth, jobs, value and wealth creation will occur for decades to come,” said Trent Johnsen, founder and CEO of liveweb.
“As Albertans, our ability to succeed in this new technology, innovation economy will determine how successful we are as a province, our quality of life, and our children’s quality of life in the 21st century.”
Deron Bilous, NDP Economic Development and Innovation critic, said early stage funding is one of the main barriers for new tech companies.
“This is a bold, creative idea that builds on our history and gives every Albertan a stake in our future,” Bilous said of the Alberta Venture Fund.
Other proposals in the newly released discussion paper include:
- Growing and modernizing the Alberta Enterprise Corporation
- Supporting and attracting technology accelerators
- Reinstating the Alberta Investor Tax Credit
- Establishing a dedicated Research & Development Fund
- Investing in applied research in AI
- Creating a competency centre for digitalization
- Re-introducing the Digital Media Tax Credit
Details and estimated costing can be found at AlbertasFuture.ca. All Albertans are welcome to review the proposals, provide feedback and sign up for upcoming consultations.
Previous proposals offered through the Alberta’s Future project include those to develop and export hydrogen, develop and store geothermal energy and to introduce universal, affordable childcare and early learning.