Last week, the Government of Canada announced it will invest over $3 million in Alberta’s clean technology sector. The Trudeau government says the funds will help fuel the energy transition, strengthen the Canadian economy, create quality jobs and support Canada’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
On Wednesday, January 19 Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency along with Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, made the announcement.
Vandal said “The Government of Canada is making strategic investments to build on Alberta’s strengths in clean technology, including its talent, energy expertise, and emerging capabilities in energy transition.”
More than $2.1 million of the funding will support an Energy Transition Centre in downtown Calgary. The money will enable the University of Calgary and private sector partner Avatar Innovations to transform vacant office space in central Calgary into an innovation hub that advances the development of clean energy technologies.
Boissonnault said “As the energy industry evolves, Alberta has the know-how and determination to be a leader in innovative clean energy solutions.” He added “With this investment, our government is taking action to ensure that Alberta remains a leader in the global energy industry for generations to come.”
The Energy Transition Centre is expected to provide a space where Canada’s largest energy companies can collaborate with clean energy start-ups, innovators and investors. The Centre will facilitate access to specialized equipment, energy transition subject matter experts and entrepreneurship programming. As a central hub and world-class centre for energy transition, this initiative is expected to contribute to creating at least 25 new businesses over the next three years, and support the growth of many others operating in the clean energy sector.
Calgary’s mayor Jyoti Gondek welcomed the investment in the city’s clean tech and energy transition businesses. “We are proud to be working alongside key partners to establish Calgary as a centre for excellence in the energy transition economy which in turn will act as a major catalyst for downtown revitalization.”
One major goal of the Energy Transition Centre is “finding solutions for sustainable energy production,” said Ed Ed McCauley, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Calgary. “The University of Calgary has been hard at work with our partner, Avatar Innovations in spearheading this transformation.”
“This effort plays a vital role in revitalizing Calgary’s economy, and we’re proud to be a part of this entrepreneurial solution,” added McCauley.
An additional $900,000 investment through PrairiesCan will enable the Foresight Clean Technology Accelerator Centre to offer its accelerator programs in Alberta. Foresight will use funds to provide the training and investment attraction initiatives that clean technology organizations at various stages of scaling up need to grow and capture global market share.
According to a recent Alberta Energy Transition Study, the clean technology sector could create 170,000 jobs and contribute $61 billion to gross domestic product by 2050 in Alberta alone. The Government of Canada says it is committed to helping Canadian businesses capitalize on this rapid growth and to ensuring Canada is a leader in the development of clean technology solutions.