January 27, 2022

Alberta Stories

A prime example: Amazon Web Services makes high-impact $4.3B investment in Alberta tech

Alberta’s vibrant tech sector continues to see international investment—this time with a record $4.3 billion investment by 2037 from Amazon Web Services to build a new cloud computing hub in Calgary, announced November 8, 2021.  

Calgary—a city often known for its energy headquarters—has become home to billions in investment from tech innovators in recent years. Tech giant Amazon Web Services joins the growing list of companies seeing the benefits of high-value tech investment and expansion in Alberta—a list that includes SMART Technologies, benevity, Infosys, zedi, granify, Exro Technologies, mCloud, Royal Bank of Canada and more. 

Rogers Communications also announced its intention to locate its National Centre of Excellence in Technology and Engineering in Alberta, bringing 500 high-paying jobs to Calgary. 

Invest Alberta partnered with Calgary Economic Development on the pitch to Amazon Web Services as the company searched for the best location in Canada for its next global operation. This particular hub will create more than 950 jobs across Canada.  

Alberta boasts the youngest workforce in Canada, globally -competitive tax rates and affordable international cities, making it a top destination to grow a tech and innovation economy with specialized workforce needs. Calgary, for example, has more than 100 corporate headquarters, creating even more opportunities for multinational tech companies to flourish. Companies like KidDoodle.TV and the Alberta Motor Association are already using AWS’s cloud services.  

Alberta’s tech story is one of rapid, high-impact growth creating thousands of jobs. Between 2012 and 2018 alone, the number of technology companies headquartered in Alberta increased by 33%, according to Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s 2018 Alberta Deal Flow Study

Invest Alberta’s team helped connect Amazon Web Services to Alberta’s tech and start-up ecosystem, government partners and post-secondary institutions, and looks forward to working with AWS on workforce retraining and upskilling to grow the talent pool in Alberta to support the cloud computing industry. 

“This major investment from AWS again demonstrates that Alberta is establishing itself as a dominant player in digital technology and innovation. This multi-billion-dollar data centre project in our province underscores the work being done by Invest Alberta to create jobs and diversify the economy,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. “I look forward to working with AWS on this project and seeing how it will strengthen Alberta’s information technology and communication sector.”    

Amazon has also committed to becoming a key renewable energy player in Alberta. In April, Amazon announced its first renewable energy project in Canada—an 80 megawatt (MW) solar project in Newell County that will contribute enough energy to the grid to power more than 18,000 homes for a year.  

(L-R) Invest Alberta CEO Rick Christiaanse, Minister of Jobs Economy and Innovation, Hon. Doug Schweitzer, and Managing Director, Canada, Justin Archer pose for a photo after the AWS announcement in Calgary.

In June, Amazon announced its largest renewable energy project in Canada—a 375 MW solar farm in Vulcan, Alberta that will power more than 100,000 homes for a year when it comes online.  

The Venture Capital Association of Alberta (VCAA) and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) recently announced that Alberta posted a record year in 2020 for venture capital investment.  

Alberta is on track to make this happen again in 2021. In an increasingly connected world, Alberta is perfectly positioned to offer the best business environment for the tech ecosystem, and the next generation of entrepreneurs and business builders. 

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