Where Investment Thrives

Info & Communication Technologies

Industry Profile

Info & Communication Technologies

Alberta has a vibrant ICT sector with companies that develop products and services using a variety of technologies. This includes artificial intelligence, geomatics, augmented and virtual reality, and big data analytics.

After energy and agriculture, advanced technology is the third largest industry driving Alberta’s economy. In 2015, the province’s ICT industry generated $15.6 billion in revenues. In 2015, over 7 per cent of businesses in Alberta were in the technology sector, the second highest proportion in Canada (source: Brookfield Institute The State of Canada’s Tech Sector 2016).

Alberta's Strengths

Strong Post-Secondary and Research Capabilities

  • The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute formed in 2002 at the University of Alberta, collaborates with Google Brain, Google Research, Adobe Research, Volkswagen Data Lab, and various universities
  • The University of Calgary is a research leader in technology for autonomous vehicles, including geomatics engineering, data security, and transportation systems optimization.
  • Maclean’s Magazine ranked the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary among the top ten universities for best computer science programs in Canada for 2018.
  • Alberta is also home to Canada’s Nanotechnology Research Centre connecting industry, university and other partners to leverage expertise locally, nationally and internationally.

Growing Sector

  • The technology sector in Alberta is growing. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of technology companies headquartered in Alberta increased by 48 per cent (source: Alberta Enterprise Corporation 2016 Alberta Deal Flow Study).
  • Software development is a significant driver of growth in Alberta, with a 61 per cent increase in the number of companies developing software.

Robust Cyber-Infrastructure

  • Alberta has the most extensive public infrastructure per capita in Canada (source: Statistics Canada CANSIM table 031-0005). This includes infrastructure like SuperNet and WestGrid.
    • SuperNet connects over 4,700 hospitals, schools, libraries, and government facilities in over 429 provincial communities through a fibre optic high-speed broadband network.
    • WestGrid is Canada’s largest high-performance computing grid.

Success Stories

Benevity Logo

Benevity

Based in Calgary, Benevity is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. It has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations to almost 150,000 charities worldwide, and works with multinational corporate clients including Nike, Coca-Cola, Google, and Apple.

Granify logo

Granify

Edmonton based Granify provides a Software-as-a solution to help online retailers maximize their sales by using big data and machine learning technologies.– Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Klass Capital, iNovia Capital, BDC, and Social Starts have invested in the company.

Smart Technologies Logo

Smart Technologies

Smart Technologies is best known as the developer of interactive whiteboards known as “Smart Boards”. Headquarterd in Calgary, Smart Technologies was acquired by Foxconn for $200 million in 2016.

Zedi Logo

Zedi

Zedi is a leading oil and gas technology and services company in the field of production operations. The company is based in Calgary  and now operates in over 25 countries around the world and employs 700 people.

Areas of Expertise

ai

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Alberta is a world leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning research and development. In recent years, Alberta’s AI ecosystem has seen an incredible upswing in growth with the attraction of various research labs and increase number of AI startups.

data centres

Big data

Alberta is one of the best places to open a data center in North America. Investors benefit from a low cost jurisdiction with a reliable energy source and strong connectivity.

geomatics

Geomatics

Alberta is a world leader in innovative geomatics technologies, with the sector traditionally focusing on supporting resource management solutions.

Business Support Programs - Government of Alberta

Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) - https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-investor-tax-credit.aspx
AITC is a tax credit for encouraging investment in non-traditional sectors with strong job-creation potential.

Alberta Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit Program - http://economic.alberta.ca/taxcredit.asp
A tax credit for businesses conducting R&D leading to new, improved, or technologically advanced products or processes.

Alberta Innovates Funding Programs - https://albertainnovates.ca/funding/
Funding programs for Alberta businesses doing research and development in a variety of sectors.

Alberta Export Support Fund - https://www.alberta.ca/export-support-fund.aspx
The Export Support Fund reimburses up to 50% of costs on approved export activities for Alberta’s small and medium sized enterprises.

Cybera Rapid Access Cloud - https://www.cybera.ca/services/rapid-access-cloud/
Cybera officers free cloud computing resources to Alberta-based academics, researcher, non-profits and SMEs.

Research Capacity Program - https://www.alberta.ca/research-capacity-program.aspx
The RCP funding program supports post-secondary institutions in acquiring small equipment and large research infrastructure.

Business Support Programs - Government of Canada

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit - http://www.finance.alberta.ca/publications/tax_rebates/corporate/sred1.html
SR&ED is a federal tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in Canada.

Industrial Research Assistance Program - https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap/
IRAP provides innovation and funding services to accelerate business growth through innovation and technology.

Strategic Innovation Fund - Federal - https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/programs/strategic-innovation-fund.html
This program allocates repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada's industrial and technology sectors.

Canadian Technology Accelerators - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/cta-atc/index.aspx?lang=eng
This Government of Canada initiative helps Canadian companies with an existing technology, product or service explore opportunities in foreign markets.

CanExport - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/funding-financement/canexport/index.aspx?lang=eng
CanExport provides financial support to SMEs for development of new export opportunities.

Support Organizations

Alberta Innovates - https://albertainnovates.ca/
Alberta Innovates is a catalyst for innovation. Innovators, businesses and researchers can easily tap into our collective assets – cross sectoral knowledge and expertise, funding, networks and research facilities.

TEC Edmonton - https://www.tecedmonton.com/
TEC Edmonton helps to accelerate the growth of emerging technology-based companies in Edmonton.

Calgary Technologies Inc. - https://www.calgarytechnologies.com/
CTI helps accelerate the impact of innovation-driven ventures by providing access to space, programs, mentorship and capital.

Edmonton Research Park - http://www.edmontonresearchpark.com/
ERP provides access for startups and growing companies to workspace, programs, and research communities. They also make land available to companies building research facilities in biotechnology, nanotechnology, clean energy and oil and gas support.

Alberta Business Incubators - https://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app68/biia?cat1=type&cat2=Mixed-use
A list of business incubators in Alberta for a variety of industries.

Accelerate Fund - https://www.acceleratefund.ca/
The Accelerate Fund supports early-stage Alberta technology companies with a venture capital fund that matches angel investment.

Startup Edmonton - http://www.startupedmonton.com/
Startup Edmonton supports local entrepreneurs through the provision of mentorship, programs, co-working space and community events.

Startup Calgary - https://www.startupcalgary.ca/
Startup Calgary provides a variety of events and programs for entrepreneurs in the startup phase.

Edmonton Economic Development - http://www.eedc.ca/
EED supports economic development in the city of Edmonton.

Calgary Economic Development - https://www.calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/
CED supports economic development in the city of Calgary.

Online Directories

Connectica - https://www.connectica.ca/i3/
A directory of funding, programs, and services for Alberta innovators.

Alberta Innovators Ecosystem - http://albertain.com/
AlbertaIn is a community owned online directory of innovation sector service providers.

Business Link - http://businesslink.ca/service-provider-directory
A directory of service providers for Alberta businesses.

Innovate Canada - https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/innovation/list-liste/a38d3341e44c4327
The Government of Canada’s directory of business support programs.

Start Alberta - https://startalberta.com/
Start Alberta provides a database of companies, investors, and organizations in Alberta.

Contacts

Investor Contact
Mei Huang, Senior Director, Invest Alberta
Email: mei.huang@gov.ab.ca 

Alberta Business Contact
Tim Olsen, Senior Director, Technology Partnerships and Investment
Email: tim.olsen@gov.ab.ca 
Phone:  780-644-4970

 

ICT Events

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