Ontario, Alberta join forces to boost innovation and prosperity in both provinces

April 10, 2014

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is partnering with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) to boost innovation and job creation in the two provinces.

Jointly announced on April 9 by the Governments of Ontario and Alberta, the Alberta Ontario Innovation Program will bring industry and academia together to develop research projects with a strong economic focus. These projects will help create jobs, advance the commercialization of new products and improve existing products and services in both provinces.

“Our government recognizes that Ontario’s capacity to compete in the global knowledge-based economy and to create the jobs of tomorrow depends on our research strengths,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation. “That is why we welcome this strategic partnership with Alberta. Connecting industry and research leaders in Ontario and Alberta will help both provinces become more innovative, productive and competitive.”

The two-year program will fund projects that focus on strengthening global competitiveness. It will draw on academic expertise to address challenges faced by industry.

“This partnership with Alberta will mean significant investment in innovative projects that will bring great economic benefits to both provinces,” said Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “This program, along with our life sciences partnership with Quebec, positions OCE as a leader in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across Canada on behalf of Ontario.”

Projects eligible for funding include those focused on developing new products and services in areas such as energy storage, biogas, pipeline coatings and the remediation of contaminated water. These may span multiple sectors, including energy, manufacturing, advanced materials, clean technology and ICT.

“As an export-focused economy like Ontario’s, Alberta knows our success at home often means success for our partners across Canada,” said Alberta Premier Dave Hancock. “With a shared focus on innovation and a goal to enhance our ability to commercialize research, our two provinces can better compete locally, globally and build a stronger Canada.”

Ontario and Alberta will provide up to $4 million to the program to be matched up to $4 million by industry partners in both provinces. Additional matching funds of up to $4 million are available through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).