Alberta’s new Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation announcing details on a new strategy he says will bring investment back to the province.
The $75 million dollar Investment and Growth Strategy, as outlined by Minister Doug Schweitzer, aims to build on the province’s existing strengths like energy, tourism, and agriculture.
Schweitzer also says it will focus on emerging sectors like technology in order to create jobs and jump-start Alberta’s economic recovery.
Part of Thursday’s announcement also includes a consultation with the technology sector to modernize Alberta’s intellectual property laws.
Schweitzer says “Alberta is coming to play in the tech and innovation space” and will move policy to the speed of business.
Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish says government policy on intellectual property is extremely important when it comes to fostering successful start-ups.
He points to an example from his previous career as a venture capitalist, saying “there was a spin-off of one of Alberta’s post secondary institutions and it was a really exciting team with really great technology. They had met all of my investment criteria. I was eager to work with them to help them commercialize their technology and to grow their business. But that deal fell apart because of the IP policies at the academic institution they were a spin-off of. Those policies had made them un-investible and these entrepreneurs were held back from raising capital from investors who were willing to cut a cheque.”
Glubish says if the government gets it right, policy on IP can spur investment and growth in the province but if it fails, innovation is stifled.
The $75 million dollars for the Investment and Growth Strategy will be spread out over the next three years.