The Alberta Government announced Wednesday it is launching the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG) to promote economic growth and job creation by supporting small and medium-sized businesses that invest in research and development (R&D).
“The Innovation Employment Grant will create good jobs in the critical technology and innovation sectors. Together with Alberta’s Job Creation Tax Cut, this will make Alberta the best place in Canada to start a tech firm,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a news release.
“More venture capital will also be available through the Alberta Enterprise Corporation. And, our Skills for Jobs Agenda, together with the start-up visa we are creating through the Alberta Immigration Program, will make our province a magnet for new tech start-ups.”
The government said the IEG rewards businesses that make investments in technology and innovation by providing a grant of up to 20 per cent of R&D spending. It is significantly more generous than similar tax credits offered in British Columbia and Ontario, it said.
“The Innovation Employment Grant provides an efficient and explicit incentive for growth and job creation in Alberta’s tech and innovation sector. The incremental approach will be unique within Canada and will help attract start-ups and high-growth firms,” said Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.
“Companies in pre-income and scale-up phases will benefit from the IEG, and as they become more profitable graduate to the Job Creation Tax Cut. These two initiatives will work together to support the growth of businesses of all sizes.”
“Technology is the fastest-growing area of the global economy. Our government is creating an environment where tech sector businesses can flourish and hire folks into the industries of the future. With this added support, we are once again signalling that Alberta is open for business and is one of the best places in the world to invest and do business,” added Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.
The government said it will help create up to 4,000 jobs by investing an additional $175 million over three years to Alberta Enterprise Corporation. Alberta Enterprise will use this money to support Alberta’s tech entrepreneurs with the access to capital, operational expertise and industry networks they need to grow their businesses. The Skills for Jobs Agenda will also empower more Albertans to develop the necessary skills and training to find new jobs in the growing technology and innovation sector, added the government.