Companies trying to move from the research stage to getting a product to market face a number of challenges, including finding financing for the product or service.
Western Canadian research parks, including Innovation Place in Saskatoon, are getting a boost at finding foreign direct investment in their research through a $125,000 fund by the Western Diversification Program (WDP).
The WDP will assist the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) Canada in linking foreign investors with western Canadian innovation companies.
“Often, part of that secret recipe for getting that new technology into the market is attracting the capital that you need to look for new supply chains, to get equipment to produce it,” said Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic
Diversification, in making the announcement. “This (investment) will help these new, emerging companies connect with investors from other companies that are looking to invest in Canada in areas of products that they are developing.”
Rempel said attracting global investment is increasingly important in driving innovation, productivity and competitiveness.
This project focuses on attracting investment for five priority sectors: information and communications technology, biotechnology, clean or environmental technology, ocean technology, and nanotechnology.
Van Isman, president and CEO of Innovation Place, said this type of funding is about more than just the funding.
He said companies can also come away with strategic alliances that will be key in areas such as gaining market entry.
Innovation Place houses 168 firms that employ 4,500 technology workers.
AURP Canada represents 26 research and technology parks across Canada; of those, six are located in Western Canada: Vancouver Island Technology Park, Discovery Park (University of British Columbia), Innovate Calgary, Edmonton Research and Technology Park, Innovation Place (Saskatchewan), and SmartPark (University of Manitoba).