On April 12th, we welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and MP George Chahal to Innovate Edmonton for a national announcement, promoting the federal budget in support of small businesses and innovation. Following PM Trudeau’s national announcement, our CEO Catherine Warren delivered remarks about Edmonton’s leadership as an inclusive global innovation capital. 

“At its core, innovation is a team pursuit – it takes strange bedfellows and all levels of government. That’s why we’re so pleased to see an ambitious federal budget for innovation,” said Warren.

These include:  

  • Cutting taxes for small and medium enterprises with a new small business tax rate 
  • Building a world-leading Canada Growth Fund, representing a $15B investment over 5 years  
  • Establishing a new Canadian Innovation and Investment Agency, with $1B over 5yrs   
  • Focusing on the green transition 
  • Fostering diversity in Canadian Research Chairs 

“It’s this type of vision and investment that will support Canadian municipal powerhouses, like Edmonton – allowing organizations such as Innovate Edmonton to mobilize talented entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and universities to solve the world’s thorniest problems,” adds Warren.

In Edmonton, our vision of innovation is “big tent,” meaning, it’s wide open and inclusive. Innovation doesn’t belong to one specialized or technological area – anyone can be an innovator, no matter their age, sector, experience or background. We champion innovation by all and are welcoming to all.  

We might even suggest that our interpretation of innovation is revolutionary. What we are doing here at Innovate Edmonton, changing the conversation, opening the doors to innovators of all stripes, and doubling down on diversity across the board, isn’t easy to do, but we are already seeing results.  

  • Edmonton was recently named North America’s fastest-growing tech sector 
  • Nationally, we’re a top-two major metro for GDP growth 
  • Edmonton is advancing the renewable energy transition and welcoming billions in hydrogen investment 
  • The University of Alberta is ranked as 3rd in the world for artificial intelligence programming 

And the world needs more Edmonton. A passionate and vibrant community of entrepreneurs committed to sustainability, diversity and inclusion, aimed at solving some of the world’s biggest challenges including the climate emergency, public health, food security, digital divide, social justice and Reconciliation.  

“Not only are these the right things to support, but they’re exactly what command international market-share and where enlightened investors want to put their capital,” said Warren.

Edmonton-based innovators tackling these global challenges were in attendance and met PM Justin Trudeau: 

“Canada has some of the best scientists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators in the world,” Trudeau said. “But in order to bring those great ideas to market and help their businesses grow, they need support for research, development and mostly commercialization.”

As we look ahead, we’re enthusiastic about Edmonton’s growth as an inclusive global innovation capital. We invite all Edmontonians to participate in our joint mission – it’s going to be a great ride together.