Innovative, high-growth Edmonton companies receive federal support for scaling up, creating jobs

News release

$17 million to help leading-edge Edmonton companies scale up

Federal funding of $17 million through PrairiesCan will create hundreds of jobs and help Edmonton’s most innovative and leading-edge companies grow and enter new markets

April 29, 2022 – Edmonton, Alberta – Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan)

Albertans have the passion, determination, and expertise needed to develop cutting-edge products to meet global market demands. In and around Edmonton, innovative businesses across many industries and sectors are proving Canadian firms have what it takes to succeed in the global economy.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, joined by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, announced a federal investment of more than $17 million to help 11 leading-edge Edmonton area firms access the resources, capital, and support they need to scale-up and bring their products and services to new markets. 

These companies are playing crucial roles in key economic sectors of Alberta’s economy, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and digital technologies.

  • AltaML is receiving $2,580,000 to scale-up its business development and marketing capacity and to deliver enhanced artificial intelligence enabled solutions that help clients improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.
  • Dryrun is receiving $250,000 to enhance its financial modelling software and launch new sales and marketing activities to increase global market share.
  • EC Labs is receiving $350,000 to expand manufacturing and sales of its products into new international markets.
  • Landmark Group of Companies is receiving $1,000,000 to establish a pilot microfactory that increases the efficiency of home building by using artificial intelligence enabled robots to manufacture precision-built housing components.
  • PBG BioPharma is receiving $5,390,000 to increase its biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and develop new natural health products and medicines that contribute to increased domestic and global sales.
  • RJ MacLean Inc. is receiving $671,750 to develop, launch, and market a more efficient and effective industrial tank cleaning system called, ''The Osprey.''
  • RUNWITHIT Synthetics is receiving $900,000 to adapt and market its artificial intelligence enabled synthetic modelling platform to better support clean energy transition modeling and increase sales.
  • Sidekick is receiving $455,000 to develop new muscle relief and recovery medical products and launch digital marketing campaigns to increase sales in new markets.
  • Smart Access is receiving $250,000 to expand the functionality and sales of its software platform that reduces employee turnover, increases efficiency, and increases sales by making it easier for frontline workers to access, learn, and execute tasks.
  • Sparrow Connected is receiving $1,420,500 to enhance technologies and launch new marketing activities promoting their all-new, multi-platform corporate communications marketplace. 
  • The Organic Box is receiving $818,124 to adapt The Güd Box food delivery service to improve access to fresh, affordable, and seasonal produce to vulnerable low income and new Canadian families.

In addition, three of Edmonton’s key innovation drivers are also receiving funding to create opportunities for local businesses.

  • Innovate Edmonton is receiving $779,310 for “Capital City Pilots,” a novel collaboration with the City of Edmonton to develop, promote and market a procurement model where small- and medium-sized businesses can test their innovative technologies using City of Edmonton owned assets.
  • The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is receiving $1,391,700 to develop a standalone 5G network and a 5G mobile unit that enable businesses and industry partners to test new ground breaking 5G products and services.
  • Startup TNT is receiving $780,000 to develop and deliver investment summits that strengthen the start-up ecosystem and access to capital in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The total federal investment of $17,036,384 is expected to create 882 jobs that help drive the Alberta economy forward.

Quotes

“When Alberta’s innovators and entrepreneurs need a little support to scale-up our government is there to help them succeed. We want to see businesses in Edmonton and across the province thrive in a competitive global environment and today’s investment reflects that. Supporting these leading-edge companies will help create high quality jobs for Albertans and help strengthen Edmonton’s positon as a hub for innovation and technology—both nationally and globally.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan 

“Alberta technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems continually raise the bar for innovation, resilience, and international leadership. Our announcement today will provide the resources and supports Edmonton’s high-growth firms need to expand and capitalize on global market opportunities that will boost the regional economy, create good paying jobs, and support global competitiveness.”
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Working with our federal counterparts, Alberta’s government is proud to support forward-thinking organizations. Diversification is at the heart of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and we’re pursuing it in key growth sectors like technology and innovation. We will continue to support these businesses and organizations to diversify and grow our economy, attract investment and create jobs.”
Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

"Edmonton is known as a fantastic launchpad for entrepreneurs as they scale up and bring the best of our city to the global market. This funding allows us to unlock even more potential and use the City as a living lab giving entrepreneurs a chance to test their ideas. With many supports and our open-for-business policies, it is clear that Edmonton welcomes innovation, experimentation, and discovery. Thank you to the federal government for continuing to support Edmonton and our economic revival."
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“This support from PrairiesCan enables RUNWITHIT, a global award winning, women-led Certified Aboriginal Business, to accelerate transformative and convergent futures in energy, mobility and resilience.  We are looking forward to growing our team and business development successes.”
Myrna Bittner CEO Founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics

“The financial support from PrairiesCan is a significant boost to PBG BioPharma in a critical time of its rapid growth. We are very proud to be able to expand and strengthen our product and technology innovation as well as our manufacturing and commercialization to attract and retain significant talent and become a leading biopharmaceutical manufacturer and developer in Canada.”
Jacqueline Shan, CEO, PBG BioPharma

“Finding an affordable home is one of the biggest challenges that many Canadians have been facing in the past decade. The pilot micro-factory supported by PrairiesCan funding will showcase a scalable and agile solution that re-defines housing construction, creates new categories of jobs, significantly reduces waste and, ultimately, builds more homes much faster to meet Canadians’ needs of affordable and sustainable homes.”
Reza Nasseri, CEO, Landmark Group of Companies

“At Innovate Edmonton, we are positioning our city as a global innovation capital, accelerating innovation tied to global challenges, and providing coaching and navigation services for startups to access new markets and enlightened investment. Through this visionary federal funding, we’re launching Capital City Pilots in collaboration with the City of Edmonton, which aims to provide participating companies with a flagship municipal client to showcase on the international stage, boost innovation within our city and illuminate innovation in the public realm.”
- Catherine Warren, CEO, Innovate Edmonton

“The transformative power of 5G technology unlocks innovation for industry and creates well-paying jobs here in the Edmonton region. This strategic investment will expand and enhance NAIT’s 5G-enabled applied research space, empowering entrepreneurs and innovators to test their technology in a state-of-the-art, stand-alone 5G network housed within NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre.”
Laura Jo Gunter, President & CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 

Quick facts

  • PrairiesCan funding for 11 Edmonton and area companies is being provided through the Business Scale-up and Productivity program, as well as the Jobs and Growth Fund.

  • The Business Scale-up and Productivity program supports high-growth businesses that are scaling up and producing innovative goods, services, or technologies. Funding is interest-free and repayable.

  • The Jobs and Growth Fund helps job creators and the organizations that support them future-proof their businesses, build resiliency, and prepare for growth. Funding is interest-free and repayable.

  • PrairiesCan funding for Innovate Edmonton, NAIT, and Startup TNT is being provided through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem program, which aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs.

Associated links

Contacts

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
kyle.allen@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Prairies Economic Development Canada
rohit.sandhu@prairiescan.gc.ca

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