Government of Canada supports Manitoba’s global competitiveness

News release

Government of Canada makes keystone investments to put the Western Canada Growth Strategy into action in Manitoba

August 2, 2019 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Western Economic Diversification Canada
Manitoba’s diverse economy is contributing to the growth of western Canada. And the Government of Canada is committed to helping Manitoba industry, academia, business, and its not-for-profit sector continue to unlock the province’s growth and development. 
Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced over $12 million in funding for four projects to support Manitoba’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

These keystone investments will increase access to capital for small- and medium-sized businesses, foster industry-academia partnerships to grow talent for the new economy, develop regional trade strategies, and build on regional competitive advantages.

  • Harvest Venture Builder Inc. will receive up to $4,981,914 in funding to establish a pan-prairie accelerator that will increase the capacity of the innovation ecosystem across the Prairie provinces through support for business scale-up and growth.
  • The University of Manitoba will receive up to $2,200,000 in funding to facilitate industry-academia collaboration to support economic development in Manitoba in partnership with other Manitoba post-secondary institutions and the Business Council of Manitoba.
  • The World Trade Centre Winnipeg will receive up to $1,859,100 in funding to develop cluster-based trade strategies to increase exports for Manitoba businesses.
  • Red River College will receive up to $3,000,000 in funding to increase technology adoption and testing capabilities for heavy vehicle manufacturers in collaboration with industry partners and the Vehicle Technology Centre.

Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy is an invitation for western Canadians to work together to grow jobs, exports, and the economy. These projects align with that strategy and are the building blocks for a vibrant economic future in Manitoba that takes advantage of global opportunities and is a leader in access to capital, workforce skills, trade, and diversification.


“The Government of Canada is committed to working with our partners and western Canadians to turn high-growth Canadian companies into global successes. Through strategic investments like these, and the Western Canada Growth Strategy, the Government of Canada is building a stronger western Canada by enhancing our global competitiveness, growing and advancing western businesses into the international marketplace, and supporting the creation of well-paid jobs.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“These projects demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with western Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators to generate new business opportunities, create good jobs, and equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.” 
- The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre

“Manitoba has a broad and diversified economy; the Government of Canada’s investments in the projects announced today will support an economic future where innovative Manitoba businesses grow and communities thrive.”
- Dan Vandal, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – St. Vital

“We are pleased to have been selected as a partner for this cluster-based trade initiative and look forward to working with Western Economic Diversification Canada and other Manitoba stakeholders. The approved funding will further allow Manitoba businesses to innovate, grow and compete internationally.”
- Diane Gray, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, World Trade Centre Winnipeg

Harvest ( is the platform for Prairie founders to co-build their start-ups with experienced talent and entrepreneurs who have done it before, and gain access to a network of investors for the capital they need to grow.  The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada gives life to a pilot in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Calgary, with plans to expand to other cities as growth milestones are achieved.  Working alongside existing tech accelerators and programs, Harvest provides the unfair advantage that is required to germinate a tech ecosystem and build more meaningful, Prairie-based companies.”
- Chris Simair, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Harvest Venture Builder Inc.

“This project will help inform decision-making on areas of research strengths within academic institutions for industry-academic partnerships. In addition, enhanced connections to business will provide a better understanding of skill needs and allow us to develop and provide to students an expanded offering of work-integrated and other experiential education opportunities.”
- Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba

Associated links


Jill Ritchot
Senior Communications Advisor, Manitoba Region
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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