Federal funding supports Saskatchewan economic development

News release

$2.1 million dollars to boost innovation in Saskatchewan

More than $2.1 million in federal funding will support innovation ecosystems in Saskatchewan

August 3, 2021 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada is providing support to business ecosystems in Saskatchewan through targeted investments that build on regional strengths, encourage innovation, and support underrepresented groups. This support will encourage growth, productivity, and competitiveness of the western Canadian economy.

Through Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of Canada is supporting not-for-profits, Indigenous organizations, industry associations, and post-secondary educational institutions that are creating the entrepreneurial and supportive environment to help grow economic sectors and communities across Saskatchewan.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $2,141,386 in funding for 11 projects under the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program.

The projects include:

  • Battleriver Bison Preservation Inc. is receiving $250,000 to develop an Indigenous tourism experience by reintroducing plains bison to the prairies.
  • Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce is receiving $15,000 to develop and launch an annual business confidence survey in Saskatoon and region.
  • Hatchet Lake Development Limited Partnership is receiving $100,000 to install equipment at Wollaston Lake airport to improve access to the northern communities
  • International Minerals Innovation Institute is receiving $75,000 to support the Alternative Energy Systems Innovation Challenge for Saskatchewan mining.
  • Little Black Bear’s First Nation is receiving $261,600 to expand Indigenous grain farm operations in southern Saskatchewan.
  • PLATOSask Testing Inc. is receiving $350,000 to train Indigenous software testers in Saskatchewan.  
  • Saskatchewan Economic Development Association Inc. (operating as Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance) is receiving $15,000 to host a virtual forum to support inclusive regional economic development in Saskatchewan.
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic is receiving $99,786 to purchase a drone with sensing and mapping technology for industry services and training.
  • University of Saskatchewan is receiving $100,000 to procure equipment to support pulse starch utilization in biomaterials.
  • University of Saskatchewan is receiving $850,000 to purchase genomics equipment to serve crop breeders in developing new crop varieties, via Global Institute for Food Security, Omics, and Precision Agriculture Laboratory.
  • University of Saskatchewan is receiving $25,000 to undertake the first Let’s Talk About Water industry engagement events through the Global Institute for Water Security.

Through targeted investments, the Government of Canada is building a stronger Western Canada by growing emerging sectors, advancing western businesses in the international marketplace, and supporting the creation of well-paying jobs.


“Strong regional economies are crucial to the success of the Canadian economy. By making strategic investments through initiatives like the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program, our Government is supporting businesses and organizations that have upheld our local economies throughout the pandemic as Canada looks toward recovery.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

Strong regional economies are crucial to the success of the Canadian economy.

- Hon. Mélanie Joly

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“Our economy must work for all Canadians. That is why our government is investing over $2.1 million to support business ecosystems in Saskatchewan that will develop and diversify the local economy, create jobs and lead to stronger national and international growth for this region.”

– The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies

Our economy must work for all Canadians.

– Hon. Jim Carr

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Quick facts

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) makes strategic investments through Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) in not-for-profit organizations that support businesses in priority sectors to innovate, grow and compete globally.

  • WD also fosters inclusive growth through supporting under-represented groups, mainly women, Indigenous peoples, and young entrepreneurs, to more fully participate in the innovation economy.

  • The Government of Canada’s regional development agencies are delivering the RIE program across Canada. WD is delivering RIE in Western Canada.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Matthew Deutscher
A/Director of Policy, Planning and External Relations, Saskatchewan Region
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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