Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

July 31, 2015 16:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports High-Tech Innovation and Skills Training Opportunities in Western Canada

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced two federal investments, through the Western Diversification Program (WDP), to enhance economic competitiveness in the West.

Federal funding of $291,375 will enable Innovate Calgary, in partnership with the University of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnic, to establish the Kinetica Innovation Centre for high-tech start-up companies to develop innovative technological solutions for the energy sector, accelerate commercialization opportunities, and engage students to participate in industry-relevant projects.

A second investment of $297,500 will support SAIT Polytechnic in the development of 3D virtual training modules for skilled trade workers, which will allow students to access training through a blended classroom and online distance learning experience. This investment will promote economic growth by helping to train workers for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades.

Quick Facts

  • The Kinetica Innovation Centre, located at SAIT Polytechnic, is a collaborative initiative combining science and engineering strengths, technical talent, and business acceleration services to help create an innovation ecosystem for the energy industry.
  • Kinetica, a program of Innovate Calgary, is working with the energy industry to identify key challenges and will help guide the Centre's clients to align their product development activities with industry needs.
  • The development of 3D educational applications at SAIT Polytechnic will train students in electrician, millwright, and non-destructive testing trades.
  • Over the next 10 years, Alberta will experience up to 25 per cent attrition in the skilled workforce in the energy industry due to retirements.


"Our Government recognizes the important role that innovation plays in creating jobs and economic growth. By investing in the collaborative work of these institutions we are not only helping to develop sophisticated technological solutions, we are also preparing students for skilled positions in the future."

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"Innovate Calgary is proud to have a role in creating additional opportunities for the development of pivotal energy technologies. This Centre is an example of how government, universities and poly-technical institutions can come together in a collaborative way to support entrepreneurs. It also demonstrates the opportunity to create a world-class energy innovation ecosystem, within our province, that enables and expedites the most promising energy technologies to industry."

- Peter Garrett, President, Innovate Calgary

"Calgary's strengths as an energy leader will be catalyzed by the kind of partnership represented by Kinetica - where emerging research is formally supported by technology development and test facilities, and where companies can connect with support for faster application. This is how new opportunities will also solve the sector's most pressing challenges."

- ED McCauley, Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary

"The Government of Canada recognizes the value of industry partnership and applied education - two of SAIT's key institutional priorities. Through their support, SAIT can continue to elevate the learning experience for our students and set them up for successful careers."

- Dr. David Ross, President and CEO, SAIT Polytechnic

Additional Links

- Innovate Calgary

- Kinetica Ventures (A division of Innovate Calgary)

-University of Calgary

- SAIT Polytechnic

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