The Government of Alberta made targeted investments in key sectors aligned with Calgary in the New Economy as Alberta Budget 2021 addressed the health and economic challenges facing the province.
The Budget, titled “Protecting Lives and Livelihoods,” commits funding to initiatives in sectors including fintech and clean tech and several programs to support the growing tech ecosystem as part of the UCP government’s commitment to its innovation-economy blueprint.
Innovation is one of the areas of focus for the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy. Recent research for Calgary Economic Development by IDC Canada forecasts Calgary companies will lead the $20 billion spend on digital transformation in Alberta from 2021 to 2024.
The Budget from Finance Minister Travis Toews adjusted to a sharp decline in government revenues but responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with record health spending and backed the economic recovery with a focus on innovation in key sectors.
Budget 2021 targets adding 900 new companies and 20,000 new jobs in the innovation sector in Alberta by 2030.
Innovation Employment Grant: Replaces the Scientific and Experimental Development tax credit with $166 million over three years for small and medium-sized firms to invest in research.
Alberta Innovates: Receives $15 million this fiscal year and $10 million next year for enhanced accelerator and startup programming.
Fintech: A concierge office will be established to help companies set up in Alberta. Will support a three-year research project on fintech led by the University of Calgary.
Energy/Clean Tech: An additional $449 million for Technology and Emissions Reduction (TIER) to lower GHGs; $28 million to support geothermal resource development.
Agribusiness: $32 million in agriculture supports and creation of an agribusiness strategy to increase value-added activities and diversification.
Film & TV production: The Film and Television Tax Credit increases from $32 million to $50 million annually to support more productions.