Western Canada’s digital media sector will receive a major boost thanks to federal funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada . This investment will help Graphics Animation and New Media NCE Inc. (GRAND) improve technology transfer and research commercialization. The announcement took place at the first annual Design Thinking UnConference  in Vancouver. 
Our investment in GRAND will help provide enormous benefits for B.C.’s vibrant and growing digital economy, said Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
This project will provide new technologies, exciting knowledge-based jobs and stronger, more competitive companies.
Funding will help deliver a two-year targeted small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) outreach, commercialization, and technology transfer program. The program will take place first in British Columbia and then be expanded to Alberta in the second year.
The program will build partnerships and educate the digital media community about GRAND’s activities. Initiatives include targeted work with local SMEs on technology transfer and business creation projects, including the development of research that could form the basis of new companies, and workshops that teach businesses how to attract start-up funding.
The program expects to develop nine technology prototypes, conduct 40 technology demonstrations and bring nine technologies to market. WD funding signals the federal government’s continued support for Canada’s flourishing digital media industry.
explained Kellogg Booth, scientific director, GRAND.
GRANDis uniquely positioned to deliver cutting research to the marketplace,
Digital media research conducted within our network has the potential to directly impact the products, services and businesses of tomorrow and the everyday lives of Canadians. GRAND researchers are active all across Canada. The WD investment will be a catalyst for our western initiatives.
Great Northern Way Campus , GRAND has 24 university members across Canada (including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, University of Victoria, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba), and more than 30 industry partners.
Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.