Edmonton is home to the Greater Edmonton Regional Technology Alliance, Canada’s first and only grouping of incubators that nourishes the growth of emerging knowledge-based companies and coordinates the region’s business incubators.
Chair of the alliance since 2010, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation’s (EEDC) role is one of facilitator, enabler, networker and cheerleader of the region’s technology advancement. Other alliance members include TEC Edmonton, novaNAIT, Northern Alberta Business Incubator, Business Link and National Institute of Nanotechnology. In 2011, three additional members joined the alliance: TR Labs, the National Research Council’s Industrial Research and Assistance Program, and Startup Edmonton.
“The Regional Alliance was developed to further establish Edmonton’s well-funded infrastructure for technology development and commercialization. In short, the alliance will help start-ups bring their product to market in a nurturing and safe environment,” says Candace Brinsmead, alliance chair, and vice-president of innovation and technology advancement at EEDC.
The industry early adopter program was an immediate outcome of the alliance, which matches start-ups with large, local and established businesses ?öÇ something like a mentor-protégé relationship. Industry early adopter members commit to assessing, mentoring, testing or adopting home-grown technologies.
As a member of the alliance, EEDC’s Edmonton Research Park houses dozens of research-oriented companies in high-opportunity sectors and is designed to maximize synergy and collaboration among these knowledge-based firms. The park has a role in the execution of the provincial technology commercialization strategy and is a stakeholder in TEC Edmonton, a joint venture with the University of Alberta, and a key player in supporting technology start-ups.
New alliances have been created, emulating the Regional Alliance model. Efforts are underway to establish a nanotechnology alliance in Edmonton.