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Innovative Saskatchewan employers receive federal support to create hundreds of new jobs and opportunities

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Businesses and not-for-profit organizations in Saskatoon and central Saskatchewan receive significant federal funding

SASKATOONJuly 24, 2019 /CNW/ – Saskatchewan companies and not-for-profit organizations are contributing to the growth of Western Canada’s economy, and the Government of Canada is supporting them as they develop new products and create opportunities.

Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced over $21 million in funding towards 17 projects to promote innovation, skills development, and growth in Saskatchewan.

Collectively, these projects are expected to create 770 new jobs, provide training opportunities for over 900 people, and assist more than 630 small- and medium-sized enterprises to develop their businesses and commercialize their products. Among the recipients speaking at today’s event were:

  • 7shifts Employee Scheduling Software received $3 million through the Western Innovation Initiative to commercialize their cloud-based employee-scheduling platform for restaurants. Earlier this year the company secured one of the largest venture-funding deals in Saskatchewan history.
  • The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (The Food Centre) received $3.5 millionthrough the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program to expand its facilities and install equipment to develop and manufacture new products from plant-based ingredients. The project directly supports Saskatchewan’s value-added food processing industry. It is expected to assist 30 small- to medium-sized businesses in its first 18 months of operations.
  • Morris Industries received $1.5 million to commercialize an advanced bale-hauling product for the biomass and European markets.
  • The Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) received $1.6 million to promote western Canadian advanced manufacturing companies at international trade events, such as Europe’s largest agriculture technology trade show Agritechnica.
  • Keewatin Community Development Association received $975,000 to develop the non-timber forest sector in northern Saskatchewan, such as the harvesting of boreal plants for teas and nutritional supplements. The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, also highlighted this investment today in Air Ronge, Saskatchewan.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.

For more information about Western Economic Diversification Canada, visit www.wd-deo.gc.ca. A full list of the funding recipients in Saskatchewan is included in the backgrounder.

Quotes

“Through the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government of Canada remains committed to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, while creating well-paying jobs that help to strengthen and grow the middle class. Funding towards these projects reflect our commitment to support the entire innovation continuum, while creating new commercial opportunities for SMEs in Western Canada.”
–  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

Saskatchewan entrepreneurs are creative and innovative – always looking for new ways to become more competitive and extend their reach in the global economy. That’s one of the reasons why employment in Saskatchewan has reached record-high levels. The Government of Canada is proud to support this homegrown initiative to stimulate more jobs and growth, new training opportunities, the commercialization of new products, and greater prosperity for Saskatchewan.”
–  The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“As a rapidly growing business, we value the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Western Innovation Initiative to help us promote innovation and get our prairie-grown solutions into customers’ hands around the globe. We are proud to be part of the thriving technology sector here in Saskatchewan and are excited to be contributing to the overall advancement of the Canadian digital economy.”
–  Jordan Boesch, Chief Executive Officer, 7shifts

“The investment in the Food Centre will benefit Saskatchewan’s agri-food sector through enhanced services with expanded capacity to commercialize new innovative technologies and products.  It supports our industry’s commitment to be a global leader in innovation, expand value added food processing and provide industry access to global opportunities.”
–  Dan Prefontaine, President, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre

“For 90 years Morris Industries has been a leader in the development of agricultural equipment innovation for farmers all around the world. We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada through the Western Innovation Initiative. This support has accelerated development and commercialization of new products into new markets and enhanced our strategy to grow our business.”
–  Ben Voss, President and CEO, Morris Industries

“The need for export market expansion and diversification has never been more critical. In concert with annual support received from the provincial government, WD funding provides the support Saskatchewan and Western Canadian exporters need to take full advantage of major international trade shows where innovations are launched, trends are set, and deals are made.”  
–  Chris Dekker, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Trade Export Partnership

Western Economic Diversification Canada promotes the development and diversification of Western Canada’s economy and advances the interests of the West in national economic policy, programs and projects.

The projects announced today include:

Organization

Project Description

Location

Funding

7shifts Employee Scheduling Software Inc.

Develop a predictive employee scheduling platform for enterprise restaurant operators

Saskatoon, SK

$3,000,000

Biktrix Enterprises Inc.

Commercialize novel multipurpose hybrid electric bike

Saskatoon, SK

$250,000

Bitstrata Systems Inc.

Commercialize weighing and data management products for the precision agriculture market

Saskatoon, SK

$1,130,865

Coconut Software Corporation

Commercialize on-demand appointment scheduling software

Saskatoon, SK

$3,500,000

Genome Prairie

Expand mobile genomics capacity into Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK

$745,846

Keewatin Community Development Association

Develop the non-timber forest sector in northern Saskatchewan

Air Ronge, SK

$975,000

Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation

Provide construction skills training to youth at the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation

Loon Lake, SK

$211,109

Morris Industries Ltd. 

Commercialize an advanced bale hauling product for the biomass and European markets

Saskatoon, SK

$1,550,250

Prairie Diagnostic Services

Install specialized equipment for diagnostic tests for food producing animals

Saskatoon, SK

$1,334,786

Saskatchewan Collaborates Inc.

(Co.Labs)

Increase youth participation in tech entrepreneurship

Saskatoon, SK

$250,000

The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. 

(Food Centre)

Support entrepreneurs to develop, modify, and manufacture plant based ingredients

Saskatoon, SK

$3,500,000

Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association Inc.

Market SIMSA member capabilities to engineering firms and out-of-province resource companies

Saskatoon, SK

$294,438

Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership

Promote western Canadian advanced manufacturing opportunities at international events

Saskatoon, SK

$1,690,000

University of Saskatchewan

(Innovation Enterprise)

Create entrepreneurs by commercializing shelf ready technologies developed at the University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK

$650,880

University of Saskatchewan

(Centre for Biologic Imaging Research and Development)

Commercialize and establish production of new imaging agents in Saskatoon

Saskatoon, SK

$987,000

Viamo Inc.

Develop a multi-channel communication platform for international markets

Saskatoon, SK

$875,000

Western Canada Testing Inc.

Expand digital prototyping capabilities to serve industry clients

Humboldt, SK

$95,990

TOTAL WD FUNDING

$21,041,174

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SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada

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