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Amplifying manufacturing in Alberta

Amplifying manufacturing in Alberta

Posted on: March 06, 2017
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

ATB is shifting the conversation among small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Alberta. A wide-spanning ecosystem of support has been built and it goes beyond just financing. ATB is at the forefront of this ecosystem, having the capabilities to connect businesses to incubators, mentors, new market opportunities and technology advancement, to name a few.

ATB recently launched a Manufacture @Alberta initiative to help Alberta’s manufacturing sector access international markets and embrace innovation. With support from Alberta Economic Development and Trade, Global Affairs Canada, Export Development Canada, Alberta Innovates, Industrial Research Assistance Program, MITACs and Academic Institutions, ATB is creating a platform aimed at amplifying manufacturing activity in Alberta.

Manufacturing in Alberta employs over 140,000 Albertans and generates economic activity upwards of $60 billion in sales per year. The impact of Alberta’s manufacturing sector is felt in many other sectors across the province, including oil and gas, transportation, agriculture etc. Historically the challenge faced by Alberta’s manufacturing has been the inability to better identify global opportunities and access innovation support programs to grow their business and product line.

Recently ATB hosted its bi-annual event called ATB Catalyst YYC, and brought Alberta’s experts in the trade and innovation ecosystem to meet with manufacturing firms. With over 140 participants from all across Alberta, the purpose of the event was to connect manufacturers and experts in the space through networking, fireside chats, and a call to action from Ed Straw, ATB's Vice President of Strategic Business Solutions, to learn about new and exciting opportunities in trade and innovation.

Examples of some of the key opportunities they spoke about included: exploring international markets through the Alberta Export Expansion Package, support programs through Export Development Canada, Innovation funding opportunities through Alberta Innovates, IRAP and MITACS, and Federal engagement through Global Affairs Canada and Build in Canada Innovation program.

Manufacturers in attendance also had the opportunity to present to the expert panel on different problems they were facing. Overall, the opportunity was received with utmost excitement and optimism for growth of Alberta’s manufacturing sector through ATB’s continued support.

“Dave Mowat said something a few years ago that really stuck with me," said said Ed Straw.

"He said 'we are they'. If you want something done, you get the people that you need to get together and you become the ‘they’ that changes everything. If you wait for ‘they’ nothing is going to happen and your hope will be diminished.”

Jeff Lister of Fidelity Machines offered his thoughts on the event. "I left last night with a feeling of inspiration and an understanding that I am not alone in wanting this province and its people to succeed and I also left with a long list of people I need to track down and speak with,” said Lister.

Learn about future events, such as our next Catalyst, in our Amplify newsletter.
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