Alberta Replaces Cancelled R&D Incentive Program

Alberta Set to Release New Tax Incentive Program for SR&ED

The United Conservative Party government used its first budget in 2019 to outline more than $1-billion in spending cuts, including eliminating incentives for the technology industry. The government reversed course this week as it outlined research-and-development grants, as well as a $175-million program designed to help startups access venture capital.

People within the industry said the move signals a change in the government’s approach to diversify the economy at a time when investors and startups had started looking outside of Alberta.

“There was pretty big push-back after that first budget and, to the credit of the government, they’ve listened,” said Cory Janssen, chief executive officer of Edmonton-based AltaML and a member of the province’s working group mandated with finding alternatives to the tax credits.

“Alberta is quite behind the rest of the country when it comes to our tech ecosystem. Things had been pretty good here for a long time with our other core industries and I think one could argue that it pushed out the tech ecosystem a little bit.”

This week they announced that they are launching new financial programs targeted at its innovation and technology sector less than one year after startups said that slashed tax credits and grants caused investment to leave the province.

To be fair to the Alberta Government, they recently faced the double whammy of plunging oil prices AND the COVID 19 pandemic. We look forward to studying the details when they are released in the fall of 2020.

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