MONCTON- Joined by start-ups and knowledge industry leaders, Premier David Alward today said Yes to an expanded Innovation Agenda that will create jobs and prosperity in New Brunswick communities.
Alward, who co-chairs the province’s Research and Innovation Council with Geoff Flood of T4G, announced the Progressive Conservative plan to invest an additional $18 million to continue planting seeds to grow new success in the province’s knowledge sectors such as the information and communications technology.
The plan builds on the Alward government’s five-year, $82 million Innovation Agenda.
“Targeted investments in knowledge industries create jobs in our communities and will help write New Brunswick’s next big success stories like Radian 6 and Q1 Labs,” said Alward.
In addition to creating jobs in knowledge industries such as ICT, Alward said the Innovation Agenda will help drive the success of the Progressive Conservative plan to generate $10 billion in private sector investments in shale gas and natural resource development.
“New Brunswick technology firms are already adding value to natural resource industries here and around the world, and our innovation plan will help harness their full potential and create great jobs here at home,” said Alward.
“Our plan to create jobs and prosperity in New Brunswick communities is focused on building a strong natural resource economy and a strong knowledge economy.”
Alward highlighted his commitment to develop and implement a digital society agenda for government.
“A strong focus on innovation makes New Brunswick more competitive and better equipped to thrive in a digitized society. This strong focus creates jobs in our communities and strengthen our economy,” said Alward.
“A digital government allows for increased transparency, increased efficiencies and less red tape. That is why we have placed so much focus on innovation and it is why we will continue on this path.”
As part of its five year, $82 million innovation agenda the Alward government implemented an Innovation Challenge aimed at bringing New Brunswick’s best and biggest ideas to markets around the world.
The Innovation Challenge has begun accepting applications for the second round of large-scale initiatives which will have the aim of transforming New Brunswick industries by focusing research and development assets to create jobs.
For example, the Innovation Challenge led to a $5 million dollar government investment in GTech Canada ULC’s project to commercialize a multi-channel content application platform across different sectors of the economy.
The Innovation Challenge also led to a $5 million government investment in a research and development project at McCain Foods which will match the company with local small and medium-sized businesses and researchers to pursue process improvement, product development and soil remediation initiatives.
The Alward government was also proud to invest in grassroots initiatives such as encouraging coding in schools as well as direct support for Brilliant Labs, which provides students and teachers with the resources to encourage creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and problem solving in classrooms.
“Innovation is the rocket fuel of job creation and economic growth,” said Alward. “Our focus on innovation is creating jobs and helping to bring our people home.”