Growing A Strong Economy Through Innovation
The Provincial Budget provides strong support for the innovation and technology sector, which will be vital to the province's economic recovery and future growth.
"Saskatchewan is home to a world-class research cluster and leading-edge technology companies, and this budget will continue to support their valuable work," Innovation Saskatchewan Minister Jeremy Harrison said. "We will continue working to attract investment to this sector and advance development in our key strengths, such as agriculture and agtech, to drive the province's economic recovery and return to growth."
The provincial government is extending the Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive (STSI) for five years. The STSI encourages investment in early-stage technology startups that bring new products to market and create jobs in Saskatchewan. The program offers a non-refundable 45 per cent tax credit to Saskatchewan-based investors who invest in eligible technology startup businesses. To date, the STSI has attracted $22 million of investment benefiting 62 technology companies who have created more than 144 new jobs.
To advance the province's efforts to become a leader in agtech, the Budget includes $3 million for investment into an agtech venture capital fund. This initial investment is part of the $15 million commitment announced last summer which will help develop new technologies in agriculture and position the province as a global leader in the agtech sector.
In total, the Budget provides more than $26 million to further develop Saskatchewan's research and commercialization capacity and to grow the technology sector. This includes continued support of the province's large scientific infrastructure, such as the Canadian Light Source and the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, and funding for research projects through the Innovation and Science Fund, Agtech Growth Fund and the Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund. To stimulate growth in the tech sector, the Budget will continue supporting Co.Labs and the Made-in-Saskatchewan Technology Program.
Innovation Saskatchewan will also continue providing strong support to the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) who will receive more than $4 million in operational funding. This support is in addition to the $15 million previously committed to support VIDO's Centre for Pandemic Research and $4.2 million to support the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and construct a new small-scale vaccine manufacturing facility. Construction of this facility is underway and expected to be completed in late 2021. The facility will be able to produce millions of doses of vaccines, helping to build Canada's domestic vaccine production capacity.