Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan invest in future of advanced technology

The Saskatchewan Advanced Technology Association (SATA) has launched a $356,610 four-part initiative that will develop strategies to foster the long-term growth of the province’s high technology sector.

Minister of Finance, Ralph Goodale announced a total of $295,984 in matching funds for the initiative through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) program.

“SATA’s forward-looking initiative will make the necessary connection between the local technology sector and its future as a global competitor,” said Goodale. The Federal Government, he said, would work closely with the high-tech industry to establish Saskatchewan and Canada as “pacesetters in the world’s knowledge-based economy.”

The four-phase initiative will focus on determining the state of the advanced technology industry, identifying education needs, developing Web resources and establishing a strategic plan for SATA and its stakeholders.

The overall goal of the project, according to Greg Sutton, executive director of SATA is to strengthen the advanced technology industry — and its supporting infrastructure — in Saskatchewan. “The Saskatchewan technology industry is competing in global markets on a daily basis and we need to ensure the local business environment is conducive to sustained growth and high productivity,” he said.

SATA is a non-profit corporation that brings small to medium sized Saskatchewan-based technology companies and organizations together to expand and enhance the province’s advanced technology sector. It provides timely support to an industry that is booming in the province with the arrival of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and the growth of Ag-biotechnology, information technology, satellite tracking systems, and space and atmospheric research.

SATA’s mandate covers the concerns of over 700 companies from the advanced technology industry in Saskatchewan. Its 170 members represent Information and Communication Technology, New Media, Instrumentation and Electronics, Aerospace, Engineering, Environment, Manufacturing, and Biotechnology. In September 2003, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan entered into the new four-year, $50 million Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA). The agreement focuses on increasing the competitiveness and productivity of the Saskatchewan economy.

Funding for this project was provided for in the March 2004 federal budget.

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