September 13, 2017
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – Today, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) released a report that estimates the size of Saskatoon’s growing technology sector. The report also highlights key areas for how growth in the sector can be better supported. Often overshadowed by our local economy’s focus on natural resources, the technology sector contributes value to the Saskatoon Region through high-paying jobs and economic diversification.
The report was created to develop an understanding of the local technology sector and determine its impact on the economy. In addition, the report incorporates feedback from industry stakeholders to establish three specific recommendations on how to grow the sector further.
“With each passing year, technology becomes a bigger part of our world and having a robust technology sector is increasingly important as we become a more knowledge-based economy,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “It makes sense for Saskatoon to capitalize on this growth. Expanding our technology sector provides an opportunity to attract talented professionals to the Saskatoon Region, create highly-skilled jobs, and better diversify our economy.”
“Supporting and empowering Saskatoon’s emerging technology sector is an important part of diversifying our opportunities for success in a changing global economy,” said Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon. “Technology is a huge and growing part of our lives, and as this report indicates Saskatoon has many of the key components to grow this sector and ensure that Saskatoon’s other economic drivers can benefit from technological innovation.”
While interpretations of what firms fit within the technology sector vary, the report estimates that there are over 65 technology businesses currently operating in Saskatoon. Roughly 8,000 professionals are employed within Saskatoon’s technology sector. The report also estimates that the technology industry accounts for roughly 2.5 percent of all Saskatchewan businesses, and 1.3 percent of provincial employment.
Based on research and industry stakeholder consultations, the report concludes that the development of a robust technology sector within Saskatchewan is dependent on improvements in talent acquisition, capital funding, and scale-up support. Each of these three areas is canvassed in the report, which also includes a call to action on how to grow Saskatoon’s technology sector into a keystone industry.
“Given the recent international success of local technology companies such as Noodlecake Studios and Skip the Dishes, it is apparent that Saskatoon has the ability to support world-class technology businesses”, said Emmett Ruff, co-author of the report. In SREDA’s view, expanding talent networks, funding programs, and scale-up support can help Saskatoon become a top region for the establishment of even more industry-leading technology startups.
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