Research and Development

pic7The Alberta oil and gas industry leads the world in many aspects of energy development. Industry, government, and educational institution collaborations are directly responsible for major technologies currently used in Alberta’s energy sector. One example is Alberta Innovates—responsible for a variety of research into oil sands and oil/gas industry technology.

Both federal and provincial governments are committed to partnering with industry to address industry challenges. The province maintains a motivated business-orientated climate, with a strong research and development focus. The federal government promotes this focal point by offering significant tax incentives—the most generous tax treatment for research and development in G-7 countries.

One of Canada’s key goals is to increase international research and development collaboration. Benefits include new international business opportunities, access to the world’s best minds, and shared intelligence to eliminate duplication of efforts. Cost-sharing opportunities exist to develop infrastructure resources that might otherwise be too expensive for one country or company to individually support.

The Government of Alberta recognizes the importance of supporting innovation to build a diverse and prosperous economy. It provides strategic science and research leadership, as indicated in the 2011 Alberta Budget.

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Tax Considerations

Canada offers investors the lowest overall tax rate among developed countries and the most appealing research and development tax credit program in G7 countries. The Canada Revenue Agency Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program outlines this support. It encourages Canadian businesses to conduct research and development that will lead to new, improved, or technologically advanced products or processes. This program is the largest single source of federal government support for industrial research and development.

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Research Facilities

Some of the world’s finest research facilities are located in Alberta—a province that recognizes research and development are key to ensuring growth in all economic sectors. Alberta’s ultra-modern research and development facilities provide scientists with advanced opportunities to turn innovative ideas into practical applications. Collaboration between government, industry, and educational institutions continually result in landmark research developments.

A selection of research facilities in Alberta include:


Educational Facilities

Alberta’s educational institutions are internationally recognized for outstanding research and development accomplishments. Adept at obtaining sponsored research revenue, Alberta universities are able to fund advanced research programs. Highly qualified scientists are attracted to the world-class equipment in these university facilities.

The greater community realizes significant benefits from research at Alberta’s universities. Technology commercialization brings research results to the private sector and stimulates economic growth. This results in new companies, and technology licensing to existing companies. Seventy companies are currently active as a result of University of Albertaresearch.

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R & D Opportunities

Alberta is continually seeking new ways to enhance the viability and value-added upgrading of its energy resources.  Alberta’s Provincial Energy Strategy focuses on developing an integrated energy sector that looks beyond extraction in order to maximize the potential of our resources to enhance the growth of Alberta’s refining and petrochemical industries.

The Government of Alberta and industry representatives have developed a vision that expects and enables opportunities for hydrocarbon upgrading and bitumen to play a leading role in Alberta’s broader energy strategies.  Given the size of the oil sands resource, it has the potential to be a long-term supply of competitively priced refining and petrochemical feedstock.

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