Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Curious about the tenants at Innovation Place?
Check out our Meet the Tenants series to learn more about them and what they do.

Meet the Tenants

Ag-West Bio

Innovation Place tenant since

The Atrium, 111 Research Drive

Innovation Place, Saskatoon

Tell us about Ag-West Bio!

Ag-West Bio is Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association. Our aim is to grow biobusiness (or agri-value business) in the province, by helping entrepreneurs and startups, and by attracting companies to come to Saskatchewan to do business.

What is your company’s proudest achievement?

As an organization, we are proud to have been helping to grow Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry since 1989 — so there is a lot of history. Our members’ success is key to our success. We’ve funded and supported early-stage companies that enabled them to achieve great things.

Two examples are Philom Bios, which became Novozymes BioAg; and Prairie Plant Systems and CanniMed — both highly successful companies. More recently, Ag-West Bio was instrumental in the creation of Protein Industries Canada.

How has Ag-West Bio adapted during the pandemic?

One of our roles is to help businesses make connections. Events have always been a key part of how we’ve achieved that over the years — typically, around 40 events in a year. So pandemic restrictions really affected how we operate. Last year we hosted a number of events online, but the quantity was greatly reduced. One thing we did this past year was create some exciting new online resources for entrepreneurs and startup companies that will be unveiled soon.

What’s one thing your company cannot function without?

Zoom and Teams, like everyone else! With most staff working remotely, check-ins are important to maintain a team mentality and to keep spirits up.

Why do you love working in Saskatchewan?

Historically — maybe because of our pioneer roots — the province has had a "neighbour helping neighbour" attitude. People needed each other to survive! That is something special that we should preserve. In a province with such a small population, collaboration will get us a lot further than competition. Ag-West works to foster a sense of community.

What does the future of Saskatchewan tech look like to you?

We can see big things happening in the digital ag tech and artificial intelligence areas. New technology tends to be disruptive, but the agriculture industry is resilient. And digital technologies, along with biotechnologies, are key to increasing sustainability in the agriculture industry.

How does Innovation Place help you thrive in Saskatchewan’s tech sector? (We had to ask!)

Ag-West Bio was created to help drive the province’s biotechnology industry forward — so it made perfect sense to be located at Innovation Place, right at the heart of Saskatchewan’s research cluster. The organization was one of the first tenants in the technology park.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you give to people?

Reach out to Ag-West Bio if you want to grow your network. We can help startups make the connections they need! Sign up for our weekly update to keep an eye on what’s happening in Saskatchewan’s bioscience/ agri-value sector.

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- 2021