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.

Year In Review

Saskatchewan Tech Sector Smashes Expectations For 2021

Welp, 2021 certainly didn’t go as planned, but there were some beautiful bright spots in the year, and they were all talking to the wonderful people in our park community. (That's you!)

We were thrilled to connect with so many of you this year and talk about your innovations, successes, partnerships and next steps! Here’s our year-end roundup of community features for you to enjoy and we look forward to sharing more of your stories in 2022!

The Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership Launches!

“The GAAP can play a critical role in rapidly accelerating growth in the Ag Tech sector not just in Saskatchewan, but also to drive advancements in agriculture globally and change peoples’ lives.”Brent Sukenik, Innovation Place

This year was a big year for the Ag and Agri-Food Tech sectors epitomized by the launch of the Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP). The GAAP is a unique organization that combines an accelerator and incubator facility with funding, expertise and more to help remove barriers for Agri-Food companies so they can innovate, grow and scale nationally and globally.

We spoke with the founding partners Ag-West Bio, Global Institute for Food Security, Food Centre and us Innovation Place to learn more about this visionary partnership and its impact on the tech sector.

Global Institute for Food Security Revolutionizes Ag Tech

“The Ag and Food sector is using the most advanced technology — we're a technology-intensive and knowledge-driven industry — and those insights we gain provide a level of predictability that was not previously possible.”Dr. Steve Webb, GIFS

We were excited to welcome the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) into its new home and community at Innovation Place this year and get to learn more about their mission.

We had the delightful opportunity to speak with GIFS CEO and President Dr. Steve Webb about GIFS’ game-changing technology platforms — the Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL) and Engineering Biology technology platforms — collaborative partnerships and vision for the future.

Innovation Saskatchewan Takes SK Tech To The Next Level

“We have an amazing community of collaboration and a strong will to succeed. We — and I’m sure most tech stakeholders agree — believe that the sky’s the limit here in Saskatchewan.”Innovation Saskatchewan team

When we speak with our park community, one name comes up over and over again: Innovation Saskatchewan. Innovation Saskatchewan is a technology and research agency unparalleled in its commitment to support the SK Tech ecosystem through countless funding opportunities, programs and more.

We spoke with the team about everything they’re doing (a lot!) and what the future of Saskatchewan tech looks like.

Ethical Digital Was Created To Save The Internet

“We want to change the trajectory of the Internet. The Internet is created by people and systems. If we study those systems and work with research partners, we can create policies and actions to actually make some changes.”Katrina German, Ethical Digital

Katrina German loves a challenge so it was no surprise when she launched her latest company Ethical Digital aimed at sparking a conversation about the Internet and how we can make it a better place.

We spoke with Katrina about her new company, why it is so necessary right now and what you can do to better engage with the Internet.

Co.Labs New Executive Director Steps Up To The Challenge

“I think Saskatchewan is also very well positioned to do a better job of amplifying and highlighting the stories of great companies that have come out of Saskatchewan and ensuring that we’re in the minds of investors, putting ourselves on a world-class stage to compete with any ecosystem.”Matt Stefan, Co.Labs

Matt Stefan had some big shoes to fill when he stepped up as Co.Labs’ new Executive Director in January 2021. And, boy did he hit the ground running, ushering in a new chapter for Saskatchewan’s first technology incubator!

We caught up with Matt (literally between meetings!) to see how he was doing, his thoughts on the Saskatchewan tech ecosystem, what needs to change and more in this very candid interview.

Ag-West Bio Is Helping Canada Become An Agri-Food World Leader

“Ag-West is here to facilitate and foster partnerships and connections, because to really capitalize on this opportunity, we're going to have to work as a team within the province and leverage all of the strengths and knowledge that each of us bring. We need to step up our game — and we are.”Karen Churchill, Ag-West Bio

Saskatchewan has always been a leader in crop development and production, but a key issue for the Agri-Food sector is translating agricultural research into commercial products and making the world aware of our strengths.

We spoke with Ag-West Bio President and CEO Karen Churchill about fostering growth and innovation in biobusiness, creating awareness for the province’s success stories and more.

NorQuin Creates Agricultural Innovation For Consumers

“We’re at the core of product innovation and fuel the next generation of consumer staples. We proudly replace gluten and modified starches in frozen foods, add crunch to cereals and yogurt toppings, and provide the foundation for tasty health bars and snack clusters.”Liam O’Halloran, NorQuin

In early February, a cool picture appeared on our feeds: Farm Service Agronomist at NorQuin Liam O’Halloran cross-breeding quinoa.

We spoke with Liam about what the heck cross-breeding quinoa means, why it's important for tech and the community and what the future holds.

NRGene Brings Its Agricultural Innovation To Saskatchewan

“NRGene saw great opportunities in Saskatchewan for it being a major exporter of some of the world’s leading crops and having an extensive research infrastructure, focused on agricultural innovation. NRGene already has many strong relationships in Saskatchewan working closely both with Saskatchewan’s academic, government and commercial entities.”Masood Rizvi, NRGene

NRGene is primed to make a big impact in Ag Tech, so we were very excited when they chose to call Innovation Place in Saskatoon their new home in Canada! NRGene is on the cutting-edge of agricultural technology and genomic plant breeding.

We spoke with Maood Rizvi, Head of Genomics at NRGene Canada to learn more about why he thinks Saskatchewan is a powerhouse for Ag Tech and why smart plants are the wave of the future.

VeriGrain Creates Solutions for Ag Tech

“Leading technologies for agriculture have come out of Saskatchewan, but very few people know that. I think we need to blow our horn louder and think bigger and move faster.”Ken Jackson, VeriGrain

VeriGrain identified a big gap in Ag Tech: inaccurate grain sampling. Luckily, their automated grain sampling and data management system has the solution.

We spoke with Ken Jackson, CEO of VeriGrain, about revolutionizing old scoop and stick methods, how to get Saskatchewan on the map and more.

Arctic Shelf Is Changing the Way you eat lunch

“Ultimately, our end goal is making healthy eating convenient and cost effective and we want people to feel comfortable with how they store their food at work,” said Norrish. “We’re just trying to make things easier for people.”Dawson Norrish, Arctic Shelf

Dawson Norrish, CEO of Arctic Shelf, set out to redesign the refrigerator for campuses. After launching in February 2020, he pivoted to redesign for the workplace and a pandemic.

We spoke with Dawson about his experience in the Co.Labs program, how you pivot a new business during a pandemic and how to make lunch better.

- December 20, 2021