Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced several changes to further the growth of the technology and research sector in the province. The creation of a single innovation agency in the province will move the Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO) to align with Innovation Saskatchewan. The government has also increased the annual Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive (STSI) tax credit cap.
"The technology and research sector is a major driver of our provincial economy," Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said. "By integrating SOCO's facilities with Innovation Saskatchewan's programs, we can support the innovation ecosystem, the creation of jobs, and attract startup companies and research partners to the province. The increase in the STSI tax credit cap builds on the success of the program to date and will continue to stimulate investment in key areas to help drive the province's economic growth."
Innovation Saskatchewan is mandated to promote and fund the research and technology sector in the province. SOCO, a Crown corporation that operates under the business name Innovation Place, operates the research parks at the University of Regina and Saskatchewan and provides support to start ups and early-stage technology companies. The alignment of SOCO and Innovation Saskatchewan into a single agency strengthens the province's reputation, mandate and programs, and helps maximize the economic potential of its research infrastructure assets.
Last year, the provincial government extended the SSTSI for five years. The STSI encourages investment in early-stage technology startups that bring new products to market and create jobs in Saskatchewan. The program offers a non-refundable 45 per cent tax credit to Saskatchewan-based investors who invest in eligible technology startup businesses. Due to the continued success of the program, today's budget announcement will increase the annual STSI tax credit cap from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
Innovation Saskatchewan will continue to grow the technology sector and support Saskatchewan's research and commercialization capacity. This includes continued support of research institutes such as the Canadian Light Source, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, and Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) with funding for research projects through the Innovation and Science Fund, Agtech Growth Fund and the Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund.