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Tech firm works to support growth in Western Canada's high-tech industry

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A Canadian technology company is working to help develop new opportunities the City of Calgary and it’s spending big bucks to do it.

World-leading Internet technology firm Cisco Canada, announced on Wednesday that it would be contributing $15M to the Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) Program.

The CDA is a nationwide program to help support job creation, skills development and technological innovation.

The funding will be supporting three main initiatives in Western Canada, including:

  • A number of new senior artificial intelligence jobs as well as a new, $7M cybersecurity office based in Calgary
  • YYC Net Lab, a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization devoted to cost-effective access to computer networking education for immigrant and Indigenous women
  • The growth of NPower, a youth-oriented charity to provide instructors with the tools to teach students the skills they need for the future

Through CDA, Cisco will also work to test innovations in the oil and gas sector, healthcare digitization and environmental protection.

The federal government hopes this new investment will help boost Canada’s thriving digital sector.

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development says the Liberal government’s primary focus is creating jobs.

“I talked about the supercluster initiative; this will create 50,000 jobs over the next 10 years and see $50B invested in the Canadian economy and that’s what we’re going to remain focused on.”

He says Calgary continues to go through some challenging times and the government recognizes that.

“That’s why the investment here today really reflects that there is a lot of innovation going on here in Calgary so we want to continue to focus on investments in Canadians, in communities, so we can see more opportunities for them to stay here and raise families here.”

According to Calgary Economic Development, Calgary has the highest concentration for high-tech workers of all Canadian cities.