Western Canada is a key driver of innovation in Canada, with progress in industries such as aerospace, biotechnology, environmental technologies, ICT, agri-food and value-added agriculture, and medical devices rapidly growing in significance to the economy.
Western Canada is active in research and development, accounting for about 24% of of Canada's gross domestic spending on R&D. More generally, the region is a one of Canada’s economic engines, with all four of its provinces ranking in the top half of provincial performers in terms of economic growth in 2012 and three out of four of them outpaced the national GDP growth.
The region also offers a large and well-educated population. With more than 10 million people, Western Canada is home to approximately 31% of the Canadian population. An estimated 58% of residents have achieved some form of post-secondary education.
There are seven AURP Canada member research and technology parks in Western Canada that contribute significantly to the local, provincial and Canadian economies. While they feature tenant companies in a number of knowledge-based sectors, all member parks offer a common focus in ICT (particularly digital media) and health and life sciences (including pharmaceuaticals).
Discovery Parks, Edmonton Research Park, Innovate Calgary, Innovation Place, Smartpark - University of Manitoba, Vancouver Island Technology Park