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Events

2020
ANNUAL REPORT

Edmonton Global Annual Report

The purpose of Edmonton Global is to radically transform and grow the economy of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.

We do this through attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the form of investment capital and encouraging international companies to expand into our region. We also work closely with local companies to help them expand their international reach through trade and export or through establishing international offices and presence. 

To attract investment into our region, we also need to establish and build on the Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s brand. Our brand is built on identifying not just who we are as a community. It’s also about what makes us unique and competitive on a global scale. A significant focus of our work is to align and harmonise our community and partner network to make us more attractive to international investors and to proactively improve our competitiveness as a region on the global stage. 

This annual report is structured to follow Edmonton Global’s strategic plan, which includes 4 priorities:

Priority One | FDI & Trade

Internationalize and grow the Edmonton Metropolitan Region economy by acting as a catalyst for foreign direct investment and trade.

Outcomes & Key Success Measures

FIDs Announced To-date 
Nine final investment decisions totalling $268 million were made in 2020. The four public announcements so far are with companies from China, Australia, and Germany. Further announcements will be made once Covid travel restrictions permit.

Plant Plus manufactures plastic replacement material out of agricultural products.

Initial investment – $2 million

Jobs created – 12.

*This is expected to grow to 100 jobs and $50 million over the next few years. 

Ixonn is a technology firm that manufactures an artificial intelligence-based technology for the automotive and transportation industries. They’ve chosen the Edmonton region for their North American headquarters.

Investment – $20-50 million

Jobs created – 200

Alpin Sun is locating its 120-megawatt Airport City Solar Farm to the Edmonton region.

Investment – $169 million

Jobs created – 12  (100 construction phase) 

WeFaces Technology is a new Alberta based company whose parent is NanDe Solar Energy Technology based in China.

Initial investment – $20 – 25 million

Increased Internationalization of the Regional Economy
In 2020, Edmonton Global continued to facilitate connections between regional businesses and foreign contacts. Connections were formally made between the Edmonton region and the following markets:

  • South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania;
  • The Middle East including Dubai; and
  • Europe including Germany, United Kingdom, and Italy.

 

Trade Commissioner Service Visit
In March 2020, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region had the opportunity to participate in the Cross Canada FDI Training Program. Edmonton Global hosted an inbound mission of over 20 Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Officers from across the globe. This took the same form as an inbound investor visit and was focused on highlighting the region’s sector strengths and assets and included TCS Officers from the following regions:

 

North America South America Europe Asia Australia
New York City Brazil Madrid Hongkong Sydney
Chicago Paris Abu Dhabi
Houston London Tokyo
Minneapolis The Hague Singapore
Los Angeles Rome Mumbai
San Francisco
Calgary

Through the two-day program, TCS officers had the opportunity to meet with companies and organizations from across the region, including Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, CBRE, BioWare, Pegasus Imagery and Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, among others. Edmonton Global created a program that touched on all aspects of its focus sectors, while also showcasing the world-leading innovation coming out of the region.

The program also included events to showcase the high quality of life and unique cultural and recreational assets the regional municipalities bring to the value proposition. The diversity in meetings led the TCS officers to name the Edmonton region program as the “best visit in terms of content and time management”.

FOCUS

Sector Strategies
If 2020 taught us anything, it was to expect the unexpected—and learn to adapt quickly. The global economy shifted substantially under COVID-19, and industries that were once a “sure thing” for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region were no longer so certain. This change in economic context also made new opportunities highly viable.

Edmonton Global completed extensive research to discover where the economy is headed and where opportunities had emerged.  Each identified opportunity was put through a “stress test” to determine its viability – those that made it through, became part of Edmonton Global’s Immediate Investment Opportunities.

Opportunities that failed the stress test’s requirement to be immediately investible,  but were still determined to be highly viable, are listed as Future Opportunities. Edmonton Global continues to monitor developments and advocate for removal of barriers to unlock the potential of these opportunities.

value added

High impact,
high value

ADEQUATE VALUE PROPOSITION

REGULATORY

Competitiveness

PROJECTED MARKET GROWTH

EXISTING CLUSTER /SUPPLY CHAIN

ALIGNMENT 
WITH PARTNERS

There were two “must-pass” criteria based on key success measures in Edmonton Global’s strategic plan and several other criteria based on investment decision drivers and a minimum projected compound annual growth rate of 5%. 

The two “must-pass” criteria are: 

1. Value-Added; and 

2. High Impact, High Value.

immediate opportunities

Food & Agriculture 

  • Plant protein fractionation 
  • Plant protein food & beverage processing 
  • Nutraceuticals (CBD and Non-CBD) 

Health & Life Sciences 

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing 
  • Pharmaceutical R&D 
  • Health AI 

Energy 

  • Energy AI 

Future opportunities

Energy 

  • Geothermal 
  • Circular Economy 
  • Hydrogen 
  • Plastics Manufacturing 

Health & Life Sciences 

  • Medical device manufacturing
  • Other health tech (i.e. synthetic data, immersive tech for healthcare) 

Food & Agriculture 

  • Food traceability 
  • Hemp 

Technology (Applications in energy, agriculture, life sciences and advanced manufacturing) 

  • Interactive digital media 
  • Robotics 
  • Nanotech 
  • Quantum 
  • Geomatics

Edmonton Global continues to support and partner with other regional organizations working in sectors that include some of the future opportunities identified including: 

  • ESIO on screen media (film, television, gaming) 
  • EIA on logistics and aviation 
  • Explore Edmonton and Invest Alberta on tourism and events (key global conferences) 
  • Invest Alberta on fintech/financial services, aerospace, infrastructure 
  • Innovate Edmonton and Health City on innovation

collaboration

In March 2020, Edmonton Global organized an advocacy mission to Ottawa. The primary purpose of the mission was to promote the region’s brand with the federal government and to build relationships. A secondary, but equally important purpose, was to foster a spirit of collaboration and unity among regional businesses, business associations and economic development organizations. 

The delegation was formed around three key principles – that we agree to:

  • Represent the Edmonton Metropolitan Region first
  • Share how we can increase our global competitiveness, based on the Edmonton Global Going Global white paper
  • Demonstrate a spirit of partnership and collaboration with constructive solutions for growing our economy.

Quick Facts About The Mission

Three other organizations helped co-fund the mission 

The group received in-kind contributions from four regional businesses 

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region sent 17 delegates 

24 meetings were held with government officials 

Approximately 60 attendees were at the reception 

149 tweets were posted by 44 users on social media using the hashtag #globalyeg 

These posts had a reach of 63,049 users and 195,967 impressions

innovation

Maintaining investor connections became a challenge in 2020. COVID-19 related travel restrictions prevented Edmonton Global and investors from traveling, impacting several deals in progress.

Edmonton Global responded with an innovative solution when an investor’s original plans to visit the region and scout locations for expansion plans in the tech sector fell through. Edmonton Global made the decision to host a virtual inbound investor visit.

The virtual inbound investor visit included 21 local representatives from provincial and municipal governments, post-secondary institutions, and private industry business leaders and provided a clear picture of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region value proposition highlighting talent and expertise in innovation and artificial intelligence. The program also included a private meeting between the investor and three provincial cabinet ministers.

Impact
Feedback from the investor was extremely positive. After participating in approximately 10 virtual sessions, they indicated Edmonton Global’s was “by far one of the best.” The Edmonton region has been short-listed for the expansion of an innovation hub that would employ up to 400 full time employees in the region. At this time, no final investment decision has been made.

Priority Two | Brand

In 2020, Edmonton Global conducted an investor satisfaction survey to assess the perceptions and service experience of investors that interacted with Edmonton Global during the course of 2020. The survey results included several valuable insights including: 

2/3 of responding investors were more likely to invest in the region after receiving the support of Edmonton Global – the remaining 1/3 were just as likely to invest.

2/3 of the responding investors identified themselves as very likely to expand within the Edmonton region within three years.

The most competitive aspects of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region when it comes to making investment location decisions  according to those surveyed included: 

  • Access to transportation including roads and rail; 
  • Availability of labour; 
  • Availability of higher education institutions and research; 
  • Ability to hire technical and highly educated professionals; and,
  • Reliability and quality of infrastructure and utilities. 

The survey results also indicated that  the ways Edmonton Global added value through prospective investment decisions was the ability to: 

  • Make critical introductions to potential customers
  • Bring together valuable contacts from various sectors
  • Advocate for the region 
  • Develop innovative solutions

Edmonton Global received at least 46 referrals directly from partners in the region. 

Growing our global Footprint

The Edmonton Global website continued to be a hub for economic development with an increase in national and international web traffic of more than 218% over 2019 traffic. 

In 2020, the Edmonton Global Site Selector Tool was used over 4,035 times. 

21 unsolicited inquiries from potential investors were received and responded to through the website.

In 2020, marketing materials were distributed to partners in Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, Italy, USA (San Francisco, New York, Washington, Seattle, Chicago, Houston), London, Brazil, France, Ireland, Turkey, and Germany.

 

Regional Narrative

In 2020 Edmonton Global launched a series of videos highlighting some of the unique assets in the Edmonton Region and served to amplify our regional narrative – that we are Young, Educated, Growing and Globally Connected. 

Meet Our Leaders Video Series

Early 2020 also saw the release of Edmonton Global’s Meet our Leaders video series, featuring business leaders from across the Edmonton Metropolitan Region working in our key sectors including:

  • Energy
  • Life Sciences
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Manfacturing
  • Technology & Innovation

Engagement Highlights

1600
Global Briefing Subscribers
0
Earned national and international media
1600
New linkedIn Followers
500
new twitter followers in 2020
1350
downloads from website
550 %
increased social media engagement
0
new champions created
20
Influencers engaged with international marketing efforts

focus

Edmonton Global continued to focus its key messages on the unique value proposition the Edmonton Metropolitan Region brings to the global economy and supply chain. Marketing materials were developed for each of the eight immediate investment opportunities identified through the work on the sector strategies. The materials provide an overview of the opportunities, the global market potential of the various sub-sectors and an overview of the regional assets that exist to support these opportunities.

Immediately investable opportunities (short videos)

international event attraction

Edmonton Global is leading, investigating or negotiating for hosting international events within or connected to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in 2021 and beyond including:

  • ReBoot Red – Video Games and Digital Media (Nov. 2021). Activities in Edmonton and Banff 
  • NanoCanada International Nano Technology Conference (online Nov. 2021 and in person June 2022). Activities in Edmonton and Banff in conjunction with Inventures 
  • Economic Forum of the Americas (Spring 2022). Activities in Edmonton and Jasper
  • World Hydrogen Congress (2024). Edmonton
    Esports (2022). Edmonton

*This list continues to evolve and will likely include additions over time.

Innovation

Due to the impact of Covid-19 on the ability for inbound visits and regional tours, Edmonton Global quickly adapted to changing circumstances and launched a webinar series to engage investors and the global business community with our new constraints. To-date, Edmonton Global has hosted the following five investor webinars.

Topic: Pharmaceutical Innovation & Production in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region

Date: July 21, 2020

Highlights: Attendees from seven different countries including top executives from pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

Registrants Attendees Percent Attendance* YouTube Views**
119 78 65% 216

Topic: Accessing the world’s top Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Talent

Date: September 22, 2020

Highlights: Attendees from twelve different countries including thirteen Trade Commissioners from ten different international regions.

Registrants Attendees Percent Attendance* YouTube Views**
233 155 67% 1,230

Topic: Advantage Canada – Attracting and Retaining International Talent for Your Business

Date: October 20, 2020

Highlights: Attendees from the 5 different countries. Recording version has been watched and shared broadly from our YouTube channel (social viewership was the primary goal).

Registrants Attendees Percent Attendance* YouTube Views**
65 38 58% 660

Topic: Investment Opportunity – Plant Protein Fractionation

Date: October 28, 2020

Highlights: Attendees from 21 different countries including top executives from Roquette and at least 15 other leading companies and investors active in the plant protein sector.

Registrants Attendees Percent Attendance* YouTube Views**
168 114 68% 350

Topic: Diabetes at the turning point – Industry, Research and Opportunity

Date: November 10, 2020

Highlights: Attendees from eight different countries including Trade Commissioners from six different international regions. Top executives from Novo Nordisk attended – the largest global pharma company working in diabetes research

Registrants Attendees Percent Attendance* YouTube Views**
139 94 68% 318

* Standard webinar statistics are attendance of 35 – 45% of registrants on average – Edmonton Global webinars are performing well in comparison 

** As of December 31, 2020

Priority Three | Partnerships

0
Businesses participated in investment attraction activities
0
Regional businesses participated in inbound investor visits
0
Collaborative initiatives that included the business community

Business and partner organizations across the Edmonton Metropolitan Region contributed $20,000 in cash and over $30,000 in kind to joint regional advocacy initiatives in 2020.

As an active member of the business community, Edmonton Global continues to be sought out as a trusted broker and connector. In 2020, Edmonton Global facilitated introductions between 90 regional businesses within and beyond the region resulting in strategic partnerships, MOUs, new market opportunities and increased economic activity.

Though COVID-19 impacted the ability to host investor visits, those that did occur early in the year were supported by 11 of our regional partners. Furthermore, 31 Edmonton Global partners participated in investment attraction activities including investor visits and webinars throughout the year.

Additionally, Edmonton Global was invited to take part in 22 collaborative initiatives with other partners in the business community. Some key examples include:

  • Alberta Colleges Economic Recovery Task Force
  • Invest in Canada Competitiveness Benchmarking Steering Committee
  • Invest in Canada Data Partnership
  • Explore Edmonton’s 10-Year Destination Development Strategy

Satisfaction among shareholder respondents to the annual satisfaction survey increased with 70% indicating that their level of support has stayed the same or increased.

Focus

In April 2020, Edmonton Global hosted its first virtual briefing for all shareholders providing an update on impacts of COVID-19 to economic and market trends and what it means for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Monthly briefings continued to the end of 2020 (with the exception of July and August) and were attended by an average of 60 attendees with representation from all municipalities and over half of elected officials. The briefings were well received by attendees and as a result, continue on a monthly basis through 2021.

Collaboration

In 2020, Invest Alberta Corporation was created through Government of Alberta legislation. Edmonton Global worked closely with Invest Alberta and the government throughout this process and was the first organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding clearly outlining the collaborative working relationship between the two organizations.

Shortly after the first pandemic lockdown was implemented in March 2020, Edmonton Global identified a need for coordinated regional information sharing, collaborative problem-solving and harmonized responses to the COVID-19 health and economic crises. Edmonton Global responded to this need by initiating a series of temporary measures and supports for regional partners including:

  • Assembling a regional COVID-19 response team that included: post-secondary institutions, chambers, business associations, economic development entities, municipal economic development officers, Government of Alberta, and Government of Canada.
  • Hosting a weekly COVID-19 call focused on bringing in experts to educate and answer questions on emergent topics such as: return to work plans, occupational health and safety procedures, government supports for businesses during lockdown, and PPE procurement.
  • Distributed written updates to a list of 90 regional partners and stakeholders three times weekly, to help stay informed on fast-moving public health, economic and policy changes.

innovation

COVID-19 accelerated digitization trends, the need for remote work and learning and for eCommerce. All of which turned digital infrastructure from a competitive advantage to a basic necessity. Nearly overnight, jurisdictions, businesses and households who did not have adequate internet connectivity and bandwidth found it impossible to work, live and learn. Edmonton Global mobilized quickly on this issue, putting out a white paper in April, 2020 that advocated for investments in broadband and 5G. This white paper received media coverage from 630 CHED, Sherwood Park News, Morinville News, Global News, and Taproot.

Edmonton Global subsequently established two regional collaboration initiatives:

  • A collaboration with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) and Greater Edmonton Region Chambers of Commerce (GERCC) on broadband; and
  • A regional 5G Working Group consisting of all post-secondary institutions in the region, economic development, innovation, municipal and business organizations.

These two initiatives produced pre-budget submissions to the federal and provincial governments, a regional 5G strategy and several other local, provincial, and national projects and partnerships.

Priority Four | Organizational Excellence

Be a learning organization focused on continuously striving for excellence.

outcomes and key success measures

62% of Edmonton Global staff completed additional FDI training in 2020.

Edmonton Global scored best-in-class on the employee engagement index for small organizations in Canada at 90%. Scores above 82% are considered “best-in-class” by the TalentMap benchmark, which has also been adopted by the Conference Board of Canada.

As a leader in global economic development, Edmonton Global has also included the following translations to its website: French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish translations.

Edmonton Global’s CEO was elected chair of the Consider Canada Cities Alliance (CCCA) in 2019. In 2020, the Chair and members of the CCCA focused on informing the Government of Canada on post-COVID recovery by submitting three documents to federal government on items that would need investments, namely broadband and 5G infrastructure, reducing interprovincial barriers, and supporting our Tier 1 airports as economic engines.

Additionally, the CCCA had four Cabinet minister engagements focused on the CCCA value proposition and recovery recommendations. Two meetings were held with The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, one with The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and one with The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

The CCCA also provided several inputs from member surveys including the impacts of COVID-19 on downtown cores and related recommendations. The group reaffirmed their partnership with Invest in Canada for members focused on three items: FDI lead sharing, Marketing and Data. Finally, the CCCA enhanced their capacity by hiring a fulltime team of two focused on increasing advocacy at the federal level and creating a Thought Leadership series set to begin in Q1 2021).

FINANCIALS

Statement of Financial Position

2020

2019

Assets

Current Assets

Capital Assets

$1,776,304

$81,240

$663,705

$151,046

Total Assets

$1,857,544

$814,751

Liabilities

Current Liabilities

$214,355

$91,505

Total Liabilities

$214,355

$91,505

Share Capital and Net Assets

Share Capital

Net Assets

$150

$1,643,039

$150

$723,096

$1,643,039

$723,096

Total Liabilities, Share Capital and Net Assets

$1,857,544

$814,751

Statement of Statement Operations

2020

2019

Annual Shareholder Contributions

Other Revenue (Government, Regional Partnerships)

$3,300,047

$533,683

$2,000,000

$2,694,716

$3,833,730

$4,694,716

Operating & Program Expenses

$2,914,058

$4,394,984

Excess of revenue over expenses before other items

Foreign exchange gain (loss)

$919,672

$271

$299,732

- $904

Excess of revenue over expenses

$919,943

$298,828

Net assets, beginning of year, as restated

$723,096

$424,268

Net assets, end of year

$1,643,039

$723,096

Thank you for your submission!

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