The focus of the partnership with Alberta is on science and technology. In June 2009, the Bavarian Ministry of Science signed a memorandum of understanding with Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology to strengthen scientific and technological cooperation between the two regions.
Alberta experienced a large wave of immigration from Germany in the early 20th century. The province even shares a political aspect with Bavaria, as the Progressive-Conservative party, which has been running Alberta for 40 years, exerts considerable influence on the Canadian federal government – just as the Bavarian CSU exerts direct influence on Berlin.
Alberta is a welcoming place for investors as there is no provincial retail sales tax (PST), no provincial capital taxes, no payroll taxes, no machinery and equipment taxes, and the lowest gasoline tax amongst Canadian provinces. It also has the lowest combined federal and provincial corporate tax rate in the country at 25%.
Alberta has the third largest petroleum reserves in the world (after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela) and is one of the Canadian provinces currently investing the most in renewable energies to decarbonize and diversify its energy supply. Through the Renewable Electricity Program, Alberta is set to achieve a target of 30% renewable energy consumption by 2030. Solar energy in particular is on the rise, with specific support programs for indigenous, residential and commercial, municipal, and on-farm programs. As Canada’s sunniest province with over 333 days of sunshine a year, Alberta has an abundance of solar resources. Alberta has more than 20 years of experience in the wind power industry and over 1400 megawatts of installed generation capacity. The province’s 901 wind turbines currently account for 6% of Alberta’s total energy generation capacity.
The province has three universities, of which one is internationally recognized (University of Alberta (UofA) in Edmonton) and is strongly interested in technological and scientific exchanges with Bavaria. The trademark “made in Germany” is widely appreciated as a sign of very high-quality products and know-how.
The Alberta government has shown a strong interest for several years in a technological innovation policy and has merged its research and innovation organizations to create ARIA, the “Alberta Research and Innovation Authority”. The goal is to monitor emerging trends and technologies in order to find ways to diversify and to create new and competitive edges.
Bavaria-Alberta relationships, formally established in 1999 with the opening of an Alberta Office in Munich, currently focus on the areas of science and technology. In June 2009, the Bavarian Ministry of Science and Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology signed a MoU to strengthen their scientific and technological cooperation.
At the Bavarian Alliance for Research (Bayerische Forschungsallianz – bayFOR), the Coordination Bureau Bavaria/Quebec/Alberta/International supports Bavarian scientists’ mobility toward their Albertan partners. The same type of program is under study by the Albertan government.