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Bavaria-Alberta Cooperation

Alberta, province of the future

As one of the newest Canadian provinces and one of the most U.S.-influenced, Alberta Drapeau Alberta 4welcomed a significant German immigration wave at the beginning of the 20th century. The province actually shares a political aspect with Bavaria, as the Progressive-Conservative party that has been running Alberta for 40 years exerts considerable influence on Canada’s federal government – just as does Bavaria’s CSU, which exerts a direct influence on Berlin.

Alberta is one of the fastest growing provinces in Canada, due largely to large public investments in the energy industry. The latter benefits from foreign capital pouring in to take advantage of local natural resources (oil sands, natural gas). Alberta’s oil reserves are estimated to be the second-largest after Saudi Arabia's.

Intensifying exchanges

The province features 3 universities, of which one is internationally renowned (University of Alberta (UofA) in Edmonton), and is strongly interested in technological and scientific exchanges with Bavaria. The “made in Germany” trademark is widely appreciated as a sign of very high quality products and know-how.

The Alberta government has been showing strong interest for several years in a technological innovation policy. Its needs are mainly in the energy sector (“conventional” machinery and technologies, but also recently “renewable energies”) and new technologies.

Being aware that its remarkable growth rate is temporary, the Alberta government has grouped its research and innovation organizations and created ARIA, the "Alberta Research and Innovation Authority". The goal is to monitor emerging trends and technologies in order to identify ways to diversify and to propose new and competitive edges. Alberta thus understands the importance of supporting and developing research initiatives, just as Bavaria does: in their respective countries, the two regions are considered to be engines of economic and technological progress.

Bavaria-Alberta relations over time:

  • 1999: opening of an Alberta Office in Munich
  • 2006: a delegation of the Bavarian Landtag's Youth, Culture and Sports Commission visits Alberta, as well as the Bavarian Minister of European and International Affairs, Ms. Emilia Müller, on the topic of education
  • 2006: Bavaria's Vice Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Hans Spitzner, visits AB with a delegation of businesspeople from the medical technologies industry
  • November 2008: Mr. Ed Stelmach, Alberta's PM, visits Munich
  • June 2009: MoU signed by Bavaria's Minister of Science, Research and Arts and Alberta's AET (Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology)
  • March 2011: Bavarian Vice-Minister of Economy, Ms. Katja Hessel, conducts a delegation of economic and scientific experts to Alberta.

Prospects

Bavaria-Alberta relationships currently focus on the scientific and technological fields.

The Bavaria/Quebec/Alberta/International Coordination Bureau, within the Bavarian Alliance for Research (Bayerische Forschungsallianz – bayFOR), has the mandate to support Bavarian scientists' mobility toward their Albertan partners. The same type of program is under study by the Albertan government.