SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant spent the last week celebrating innovation in New Brunswick.

The second annual provincial Innovation Week, designed to inspire and create a new culture of innovation among researchers, youth, businesses and entrepreneurs, takes place May 2 to 8.

Gallant, who is also the minister responsible for innovation, wrapped up the week with a visit to the 2016 New Brunswick High School Programming Competition in Saint John. The competition brings together talented students in Grades 9 to 12 to test their computer-programming skills and problem-solving abilities.

“Education is the best investment to make to strengthen our economy,” said Gallant. “Through education, the New Brunswick economy will be prepared for emerging industries such as cybersecurity while increasing competitiveness in our traditional industries like agriculture.”

Throughout the week, Gallant participated in several public events around the province that support and promote innovation in New Brunswick:

  • while attending the 2016 Canadian Open Data Summit in Saint John, he unveiled the province’s new open data policy, which will increase transparency, citizen engagement, and innovation;
  • he joined officials from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and other research partners to announce an $8 million investment to help fund adapted, improved and more responsive research activities in youth mental health in the province;
  • he also helped announce a $1.3 million investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation to fund research and development for 23 small and medium-sized businesses across the province through the Innovation Voucher Fund;
  • similar to last year, businesses and entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to sign up to meet with government officials and pitch their innovative ideas to make public services better, faster and more efficient;
  • the 18th annual KIRA Awards were held in Fredericton, where Gallant presented the Premier’s Innovation Award for the public and private sector to Horizon Health Network for NB Telestroke and Malley Industries, respectively;
  • he also attended an event celebrating 188 students who were awarded a New Brunswick Graduate Scholarship for innovation through the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation;
  • he attended a half-day Innovation and Youth Day for Fredericton area high school students;
  • he participated in a tour of Resson Areospace in Fredericton;
  • he attended the official opening of Missing Link Technologies in Moncton; and
  • he visited the open house at the nb+ digital lab in Fredericton.