Knowledge Economy

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is working with its partners and stakeholders to create the conditions for a unique NWT Knowledge Economy. While a Knowledge Economy can be comprised of different components across different jurisdictions, the NWT is focusing on research, education, and manufacturing.

We want to hear what you have to say about how the GNWT can help develop a knowledge economy in the Northwest Territories.

With a mandate to diversify the economy, ITI has five identified goals to focus the work to develop a knowledge economy. They are:

  1. Research and Knowledge Generation

Promote the NWT’s unique location and cultures as a place to develop and apply knowledge and receive the full economic benefit from knowledge generation.

  1. Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Grow and diversify the NWT economy by creating the conditions for cultures of innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable community economic growth.

  1. Infrastructure

Improve access to knowledge in NWT communities through improved connectivity and the creation of community spaces that facilitate and promote knowledge sharing. 

  1. Partnerships and Collaboration

Increase the sharing, participation and collaboration of stakeholders on projects and initiatives within the Knowledge Economy.

  1. Capacity Building

Ensure the NWT education system and business supports align with opportunities in the Knowledge Economy.

There is a lot of work to do and information to gather and share, but there are many opportunities for partnerships and collaborations right now. For more information, visit the engagement site here for engagements coming up in the middle of July or to complete an online survey. Your feedback is critically important and will help us shape an NWT Knowledge Economy that capitalizes on our strengths and our innovative spirit in the north. There is also an Ideas platform, where you can share your thoughts on possible areas to develop or an idea you have.

What is a Knowledge Economy?

A knowledge economy exists where technology and information create new opportunities and efficiencies across society.

The foundation of a knowledge economy is generally considered to be an environment that enables residents, businesses, governments and organizations to benefit from the creation and sharing of knowledge and ideas. These partnerships will support hubs where people gather to work and innovate.

Innovation is at the heart of all knowledge economies, and with the unique history, culture, environment, resources and general potential of the territory, there are numerous ways to collaborate and contribute to a developing Knowledge Economy.

One of the promising ‘clusters’ already working together is happening in the Beaufort Delta. This grouping is comprised of Aurora College’s research division and the trial makerspaces in communities, the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, the CubeSat launch, the Arts, Crafts and Technology Micro‐manufacturing Centre, and the research being conducted on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway corridor. There is also work and research happening on permafrost and climate change in the region.

What will an NWT Knowledge Economy look like?

The NWT Knowledge Economy will be unique to the history, culture, environment, potential and resources of the Territory.  The future polytechnic university, the research that takes place in communities across the NWT and the satellite facilities in Inuvik are examples of knowledge economy initiatives that support a unique culture of education, innovation and information infrastructure that the public and private sector can continue to build upon. Still, there are some challenges for the developing knowledge economy.

We do need to improve on five main areas to help plant the seed for a growing knowledge economy in the NWT, and these are:

  • Research and knowledge generation support
  • An under-developed entrepreneurial culture
  • Telecommunications and collaboration space
  • Building partnerships and collaborations
  • Capacity in post-secondary education and business supports

Knowledge Economy Public Engagement - Have your Say!

We want to hear what you have to say! Use the tools and resources here to share your thoughts, experiences, perspective and ideas, read about the discussion paper Advancing the NWT’s Knowledge Economy, take a survey, sign up for the engagement sessions, and more!