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That’s a wrap on 2022 in Canada

As we wrap up another successful year for Enterprise Ireland and our valued partners in Canada, Lydia Rogers, Country Manager & SVP, shares some of the key achievements of the year and provides insight into what to expect in 2023.

1.What were some of the initiatives/projects you were most proud of from the last year?

We’re most proud of how we’ve been able to support Irish businesses in a variety of ways from early-stage product/market fit and market research, to connecting innovative clients with potential partners and decision makers in the Canadian market. We’re also proud to have helped bridge connections with other Canadian organizations, helping Irish businesses identify distributors and channel partners, supporting development of new overseas offices and highlighting innovative Irish products and services to Canadian buyers.

 

Almost 500 Enterprise Ireland clients have been investing and doing business in the Canadian market in recent years. Results for 2021 showed exports from Enterprise Ireland clients grew by 14% in 2021 – a remarkable achievement and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, Irish ICT and International Services companies have grown exports by 19% in the past year alone, making Canada the third largest market for this sector. These numbers are definitely something to be proud of.

 

2. How was Enterprise Ireland able to support Irish businesses this past year?

This past year was a busy year in forging connections between Irish and Canadian businesses and stakeholders.

 

Cybersecurity is a key area of focus and we were thrilled to have hosted our inaugural Canada Ireland Cyber Summit in Toronto and a subsequent Cybersecurity and Public Safety roundtable with the Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, HE Dr Eamonn McKee in Ottawa.

 

In the Education sector, Atlantic Technological University and Munster Technological University signed four new agreements during the British Columbia International Education Week in late June. Furthermore, Niall Collins – Minister of State in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science – signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his counterpart in British Columbia, Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education & Skills Training. This signing was not only the first of its kind between BC and Ireland, but also the first for higher education between the province and the EU.

 

Healthcare continues to be a critical industry of focus for innovation and in June, we hosted our Global Healthcare Forum, with a Canadian delegation joining clinicians and health system leaders from 22 countries at Enterprise Ireland’s 2022 Global Healthcare Forum in Dublin.

 

We also hosted our International Markets Week in person for the first time since 2019 in Dublin to provide advice and assistance to over 600 Irish businesses wishing to scale internationally.

 

3. As we look to 2023 what are some of the opportunities you’re most excited about?

Irish businesses have thrived in key Canadian cities such as Toronto and Montreal, and now innovative Irish exporters are increasingly extending their reach to new regional markets. Calgary and Vancouver are now of interest to many, while Irish ocean-tech businesses in particular are finding opportunities in Atlantic Canada.

 

We’re also excited to continue to bring a growing number of innovators to Canada in the Technology and Services sector, ranging from Fintech, Cyber, Retail and Travel tech, BPO HR and Talent Technologies.

 

Irish businesses are also making an impact in Canada’s innovation landscape, particularly in clean technologies, the ocean economy and industrial technologies. We’re excited to explore the many areas in which Irish firms can collaborate on sustainability projects across Canada. Canada’s proposed objective to have all new buildings be built to net-zero energy ready standards by 2030 provides ample opportunities for Irish firms to get involved–from construction to water treatment to asset management and more. Other funding opportunities and projects in the sustainability sector mean that Canada is a great environment for Irish firms to showcase their capabilities.

 

4. What can we expect from Enterprise Ireland in 2023?

Irish businesses are leading the way in fast-changing global markets by delivering innovative solutions to international customers. Through our team at home and abroad, we are supporting Irish businesses to scale internationally with connections, partnerships and expert advice. In 2023, we will continue to work with innovative companies to accelerate the development of world class Irish companies to achieve leading positions in Canada.

 

Our first major event of 2023 is Showcase – Ireland’s largest Creative Expo – where international retailers will have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most innovative and sustainable brands and craftsmanship from Ireland. We are excited to host partners from Canada for this show from January 22-24.

 

5.  What is your advice for businesses considering Canada as a market to expand to?

Canada and Ireland have much in common. Our countries share a strong entrepreneurial spirit and warm and welcoming people. Canada has become an extremely important trading market for Ireland, and we look forward to continuing to build and grow strong, sustainable mutually beneficial partnerships – particularly in areas of global challenges and opportunities which require international partnerships.

 

We encourage Irish businesses to consider Canada for its welcoming spirit and for its gateway to a wider North American market. The 500 Enterprise Ireland clients that have been doing business in Canada in recent years can attest to this.

 

Among the Irish firms growing their Canadian presence and winning new business in 2022 were Bimeda Animal Health, Simply Blue Group, Aubren, Superfy, Leading Edge Group, Tines, Mulithog, Combilift, Modmo Technologies, SportLoMo, ProDig, Keywords Studios, Workvivo and many other Enterprise Ireland client companies across multiple sectors.

 

With offices in Toronto and Montreal, our team is ready to support ambitious Irish firms seeking to enter or expand in the attractive Canadian market. We do recommend tackling Canada province by province given it’s such a large country!

 

 

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