Boosting businesses to succeed
Keeping homegrown businesses in Calgary is key to our city’s economic future.
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) does just that and ATTAbotics Inc. stands as a shining example of how investing in our city bolsters innovation and creates jobs.
Funded by The City of Calgary and administered through Calgary Economic Development, the $100 million fund targets future success stories to help those businesses reach the next level. OCIF is one way The City is supporting businesses through our economic recovery.
Last November, ATTAbotics Inc. received $4.5 million from the fund to continue its innovative robotics work. The company, which had been wooed by Nevada to move south of the border, designs and manufactures automated storage and retrieval systems to store, access and move warehoused goods with robotics. In the fast-evolving world of e-commerce, logistics are vitally important and ATTAbotics is poised to be a major player.
The OCIF funding will support the growth of ATTAbotics manufacturing facilities in northeast Calgary that will support 150 new full-time positions and another 15 jobs will be created in construction of new production lines for the groundbreaking product storage and retrieval systems. Many of its current employees are former engineers and project managers who worked in the oil and gas sector.
When the company was selected for funding, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi made it clear Calgary is open for business.
“ATTAbotics is exactly the kind of company we want to support with OCIF. It’s local, it’s disruptive, and it’s looking to grow right here in Calgary,” said Mayor Nenshi, who is a member of the OCIF Board. “Competition from other cities is intense, so it’s critical we have a tool like OCIF to help an innovative, game-changing company grow in its hometown.”
Scott Gravelle, co-founder and CEO of ATTAbotics, said the OCIF funding plays a key role in his company’s continued growth.
“OCIF funding was critical in determining if we would be able to scale up our manufacturing in Calgary,” said Gravelle, who co-founded ATTAbotics in 2016. “ATTAbotics is an economic engine for e-commerce operations and we are proud the systems and technology we are exporting worldwide are developed in Calgary.”
OCIF funding will support construction of two production lines (or “nodes”) at a new facility in the YYC Global Logistics Park at Calgary International Airport. The first node will be in production this year, with the second in 2020. If its business development strategy proceeds as projected, ATTAbotics intends to build a new corporate headquarters and research campus at the site.
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was launched by The City of Calgary in April 2018 to support investments within the city that spur growth and create jobs in strategic sectors. MobSquad, a company that provides clients in Silicon Valley with teams of top software engineers and data scientists who work from satellite offices across Canada, also received $1.5 million from the fund last year.
Since its launch, OCIF has received more than 175 applications. In the review process, each submission is assessed against specific criteria:
- Economic benefits to Calgary in terms of investment, new revenue growth and property taxes.
- Alignment with key industries and sectors with the Economic Strategy for Calgary.
- Number and quality of jobs created for Calgarians.
- Impact on the innovation and sector ecosystems.
- Leveraged funding and alignment with strategic initiatives.
- Social benefits to the citizens of Calgary.
More OCIF announcements are expected this year. For more information on how The City of Calgary is Delivering Value for Citizens please visit: calgary.ca/deliveringvalue.