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Strengthening the competitiveness of rural and northern communities: Creating new knowledge-based tools for small and medium-sized natural resource-based enterprises

Starting Date: 
February, 2011
2 years
RRU Researchers: 
Belcher, Brian; Brigham, Tim
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Rural Secretariat

Led by director Brian Belcher, with CLE staff Tim Brigham, Wendy Cocksedge and Jenny Sigalet, the project entails a national level partnership, including the Canadian Model Forest Network; Biopterre (Centre de Developpement des Bioproduits), INFOR Inc., the Coasters’ Association, and the Institute for Culture and Ecology.

The goal of the project is to encourage the development and economic diversification of rural, remote and/or northern communities by designing, developing and implementing web-based services that will support small- and medium-scale, natural resource-based enterprises. To that end, the project will:  

  • summarize and organize existing knowledge, and, as needed, develop new knowledge about rural diversification, small-scale resource-based enterprise development, and small-scale resource management in Canada, focusing on knowledge relevant to Aboriginal, northern and remote communities;
  • develop an interactive web-based platform (the “Knowledge Centre”) to disseminate this information and to facilitate collaboration amongst individuals and agencies involved in rural resource development and management, including creating networking opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises that are often isolated; and
  • create an e-Directory of products and services that will provide business profiles, product listings and contact information to give unprecedented commercial exposure for enterprises in rural/remote communities.