A Capital Region Board spinoff has formed and is dedicated to drawing in businesses to the area. Edmonton Global was formed with the help of the CRB administration but will function at an arm’s length from the board. The primary goal of Edmonton Global is to attract businesses and innovators to the capital region. The new company will have all 15 municipalities involved in the CRB as stakeholders. The group will elect 12 directors and the group will try to draw experts from industry and academia from across the region. Mary Cameron, chair of the transition board, said that this is something the region had been considering for 20 years but finally “the stars have aligned.” “We are much better internationally if we market as a region rather than individual entities,” Cameron said. Leduc Mayor and Greg Krischke said that the group, which will function at an arm’s length from the CRB will promote the region on a national and international level. “We have recognized over the past couple of years that if we want to be successful on an international stage and attract jobs and investment to our region then we have to get our act together,” Krischke said. The 15 stakeholders will include Edmonton, St. Albert, Sturgeon County, Morinville, Gibbons and Redwater. Each municipality has already dedicated some funds to starting the company up. During the May 23 council meeting St. Albert pledged to spend $50,000 in 2017; $100,000 in 2018; and $150,000 in 2019 on the company. Each municipality will be pitching funds based on their population base and Krischke said that it will leave Edmonton footing around 75 per cent of the bill. Along with money from municipal budgets, the group will try to get money from the provincial and federal governments. So far they have already received some to seed the group. Krischke said that the organization will benefit all members of the region. Each municipality has been working independently to attract industry to the area. Krischke said that the regional collaboration would help share expertise. The region already collaborates on transit, land use planning and sharing geographic information and Krischke said now they have a separate entity to focus on attracting business. “If we don’t hunt as a pack we are not going to be successful,” Krischke said. Similar associations in Canada inspired the organization. The Greater Toronto Area already has a Toronto Global and Krischke said they are not associated with the group, but will share some consistent branding. “We will be able to feed off of Toronto the same way they can feed off of us to make Canada a more attractive destination,” Krischke said. The corporation is now in the early stages. By September the group will have a permanent board in place and by June of next year the group intends to be working at full speed.