Executive Council
July 11, 2017

Province Enters into Agreement-in-Principle to Support Accelerated Growth Company

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced a partnership between the Provincial Government and Bluedrop Performance Learning; a high growth, innovative firm based in Atlantic Canada and competing globally. This partnership is consistent with the Provincial Government’s new broader partnership with the technology sector through the Cabinet Committee on Jobs to grow and develop economic activity, and employment opportunities as part of The Way Forward.

The Provincial Government has agreed to enter into an agreement-in-principle with Bluedrop Performance Learning to pilot SkillsPass – its innovative workforce technology - that will be uniquely branded in the province. While still in the planning stages, the possible four-year project could result in the creation of 50 jobs in Atlantic Canada.

The SkillsPass technology can be adopted by any government department to facilitate online skills delivery to workers and businesses across Atlantic Canada. The technology will further empower workers and employers to manage, track and validate current credentials on demand, in one place, and share with employers.

By investing in this project the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador would be supporting the efforts of Bluedrop to represent Atlantic Canada as a centre of excellence in workforce technology. The company currently employs 180 people, with over 90 per cent of employees located in Atlantic Canada.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the project will build on the lifelong learning profile in the SmartForceNL program utilized by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, and could expand to all government departments.

In February, Bluedrop Performance Learning announced that it had received a repayable investment of $3 million from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The funding allows the company to capitalize on existing market opportunities and develop new markets for Bluedrop’s computer-based simulation, training and eLearning solutions. This investment is enabling Bluedrop to pursue and take on new markets, new larger scale projects, and continue with its investment in world class technology developments from its base in Atlantic Canada.

Bluedrop is one of 39 Atlantic Canadian firms currently participating in the Accelerated Growth Service. Launched in 2016 as part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, the initiative coordinates government support for high growth firms in areas such as financing solutions, advisory services, and export and innovation support from existing programming.

This project also builds on the Government of Canada’s and Provincial Government’s commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Growth Strategy.

Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. (TSX-V: BPL) is an innovator in both the development of workplace e-learning and simulation as well as the way large organizations deliver, track and manage training. Its two divisions serve the world’s leading aerospace and defence organizations as well as broad cross sections of organizations focused on managing system wide health and safety and developing the skills of external workforces. Bluedrop is creating the workforce of the future by improving the effectiveness, speed and costs of training delivery and management.

Bluedrop is headquartered in St. John’s and has offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Fredericton, New Brunswick. Its clients include a variety of government and commercial customers. It is focused on rapidly building its recurring revenue streams by adding larger scale clients to multiyear programs. The company’s technology platforms already serve over 250,000 users in over 100 countries across the globe.

Quotes
“Our government is pleased to enter into an agreement-in-principle with Bluedrop and demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation and innovative companies in the province. This current project would see the creation of up to 50 additional jobs in Atlantic Canada and is an excellent example of provinces working together as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy to grow firms in Atlantic Canada. Bluedrop has the potential to become an anchor tenant in the region’s Atlantic Canadian technology cluster by exporting workforce technologies and solutions that are unique in the world.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“The Government of Canada recognizes that high growth companies like Bluedrop Performance Learning are key drivers of Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity. Through our Innovation and Skills Plan and the dedicated support available under the Accelerated Growth Service, we are focussed on strengthening the middle class, creating jobs and driving innovation here in Atlantic Canada.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“It is remarkable that we have over 100,000 users with over 100,000 course completions being managed on Bluedrop's platform in all four Atlantic Provinces. I am pleased to see Premier Ball take strong leadership to bring this solution to the next stage. The SkillsPass workers passport technology will make our region the global leaders in lifelong skills management and upskilling. As we continue to innovate in partnership with the province, we will create many jobs as we sell these solutions around the world.”
Emad Rizkalla
Founder and CEO, Bluedrop Performance Inc.

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Learn More
Bluedrop Performance Learning – www.bluedrop.com

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Premier Dwight Ball; Bluedrop CEO Emad Rizkalla; Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains; and Newfoundland and Labrador's federal MPs were together in Steady Brook to recognize an Agreement In Principle between the Provincial Government and Bluedrop to pilot new SkillsPass workforce technology. July 11, 2017
L-R: Federal Minister Navdeep Bains, MP Gudie Hutchings, Premier Dwight Ball, Emad Rizkalla, and MP Seamus O'Regan

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
michellecannizzaro@gov.nl.ca

Paul McGrath
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
paul.mcgrath@canada.ca 

Bernie Beckett
Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc.
709-739-4938
berniebeckett@bluedrop.com

2017 07 11                             11:15 a.m.