Nuclear consortium continues to support local business incubator to encourage economic development opportunities and entrepreneurs in the Eastern Manitoba region

Pinawa, MB – February 05, 2019 – Canadian National Energy Alliance (CNEA), a consortium of leading nuclear engineering and management firms that owns CNL (which operates AECL’s Whiteshell site), is pleased to announce that it has awarded $80,000 to the North Forge East (NFE) Technology Exchange, the third year in a row that CNEA has contributed the annual grant to the local non-profit organization. An innovation-based economic development agency, NFE offers a variety of services to encourage business innovation and commercialization, and was launched three years ago as a new economic development resource in Pinawa, Manitoba, which is home to CNL’s Whiteshell Laboratories.

Through the annual contribution, CNEA is working to help shape the future of the Eastern Manitoba economy by supporting entrepreneurial initiatives during the decommissioning of the Whiteshell site, which is scheduled for completion in 2024. The new funding will be put towards NFE operational costs and to help stimulate the local economy by supporting entrepreneurs who want to build and grow sustainable businesses.

“The region has been home to Whiteshell site employees for decades, and CNEA wants to do its part to help foster a bright and vibrant future once the decommissioning of the site is completed,” commented Jack Craig, Chair, CNEA. “NFE offers a number of economic development services to local residents, including networking and training events, grant assistance, market intelligence and rapid prototyping, led by experienced mentors and subject matter experts. These initiatives are important to the future of Pinawa and the Eastern region of Manitoba, and we are happy to help bring them to the community.”

Since its inception, NFE has helped numerous local entrepreneurs develop business and marketing plans, secure financing, and bring trade missions to the region. Over the last two years, NFE has worked with 18 regional business projects, with 9 of those projects making sales and delivering products. Recently, NFE has held two ‘Ramp Up’ events in Pinawa and Steinbach, where 40 participants received training and hands-on practice in business concept development, market validation and marketing pitches. Business networking and training events have also been held in Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Whiteshell School District and at the Whiteshell Laboratories site.

In 2018, NFE partnered with University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business and Pinawa Local District Government on an international study exchange program, where 30 students from the University of Manitoba, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Lingnan University, came to Pinawa for leadership and entrepreneurial education workshops. This year, North Forge received the Startup Canada Community of The Year Award from Startup Canada and NFE received the 2017-2018 Community Initiative Award from Community Futures Winnipeg River.

“On behalf of Pinawa and the surrounding communities in Eastern Manitoba, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to CNEA for its continued support of the North Forge East Technology Exchange,” commented Shane Li, President of NFE. “CNEA has been a major partner in our work to cultivate economic prosperity in the region, and this new funding will ensure we can continue to bring these much-needed resources to these communities.”

If you’d like to learn more about the North Forge East Technology Exchange, please visit

About CNEA

The Canadian National Energy Alliance (CNEA) brings together the proven leadership and management approaches from SNC-Lavalin, Jacobs, and Fluor – the world’s leading engineering and technology companies. CNEA was formed to respond to the Government of Canada’s procurement for the management and operation of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) nuclear laboratories. The procurement addresses three key objectives for the Government of Canada, including the management of Canada’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities, ensuring that Canada’s world-class nuclear science and technology capabilities and knowledge continue to support the federal government in its nuclear roles and responsibilities, and providing industry with access to nuclear science and technology expertise. CNEA was formed to safely transform Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and secure Canada’s role in the global nuclear marketplace. For more information on CNEA, please visit


Media Contacts:
Canadian National Energy Alliance
Lou Riccoboni, Vice President
[email protected]