Innovation is thriving in British Columbia
Minister Bains concludes successful three-day tour of B.C., announces funding for local innovative businesses
March 15, 2017 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Innovation is thriving across Canada, from developing clean energy technologies for creating alternative sources of fuel, to enhancing pharmaceutical discovery processes for combatting major diseases, to modernizing communications systems that will increase public transit safety. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, concluded a successful three-day trip to British Columbia this week to see first-hand the province’s growing innovation system.
The Minister toured exhibits at the B.C. Tech Summit, the largest technology conference in B.C., where he interacted with representatives of the province’s vibrant technology industry. He also toured the Electronic Arts Canada campus, where he learned more about the gaming industry in the context of Canada’s Innovation Agenda.
In his remarks to the Business Council of British Columbia, he applauded the many innovations that are taking place across both traditional and new industrial sectors throughout the province. During a meeting with youth business leaders, the Minister highlighted the government’s focus on skills development and work integrated learning as two components of the Innovation Agenda’s focus on building the world’s most talented workforce.
The Minister also announced investments to help innovative B.C.-based businesses, including:
- a $10-million contribution to the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC)—a Burnaby-based joint venture with Germany’s Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company—and a $13-million contribution to Canfor Pulp Products Inc., a leading global producer of premium pulp and paper products and one of North America’s largest green energy producers. The funding was made through Sustainable Development Technology Canada;
- up to $20 million to support pre-commercial clean energy projects as part of a $40-million joint initiative with the province of B.C., which will provide matching funds;
- $15 million for 12 SMEs through the Western Innovation Initiative (WINN), a five-year, $100-million initiative managed through Western Economic Diversification Canada that provides repayable contributions to help launch and grow small and medium-sized businesses across Western Canada; and
- $17.6 million in Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) funding to Urthecast, a space technologies company, to aid in the development of next-generation space and ground processing systems.
Canada’s Innovation Agenda is a partner-driven agenda with three priority areas: people, technologies and companies. Investments in key sectors, including automotive, aerospace and clean technology, help them remain at the forefront of technological change. What’s more, these investments attract billions of dollars in private sector funding and enable millions of Canadians to develop the skills that prepare them for the jobs of the future. That’s how Canada is creating better jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.
“This is Canada’s time. And this is British Columbia’s time. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to cement Canada’s place as a global centre for innovation. The talent, technologies and companies present here in British Columbia are key building blocks of the economy of the future. If we can win this global race to innovate, all Canadians will profit. I look forward to working with British Columbians as we encourage innovation for a better Canada.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Canada’s Innovation Agenda was launched in June 2016. It promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and higher living standards for the middle class.
Canada is an attractive place in which to do business, where companies can set up shop or scale up their operations. We must therefore ensure they can quickly access the talented workers they need. By facilitating the faster entry of top talent with unique skill sets and global experience, the government will help innovative companies in Canada grow, flourish and create more jobs for Canadians. Canada’s Global Skills Strategy will make it faster for businesses in Canada to bring in the talent they need to succeed.
Clean technology innovation was a key theme throughout the tour. Investing in the development and demonstration of new clean technologies accelerates the innovation required to bring these technologies to market, increasing the competitiveness of Canadian firms and creating new jobs.
- Government of Canada invests $43 million in clean technology innovation
- B.C. and Canada partner on investment in clean-energy technology
- Government of Canada invests in 12 companies to strengthen innovation across British Columbia
- Government of Canada invests $17.6 million in new satellite technologies
- Canada’s Innovation Agenda
Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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