Published On: Thursday, 21 January 2016

#BCTECH Summit Brings Big News for the Sector

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BC - Premier Christy Clark today unveiled a multi-year #BCTECH Strategy that will support growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector – and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse knowledge-based economy.

The Premier unveiled the #BCTECH Strategy at the sold out #BCTECH Summit, which is bringing together more than 2,800 business leaders, tech companies, entrepreneurs, investors, academics and students.

“The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan and contains a mix of new, enhanced and existing initiatives – all of which are aimed at creating an environment for further growth and investment in the tech industry,” said Premier Clark.

As a result of extensive consultation with the tech sector, the new #BCTECH Strategy focuses on three key areas: access to capital for promising companies, talent development and market access.

In addition to the recently announced $100-million BC Tech Fund, which will create an avenue for capital funding for promising start-up companies – the plan highlights K-12 curriculum which will provide the opportunity for more than 600,000 B.C. students to gain basic skills needed for careers in technology.

Targeted programs include coding academies, greater access to work experience electives for high school students, and dual credit partnerships between secondary and post-secondary institutions.

“We all want a diverse, knowledge-based economy that supports innovation. That's why government is working with colleges, universities, institutes and the tech industry to adjust training and education to meet current and future demand for talent – as one-quarter of government funding for the post-education sector is earmarked for jobs in demand,” said Premier Clark.

The #BCTECH Strategy also includes activities that continue to streamline, simplify and automate government procurement processes, facilitate exports, invest in connectivity infrastructure, and improve collaboration and commercialization.

Additional Highlights include:

  • More than 2,800 participants, including more than 600 students who took part in a Career Showcase, 
  • 40 pre-selected B.C. tech companies pitched to more than 100 international and local investors at venture capital presentations.
  • More than 250 facilitated business-to-business (B2B) meetings were scheduled during the conference, connecting B.C. tech companies with potential clients and partners from the private and public sectors.
  • More than 30 B.C. companies displayed their innovations – including electric vehicles, drones, robots, holograms and 3D printing – in the Technology Showcase.
  • Find Your Fit at the #BCTechSummit. Young people considering what skills they will need for tomorrow’s in-demand occupations had an opportunity for interactive, hands-on experience at WorkBC’s Find Your Fit tour stop.
  • Helping technology-sector employees upgrade their skills. A new stream of funding under the Canada-BC Job Grant has been created to help employees in the technology sector get the training they need to succeed in the future.