Canadian Innovation Week

Canadian Innovation Week

Canadian Innovation Fair

Powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation, this series of events demonstrated that Canada’s culture of innovation is thriving – across sectors, regions, and age groups.

Plans already underway. Next year’s Canadian Innovation Week coming May 21-31, 2019.

The inaugural Canadian Innovation Week brought together partners and stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem to connect, cultivate, and celebrate Canadian Innovation. The diverse range of events across the country generated awareness, interest and enthusiasm, reaching a broad rage of inquisitive and curious minds.

Key events included: Governor General’s Innovation Awards, #BCTECH Summit, and the Government of Canada Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair.

“Innovation is very simple. It’s simply doing things better. It’s a mindset. Looking at something and saying, ‘How can we do that better?’” The Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada and Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Celebrating national innovation!

If you’d like to add an innovation celebration to the national map and share the tech and innovation initiatives in your community, please do so HERE!

Canada Innovation Week stats

Plans are already under way for next year’s Canadian Innovation Week coming May 21-31, 2019.

Innovate BC and the Provincial Government Invest in Tech Talent

Innovate BC and the Provincial Government Invest in Tech Talent

Innovate BC and the Provincial Government Invest in Tech Talent

$102 million will help create opportunities for co-ops, entrepreneurs and students

The tech sector is playing an enormous role in supercharging B.C.’s economy — contributing nearly $15 billion to B.C.’s overall economic output — but Dawn Wood, Director of Programs at Innovate BC, notes that a key ingredient is required for future growth. “We need to nurture new talent, not just for the tech companies but also for the thousands of businesses that increasingly rely on tech in their daily operations,” she says.

That’s why B.C. Premier John Horgan’s pledge at the recent BC Tech Summit to invest over $102.7 million in the sector is so exciting to Wood and her colleagues. Of that sum, $10.5 million is going towards co-op opportunities and entrepreneurial training for post-secondary students, with the goal of helping them prepare for careers in tech.

Specifically, the money will enable Innovate BC (formerly the BC Innovation Council) to award more grants via its BC Tech Co-op Grants Program and re-launch the Crown agency’s Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Program.

The Tech Co-op Grants Program gives salary support of up to $10,800 annually to tech firms hiring for any roles as well as non-tech companies hiring for tech-specific roles, providing they’re established in B.C. and have less than 100 employees. Similarly, the ISI grant gives tech companies and startups up to $10,000 annually to hire post-secondary business or tech students from accredited institutions in the province.

Over the years, such programs have repeatedly proven to benefit both student and employer. “In the late 1990s and early 2000s I was a Simon Fraser University kinesiology student who was hired through a co-op program as a disability management consultant, and then by an orthopedics company,” says Eric Jang, who today is a chiropractor and owner of the TeamWell Health clinics in Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey. “Getting these professional credits was great for my résumé and facilitated my acceptance into chiropractic school.”

Read more at BC Business.

Premier Announces Tech & Innovation Investments to spark economic growth, job creation

Premier Announces Tech & Innovation Investments

Premier Announces Tech & Innovation Investments to spark economic growth, job creation

Premier announces tech & innovation investments to spark economic growth &  job creation

To help spark B.C. innovation, economic growth and new jobs, the provincial government is investing in tech-based research and advanced training opportunities in all parts of the province, Premier John Horgan announced today at the #BCTECH Summit.

“B.C. succeeds when British Columbians succeed — and our province’s tech sector is proving that every day,” said Premier Horgan, adding that the sector has over 10,000 companies employing more than 106,000 people.

“Our job is to provide opportunities and partnerships that help companies and individuals innovate, succeed and grow. This approach delivers more jobs and a stronger economy, and helps support health care, education, housing and other public services that make British Columbia a great place to live and work.”

The Province announced that it is investing over $102.6 million in funding for 75 post-secondary research projects in B.C., through the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF). The projects will develop B.C.’s expertise and innovation in fields such as advanced supercomputing and clean technology, to spur job creation, talent development and commercialize innovation.

To attract and retain the best graduate students, the B.C. government will invest $12 million in graduate degree scholarships over the next three years. The funding will support priority areas such as science, tech, engineering and mathematics programs, as well as Indigenous students and regional programs. The Province will also invest in women-in-technology scholarships to inspire a new generation of women to take up science and tech-based professions.

To further develop tech talent, $10.5 million will be invested in co-op opportunities and entrepreneurial training for post-secondary students, so they can gain vital hands-on experience to be job-ready when they enter the tech sector.

“B.C.’s success comes from the ideas, innovation and inspiration of people who call this province home,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “From a two-person startup, to large established tech firms and traditional resource industries, innovation can deliver a wealth of benefits to people, companies and our provincial economy. It is about creating good jobs for people in every corner of the province.”

To help make it easier for tech companies to recruit top international talent to B.C., government will expand its Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot. That means priority processing for people in tech occupations, such as biotechnologists, software engineers and web developers.

“Investing in innovation is the best thing we can do to set our province up for success,” said Andrew Weaver, BC Green Party leader. “Technology is driving global growth and has the potential to add value to every sector of B.C.’s economy. This minority government is a unique opportunity to come together to champion a bold vision for the future of our province, and I am proud to be working in partnership with the government to support our tech sector.”

The B.C. government will unveil a provincewide tech strategy next year that will help provide all people with the ability to work and prosper in the communities they call home. In turn, the Province will invest in health care, education, housing and other public services that make B.C. a great place to live and work.

The Province of British Columbia is hosting the third-annual #BCTECH Summit on May 14-16, 2018, in partnership with Innovate BC, the Province’s Crown agency. Innovate BC encourages the development and application of advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of B.C. industry.

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, “As part of our tech-expansion, we’re adding 2,900 more tech spaces, launching a graduate student scholarship fund and providing awards for women pursuing a science or tech-based profession. We’re breaking down barriers to good-paying jobs for people in the booming tech sector by making post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.”

Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services, “Having access to reliable, high-speed internet is the foundation for the growing digital economy, and essential for the expansion of technology and innovation in every corner of our province. It is important that this growing sector be fostered everywhere in B.C. That is why we are investing in connectivity for rural, remote and Indigenous communities, because we believe that everyone — no matter where they live — should have the tools they need to be part of this important industry.”

Quick Facts:

  • The tech sector in B.C. is one of the fastest growing sectors of its economy, supporting over 106,000 good-paying jobs. It is home to more than 10,200 businesses.
  • Over 83,400 tech-related jobs openings are expected by 2027 — jobs such as computer programmers, engineers, information system analysts and software designers.
  • In January 2018, the B.C. government announced 2,900 tech-related spaces that will produce 1,000 additional tech-grads a year by 2023, to improve access to training and education. This includes the first full civil and environmental engineering program in the North at the University of Northern British Columbia, and the first full software engineering program in the Interior at Thompson River University. To support these new spaces, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training plans to increase investment up to $42 million a year in ongoing funding.
  • In April 2018, the B.C. government partnered with the Government of Canada to provide B.C. biotechnology company STEMCELL Technologies with $45 million to create up to 2,170 B.C. jobs by 2031, and build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Burnaby.
  • Also in April 2018, the Province, together with the federal government and the Alacrity Foundation, provided the Cleantech Scale-Up program with over $787,000 to help promising clean tech companies throughout B.C. get investment-ready and sell to new markets.
  • In February 2018, Alan Winter was appointed B.C.’s first innovation commissioner as an advocate for the tech and innovation sector in Ottawa, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor and abroad.
#BCTECH Summit 2018

Back From #BCTECH Summit – A Quick Wrap Up

#BCTECH Summit 2018

It was a great several days had by all this past week as the formidable Koots contingent, KAST, MIDAS, Metal Tech Alley, SMRT1, Austin Engineering, and Imagine Kootenay teams as well as many others from our beautiful neck of the woods, enjoyed all things technology at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit.

Breaking attendance records, this year’s Summit hosted an estimated 9,000 participants for approximately a dozen conference-related events over three days.  A whopping 3,000 delegates connected with over 270 exhibitors and watched more than 200 speakers highlighting the transformations technology is driving across all industries in British Columbia and beyond.

“There is no better indication of the robust and dynamic state of B.C.’s tech industry than this event—which has touched a record number of people for a third straight year,” said Shirley Vickers, President & CEO of Innovate BC, which delivered the event in partnership with the Government of B.C. “The #BCTECH Summit is where industry meets innovation, and the significant involvement of technology leaders, investors, senior government officials, students, researchers and business executives in every industry shows an unquenched thirst for innovation and collaboration in this province.”

Thought-provoking sessions, panels and keynotes by global thought leaders featured highly among many other conference highlights:

  • 150 investors that represent $225B in capital watched 45 of B.C.’s most promising startups pitch in the Investment Showcase.
  • Approximately 2,000 high school students participated in Youth Innovation Day to learn about the jobs of the future and a career in tech.
  • Over 220 B2B Meetings were matched between 38 technology buyers with 98 local technology solution providers.
  • Delegates from 16 countries and four continents complemented a strong international presence of companies including Title Sponsor Microsoft, Google Cloud, Lululemon, Amazon, Blue Origin, Lyft, Lockheed Martin, Sage, WeWork, LinkedIn, Salesforce, IBM and RBC.
  • Premier John Horgan announced tech and innovation investments including over $102.6 million in funding for 75 research projects in B.C. and $10.5 million for entrepreneurial training for post-secondary students.

If you weren’t able to attend, make sure you check out some videos from this year’s crop of speakers HERE.

Here are a few highlights from the KAST/MIDAS/Metal Tech Alley/SMRT1/Austin Engineering booth as well as some fun at the annual KAST-LCIC Koots networking event.

Tracy Connery Photography - #BCTECHSummit - MIDAS - SMRT101 - KAST







#BCTECH Summit 2018

#BCTECH Summit 2018: 5 Things To Know Before You Go!

#BCTECH Summit 2018

The countdown is officially on and #BCTECH Summit 2018 is upon us at last!  We are getting super excited to see everyone next week as we all enjoy getting a good dose of tech networking, exploration and inspiration.

In advance of all of us setting off for Vancouver, the folks at BCIC put together a handy guide of the top 5 things to know before you go:

1. Download the App

It’s paperless this year, so the #BCTECH Summit app is your one-stop shop to view the agenda, create your own schedule, connect with attendees and speakers, and much more. Download the app NOW!

2. Pick up your badge early to avoid the rush!

Don’t spend your Tuesday morning waiting in line. Registration will be open from 9am to 5pm on Monday, May 14th. Just bring a photo ID to the registration centre, which is located just inside the Burrard Street Entrance of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building. And if you’re dropping by in the evening, make sure to stick around for #BCTECH on the Terrace, which kicks off at 5pm!

3. More ways to connect

We’ve got eight side-events planned before, during and after the Summit for you to enjoy. Whether you want to become a lip sync maker master, join a thought provoking discussion on Women in Tech, or celebrate at the official #BCTECH Summit After Party at Science World, there’s something for everyone to check out.

4. To-Dos at the Summit

Besides attending sessions and hearing from our incredible speakers, here are a couple more things you can add to your Summit to-do list:

  • We’re offering morning Sweatworking on May 16th! Go for a run or learn some new yoga moves to start your day off right.
  • Bring your used batteries to the Summit and Teck will donate the value of all zinc collectedto zinc and health programs in Kenya.
  • The Electronic Recycling Association will be on site to safely and securely recycle your unwanted hard drives, phones and discs. Find them at Booth 310 in the Marketplace.

5. Perks!

Conference life is all about the perks. As a #BCTECH Summit attendee, you’ll get exclusive access to awesome perks from our exhibitors, sponsors and partners.

Here are a few highlights:

  • We’ll be serving complimentary lunches in the Marketplace on May 15 & 16, as well as coffee all day long.
  • Get free admission to Science World from now until the end of May. Just show your #BCTECH Summit badge at the desk, and you’re in.
  • Enter our social media contest to win two short-haul Air Canada tickets – and be quick, because the contest closes at midnight.
  • Save 25% off your ticket to see the Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes on May 16.
  • Plus, check out the Virtual Goody Bag section of the mobile app for even more perks!

Get those to-do lists ready beforehand so that you know what your game plan is for May 15 & 16!  Can’t wait to see you at the Summit.





#BCTECH Summit KAST 20th Celebration

REMINDER: 20th Anniversary KAST Meetup at #BCTECH Summit!

#BCTECH Summit KAST 20th Celebration

Just a friendly reminder to all the Koots tech pros and knowledge workers off to this year’s #BCTECH Summit….  We’d love you to help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of KAST!

We’ll be in the booth with MIDAS and would love not only to connect with you, but invite you to our popular Kootenay networking event in Vancouver, May 15th at 7:00pm.

Be sure to make your way to the MIDAS booth at the Summit, have a visit, register with us, and pick up your FREE ticket(s) to our evening meetup.  Sponsored by KAST and LCIC, this networking event is a great opportunity to meet new Koots tech professionals, connect with peers & colleagues, share Summit experiences, and chat with other Kootenay folk in a fun and casual atmosphere.  Last year some great connections were made and you never know who’s doing what right in our own backyards!

The tickets are free, food and drink will be provided, and there will be a fabulous prize draw during the get together!

We’ll be providing more deets about the event when you check in with us at the MIDAS booth.

The Summit is fast approaching, so be sure to put this special KAST 20th Anniversary event on your calendar.

We look forward to seeing you – very, very soon!! – in Vancouver!