Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Service Minister Amrik Virk toured Boeing’s Washington State operations yesterday and met with company officials to further strengthen the relationship with our American neighbours in connection with B.C.’s flourishing technology sector.
B.C.’s tech sector is the largest it has ever been, and is an integral part of the province’s growing, diverse and strong economy. The tour was an opportunity for Virk to highlight B.C.’s tech talent and to pursue further cross-border economic ties with the wider Cascadia technology sector.
Growth in the number of jobs, in wages, and in the number of technology companies is a clear indication of B.C.’s supportive business environment for skilled technology workers, innovators and leaders. This is an important part of the #BCTECH Strategy to grow B.C.’s tech sector, create jobs and attract significant venture capital.
Boeing has had a significant presence in the B.C. technology sector for over 16 years. It recently opened a lab facility in Vancouver’s Yaletown district, which develops data analytics-based solutions to some of the aviation industry’s biggest challenges. The Vancouver Labs complement Boeing Vancouver's head office in Richmond, which houses more than 200 software engineers and data scientists.
International trade is an important aspect of the technology sector, as reflected in the high volume of two-way trade. In September 2016, B.C. and Washington State signed a memorandum of understanding affirming shared interests in creating regional economic opportunities for innovation in the technology sector. The partnership aims to foster stronger ties across the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, including collaboration in research, education, workforce development, transportation and investment.
The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen B.C.’s diverse knowledge-based economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and job creation across the province.
In partnership with the BC Innovation Council, the province is hosting B.C.’s second #BCTECH Summit, March 14-15, 2017, with made-in-B.C. tech innovations, thought-provoking keynotes and outstanding networking opportunities. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca/
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –
“Increased collaboration between great tech minds in great tech companies keeps our sector on the innovation forefront; today and into the future. This visit is an important occasion to strengthen our existing relationship and generate opportunities in the cross-border technology sector that will further bolster talent and job growth, strengthening our economy and maximizing key components of our #BCTECH Strategy.”
- B.C.’s tech sector employment eclipsed 100,000 for the first time in 2015, rising 2.9% to 101,780.
- Wages and salaries in the tech sector also hit a new high for the fifth consecutive year, climbing 4.5% to over $8.4 billion.
- B.C. has seen a 1.9% rise in the number of new technology companies with employees in 2015, growing to over 9,900 businesses. B.C. is home to 14% of Canada’s tech businesses.
- Boeing has a long-standing relationship with Canada, since 1919, when its founder, William Boeing, completed the first airmail delivery mission by flying a mail pouch from Victoria to Seattle.
- Today, the work Boeing does with Canadian companies is valued in excess of $1 billion USD annually. Its Canadian workforce has over 2,000 professionals.
B.C. and Washington State create Cascadia Innovation Corridor: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PREM0110-001742
BC Jobs Plan Update: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PREM0008-000122
UBC president Professor Santa Ono to establish innovation network: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PREM0009-000123
Profile of the British Columbia Technology Sector: 2016 Edition: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/BusinessIndustry/HighTechnology.aspx
#BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca
#BCTECH Summit: http://bctechsummit.ca/