Office of the Premier

Premier announces tech and innovation investments to spark economic growth, job creation

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Office of the Premier

Premier announces tech and innovation investments to spark economic growth, job creation

Media Contacts
Jen Holmwood
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
250 889-1121
(flickr.com)
Media Contacts
Jen Holmwood
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
250 889-1121

Backgrounders

Premier announces tech and innovation investments to spark economic growth, job creation

The Government of British Columbia is continuing to support B.C.’s thriving technology and innovation sector to create good jobs, establish B.C. as a preferred location for new and emerging technologies, and attract investment to the province.

The government is working to provide people with opportunities and form partnerships that can help B.C. companies and individuals do what they do best — move ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. The following investments will develop future talent, support research and innovation, and help B.C. companies better compete globally.

Developing future talent

Graduate student scholarships:

  • A $12-million fund for graduate degree scholarships that will support priority areas such as science, tech, engineering and mathematics programs, as well as Indigenous students and regional programs.
  • The scholarship fund will support up to 800 awards of $15,000 for students in graduate degree programs over the next three years.

Women in technology scholarships:

  • Beginning in 2018, nine scholarships of $10,000 each for women in technology, and one for Indigenous women in technology, will be awarded through the Irving K. Barber Society.
  • These awards will inspire a new generation of women to consider science and technology-based professions.

Job training for students and entrepreneurs:

  • $10.5 million to extend the B.C. Tech Co-op Grants program and Innovator Skills Initiative until 2021.
  • Innovate BC will provide B.C. companies with grants so students can develop hands-on skills and gain valuable tech-related work experience.
  • The extension of the programs will help employ thousands of B.C. post-secondary students over the next three years, to supplement their education and make them more job-ready for future tech careers.
  • Employers providing B.C. post-secondary students with entrepreneurial training, skills and experience to learn how to run a successful business can also receive funding.

Supporting innovation

Post-secondary research and innovation infrastructure:

  • Over $102.6 million in B.C. Knowledge Development (BCKDF) funding for 75 post-secondary research projects throughout B.C.
  • BCKDF funding also leverages support from the federal government and other partners, providing B.C. researchers with a total of more than $265.5 million in state-of-the-art equipment. 
  • The research projects will develop B.C.’s expertise and innovation in fields such as advanced supercomputing and clean technology, among many others to spur job creation, talent development and commercialize innovation.

Helping B.C. companies compete

Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot extension:

  • The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot is being extended another year, to make it easier for tech companies to recruit top international talent by implementing weekly tech-only invitations for people working in the most in-demand tech occupations.
  • Priority processing is available for jobs such as computer programmers, interactive media developers and software engineers.
  • The tech pilot is being enhanced by allowing applicants with a tech job offer of one year or more to be eligible, instead of requiring a permanent job offer. This will support tech companies with project-based business models, such as animation and visual effects studios.

Extension of the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC):

  • The tax credit is being extended by five years to 2023, to continue supporting the thriving interactive augmented and virtual reality sector.
  • The tax credit is available to eligible B.C. companies developing interactive, augmented and virtual reality products for entertainment and commercial use to clarify which products are eligible for the credit.

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