Reinforcing the technology bridge with Boeing – By Ray Hudson

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Amrik Virk, Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Service Minister touring the Boeing plant. (driving is a Boeing employee); second row (left) is Roberto Valla, Vice President, Global Sales – Canada, Boeing Defense, Space, & Security (BDS) and beside him, John Jacobson, Virk’s Deputy Minister; third row (first car) is Fadi Deek, Director, Business Engagement, Boeing Vancouver.

Amrik Virk visits Boeing in Seattle

Amrik Virk, Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Service Minister touring the Boeing plant. (driving is a Boeing employee); second row (left) is Roberto Valla, Vice President, Global Sales – Canada, Boeing Defense, Space, & Security (BDS) and beside him, John Jacobson, Virk’s Deputy Minister; third row (first car) is Fadi Deek, Director, Business Engagement, Boeing Vancouver.
Amrik Virk, Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Service Minister touring the Boeing plant. (driving is a Boeing employee); second row (left) is Roberto Valla, Vice President, Global Sales – Canada, Boeing Defense, Space, & Security (BDS) and beside him, John Jacobson, Virk’s Deputy Minister; third row (first car) is Fadi Deek, Director, Business Engagement, Boeing Vancouver.

BC’s 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. 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. The work Boeing does with Canadian companies is valued in excess of $1 billion USD annually with a Canadian workforce of over 2,000 professionals.

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/