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

The Miracle - - Politics -

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 post­sec­ondary 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 sup- port 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. 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 lead- er. “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.

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