On June 20, 2017, BC’s leading technology organizations announced the release of a commissioned report: “British Columbia’s Digital Technology Supercluster”. The report was prepared by Deloitte, with the support of the BC Tech Association, the Research Universities’ Council of BC, Wavefront and the Chief Advisor of the Innovation Network, Dr. Santa Ono.
The report’s objective is to describe the strengths and capabilities existing in BC that will be foundational to the growth of a digital technology supercluster in the province and the nation.
BC is home to a vibrant, diverse and successful technology-enabled economy that has been building momentum since the 1960s. The “British Columbia’s Digital Technology Supercluster report findings include:
- $26 billion a year generated in revenue, making BC the fastest-growing technology sector in Canada
- 150,000 people employed in technology, making BC the fastest-growing tech workforce in Canada
- Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Cisco, Disney, GE, Sony and Electronic Arts are a few examples of global companies that are increasingly attracted to the province
- Boeing, Finning and SAP have set up global analytics centres of excellence in BC; Sierra Wireless and Wavefront drive global leadership for the Internet of Things (IoT) and D-Wave and 1QBit are the world game changers in quantum computing
- BC universities are producing world-class research and talent: They attract over $800 million a year in research funding; since 2001, they have been awarded over $1.2 billion in funding for research infrastructure and equipment, and they have evolved their program mix to meet the needs of the technology sector by supporting a 57 per cent increase in engineering and computer science program spaces between 2006 and 2015
- The fact that three out of five Canadian “unicorns” (tech companies worth more than $1 billion) call BC their home, 25 per cent of all US patents were derived from post-secondary research in BC and the visual effects for top-grossing films (Star Wars) and games (Nintendo) are being produced in BC is a testament to the province’s world-class, creative and digital media talent
- BC has a significant geographic advantage as the Canadian gateway to both Asia — one of the fastest growing global economies — and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, with access to cross-border talent, research, capital and distribution.
Through BC’s position as the nation’s leading tech supercluster, the province has the opportunity to lead collaborations across Canada. Starting from the West Coast, BC can initiate and engage companies, innovators and hubs across the country to make the “re-imagined” future a competitive advantage for Canadian industries.