John Yap: The BC Government is Supporting Innovators and Technology

John Yap, BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology wrote an opinion-editorial in the BC Government Newsroom this week outlining how the province’s government is supporting innovators in the technology sector.

“It is often said that governments don’t create jobs—that is the role of the private sector. But governments can indeed support innovators and B.C.’s burgeoning technology sector is a prime example,” he wrote. “More than 10 years ago, our government began creating an atmosphere, a strong foundation as a jumping-off point for researchers and businesses in the technology sector. Today those efforts are paying dividends. We’re seeing strong economic growth and well-paying jobs for British Columbians. Job growth in this sector is increasing at twice the rate of overall employment rates in the province, and wages are well above the provincial average.”

Yap went on to note that the technology sector in BC provides more than 84,000 jobs and a total payroll of $5.3 billion and that a November 2012 report issued by Startup Genome rates Vancouver as the number-nine startup hub in the world.

Given this strong performance, it makes sense for our government to support the technology sector through a program called the BCIC Acceleration Network. It’s an initiative of the BC Innovation Council, which is working to accelerate the commercialization of technology through the support of startups, and the development of entrepreneurs to bring along advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in B.C.

“To keep the momentum going, earlier this week our government announced a joint collaboration between the BC Innovation Council and Mitacs to administer government’s pilot Commercialization Voucher Program,” Yap continued. “The program connects B.C. companies with leading-edge researchers in our post-secondary system. These collaborations help fine-tune innovative new products and services to get them to market faster.”

Programs under the BC Jobs Plan—like the commercialization vouchers and the BCIC Acceleration Network—are enhancing the competiveness of B.C. technology companies, and securing our reputation for supportive growth in the technology industry. That makes British Columbia even more attractive to global investors. I applaud our technology sector for the work it has done.

“The world knows that BC companies innovate, improve and deliver,” Yap concluded. And the government, he believes, is a big part of this solid reputation.