Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), spoke at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s New Economic Opportunities for Vancouver’s Tech Community event.
During his remarks, Minister Sajjan spoke about his vision for PacifiCan and how it will support British Columbia businesses, including those in the tech sector.
With a focus on enduring prosperity for all of B.C., PacifiCan will work to create quality jobs, build competitive industry clusters, help businesses grow locally and compete globally, and support inclusive growth.
PacifiCan has a core annual budget of $110 million dollars to work with B.C. businesses and communities. Minister Sajjan encouraged attendees to bring their ideas to the new agency.
When PacifiCan is fully established, it will offer services in nine hubs across the province, including its existing office in downtown Vancouver and a new headquarters in Surrey.
“PacifiCan is committed to being a strong economic development partner for all British Columbians – including Vancouver’s tech companies. With our support, we will propel Canada into being a world-leading centre for innovation and create the conditions where all British Columbians can build and benefit from a thriving economy,” said Minister Sajjan.
Minister Sajjan announced two calls for new projects under the program for 2022.
The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program makes strategic investments in key economic sectors, helping companies accelerate their growth and compete globally.
The Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum, and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.
The first window to submit an expression of interest will open later this week and remain open until July 27, 2022. The second will open in November.
After the keynote address with Minister Sajjan, the Board of Trade hosted a panel discussion on new economic opportunities in Vancouver’s tech community featuring Curatio’s Lynda Brown-Ganzert, Amazon’s Jesse Dougherty, and Sue Paish of the Digital Technology Supercluster.
The panel discussed themes including how anchor companies and smaller firms are combining forces to empower businesses, people, and governments to tackle important problems and improve lives.