Canada’s tech workforce grew by a substantial figure during the Pandemic, data from CBRE’s 2023 Scoring Tech Talent report shows.
And despite a widespread movement toward working from home, growth still orbits around major innovation hubs such as Vancouver.
The annual report, which comprehensively analyzes Canada’s tech talent workforce trends, found that the nation’s workforce in tech-based occupations rose by more than 15% from 2020 through 2022—a gain of 150,000 workers.
In Vancouver, there are now 111,000 tech occupations, up 69% over five years. Tech work accounts for roughly one-third of all occupations in the region.
Below, Techcouver shines a spotlight on regionals firms advancing technology in BC and beyond.
Quantum computing has emerged as a frontier that could redefine every industry, from logistics and AI to drug discovery and financial modeling. Square at the vanguard of this revolution is Vancouver-based D-Wave Quantum Systems, whose claims to fame include being the world’s first commercial supplier of quantum computers.
Known for development of annealing and gate-model quantum computers, D-Wave’s aim is clear: to unlock the quantum advantages of today for business and society alike. Dr. Alan Baratz, the chief executive of D-Wave, says one major “key to this transformation is the ability to provide larger quantum systems with greater coherence.”
Recently, the firm announced notable collaborations that promise to harness some of the untapped potential surrounding quantum technology.
This month, D-Wave unveiled a partnership with the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. Funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Quantum Alliance program, multi-year projects will set up key hardware research programs for quantum computing systems.
The collaborations will focus on identifying improvements in device design and materials quality that will foster more coherent superconducting quantum processors—a strategy which aligns with Canada’s National Quantum Strategy.
Another partnership finds D-Wave in Switzerland. QuantumBasel, Switzerland’s first quantum hub for commercial use, has teamed up with VINCI Energies, a pioneer in environmental-focused digital transition, to launch a quantum-based pilot project.
Alongside QuantumBasel and D-Wave, VINCI is embarking on a journey to see if quantum computing can improve the quality of the generated HVAC network solutions, which could reduce compute time and costs.
D-Wave’s raised $40 million in 2021 from the federal government before going public by merging with DPCM Capital, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, in 2022. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new quantum training program in conjunction with BC-based Quantum Algorithms Institute in a bid to accelerate the development of a quantum-ready workforce.
‘Living’ comic books honour legend
Stan Lee, a seminal figure in the comic book world, is known for his creation of iconic superheroes including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and many more.
Earlier this month, book entertainment company Legible has teamed up with Kartoon Studios, holder of the Stan Lee Universe, to breathe new life into previously unseen characters created by the legendary Lee.
As part of the agreement, Legible is set to create and distribute 12 original comic book series, capitalizing on its unique ability to produce digital, print, and “living book” versions of Kartoon’s intellectual properties.
These next-gen books incorporate audio, video, and animations, further enhancing the reading experience for fans of the late Lee.
To help make these living comic books as worthy of Lee’s name as possible, Legible wrangled Batman producer Michael Uslan, as well as his son David, to contribute to the quality of the content.
Legible’s e-bookstore currently streams over two million eBooks.
Brell Health has unveiled a pioneering digital platform that combines medical acumen with patient-centric care.
Established in 2022, Brell Health seeks to navigate the shifting paradigms of patient care brought forth by the global pandemic. As an increasingly digital-savvy population seeks active involvement in healthcare, the Vancouver startup’s all-in-one platform transforms radiology reports from static documents to interactive patient experiences.
Through an integrated image viewer and virtual consultation, Brell’s platform allows radiologists to provide live specialist consultations, bridging the gap between physicians and patients.Leveraging AI technology, its medical dictionary deciphers complex medical terminologies, offering a nuanced understanding through contextual imagery and descriptions.
As decreased reimbursements and rising study volumes have put radiology providers under immense pressure, the advent of virtualization has created a disconnection between providers and patients, according to Dr. Ramin Sahebjavaher, a seasoned entrepreneur and technology. Sahebjavaher, who left Prenuvo to launch Brell Health, says his company’s platform addresses this lacuna by offering meaningful, personalized engagement, instilling a sense of confidence in patients about their healthcare journey.
“We are addressing a critical gap in the radiology workflow, for both patients and specialists, by facilitating access to meaningful engagement that is scalable and revenue-generating,” said the startup CEO.
The HIPAA-compliant platform is entirely web-based and compatible with all operating systems.
Following successful pilot tests in 2022, Molecular You this year launched a consumer-facing preventive health solution in Canada.
Recognized for transforming healthcare with its innovative Health Transparency Platform, Vancouver-based Molecular You provides a comprehensive profile of an individual by analyzing over 250 biomarkers, including metabolomic, proteomic, and exposomic data. The company analyzes health risk across areas including cognitive health and liver health, then designs an action plan of precise lifestyle changes that can improve an individual’s health outcomes.
Advancing its position, the Canadian predictive health analytics company this summer announced the appointment of Jim Kean as Chief Executive Officer to drive the company’s US expansion.
Utilizing data science algorithms and AI models, Molecular You foresees a future where healthcare is transparent, predictive, and centred on optimizing individual health outcomes.
The appointment of Kean, a leader and long-standing advisor to Molecular You, signals a step in the company’s quest to reshape the landscape of healthcare.
Prior to Molecular You, Kean served as the General Manager for Consumer Platforms at Cambia Health, a Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer. In this capacity, he steered the creation of an avant-garde omni-channel consumer engagement platform, laying the foundation for the next generation of healthcare experiences. He then assumed the role of General Manager of Value Management, where he championed population analytics initiatives to enhance health outcomes.
Kean’s entrepreneurial journey began with the founding of Sapient Health Network in 1995, which later evolved into the consumer-facing business of WebMD. He also founded WellnessFx, a San Francisco-based company with the mission to simplify and democratize healthcare access for consumers.
Canadian commerce firm Cymax Group announced recently a partnership with Team True North member Elastic Path, the figurehead behind the Composable Commerce Movement, to launch a next-generation web platform.
“We are thrilled to make this announcement,” stated Brad Kent, Chief Technology Officer at BC-born Cymax Group. “Our team’s unwavering commitment continues to drive results for the furniture vendors that we work with.”
Composable Commerce from Vancouver neighbour Elastic is like a bespoke tailor of the digital commerce world, crafting unique solutions designed to meet individual business needs. Leveraging this tech, the collaboration will supercharge Cymax’s marketplaces, Cymax Business and Homesquare, Kent believes.
Armed with an AI-powered multichannel platform, Channel Gate, Cymax Group is navigating digital commerce with the precision of a seasoned mariner. The company’s new tech, such as cloud-native architecture, extends benefits to the consumer as customers peruse furniture and home goods on a mobile-first design with speed and stability. And a more powerful search function, fuelled by AI, enhances product discovery among 500,000 items.
Founded in 2000, Elastic Path powers mission-critical digital commerce for more than 200 major brands including Intuit, Deckers, and T-Mobile.
“Never has there been a more exciting time in the history of digital commerce,” Elastic Path chief executive James Driscoll stated in December.
His firm was recently ranked among Canada’s best places to work in tech.