ICT and Wireless in British Columbia

ICT and Wireless in British Columbia

May 10, 2018 Posted by Abby Pollen

British Columbia has a robust Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry with over 2,650 companies and more than 20,500 jobs spanning the fields of software as a service (SaaS) and enterprise-level solutions, the internet of things (IoT) and mobile technologies, cloud computing, big data and machine learning, e-commerce, and fintech and security clusters. 

British Columbia is also home to Innovate BC (BCIC), a Crown agency of the Province, which encourages the development and application of technologies to meet the needs of local industry. It collaborates with business accelerators and partners across British Columbia to promote company growth through various events, programs and initiatives, including the #BCTECH Summit. Its Venture Acceleration Program has been a driver for wireless and ICT development in B.C. According to the 2014 KPMG Technology Report Card, ICT was the province’s most profitable tech sector in 2012.

The global venture capital community invests hundreds of millions to support deals across the province, strengthening B.C.’s position as an exciting new tech hub. Industry demands have also been recognized by local educational institutions, where research, entrepreneurship and an informed workforce are generated. British Columbia has 25 post-secondary institutions with specific programs to strengthen tech sector businesses with an educated workforce.

Industry incentives include a $100 million BC Tech Fund to support local high-growth companies; the Scientific Research & Experimental Development program, which provides $3.6 billion in tax assistance annually and allows qualified Canadian companies to recover up to 68.5% on eligible research and development salaries; and MITACS, which funds research and training programs to address business and innovation challenges.

The internet of things (IoT) is a segment of ICT that is designed to extend internet connectivity and uses beyond traditional gadgets (laptops, smartphones and tablets) to a diverse range of devices and everyday things. Examples of B.C. IoT startups include Neurio (energy monitoring and control for solar) and Optigo Networks (building operation software). In addition, Awesense Wireless Inc. provides leading business intelligence solutions to increase efficiency in power grids, and Curatio offers an online engagement platform for medical patients to help them find community through private, mobile networks. Retreat Guru from Nelson, B.C. provides an online platform that links spiritual teachers, students and retreat centres, making it easier for their global community to connect.

AltumView Systems and Tuangru, both out of B.C., are making strides in research and development of ICT technology. AltumView specializes in smart vision software and hardware products (like smart cameras) that can be used in surveillance, finance, business, drones, robotics, smart home, health care, and smart city data collection. Tuangru’s software lets users manage assets across various data storage platforms, so that wherever files are stored, they can be accessed and managed via one dashboard.

Events showcasing innovation in the ICT and wireless sector include the #BCTECH Summit, which brings together tech entrepreneurs, investors, and members of government and industry. Experienced business leaders share their insights for successfully navigating the digital age and company booths share the latest gadgets and growth.

ConnecTechAsia, the brand new umbrella event encompassing CommunicAsia, BroadcastAsia and the new NXTAsia, is where technology, ideas and business converge. ConnecTechAsia is Asia’s only business to business (B2B) platform that covers the entire spectrum of communication, broadcast, and enterprise technology and services catering to the needs of the industry in Asia and beyond. It provides the technological innovation and thought-leadership that will help pave the way towards a brighter and more connected world. Representatives from Trade & Invest BC and from B.C. companies attend each year.

To learn more about ICT and wireless developments in British Columbia, visit our invest, export and buy pages on the sector or join us at the #BCTech Summit, ConnecTechAsia or the HKTDC ICT Show. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter to keep up with all things related to trade, investment and exports across the province.


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