BC shortlisted to the Supercluster Initiative as VR Hub Opens

BCIT representatives welcomed the formal opening of The Cube in Vancouver’s railtown last week. The 6000 square foot space is being billed as the ultimate environment to build a Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MR) company, and Vancouver’s first VR hub.

This grand opening event played host to a very exciting announcement by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development — announcing that Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a BCIT-backed initiative, has been shortlisted to the Superclusters Initiative.

James Rout, BCIT Associate Vice President, sits on the Board for The Cube, and tells us it’s been exciting for the VR/AR collective as they ramp up for launch. BCIT will provide virtual and augmented reality education for The Cube, and will be offering spring workshops in the new space.

“This is exactly what BCIT is all about – supporting industry by building a strong pool of skilled and talented workers, and positioning learners to succeed in the jobs of the future,” James explains.

BCIT students are already using VR in the classroom, from health programs to mechanical repair, and they’ve started developing software for VR/AR as well.

BCIT Computing just launched a Statement of Completion in Part-time Studies in VR/AR to help those already experienced in the tech industry to upskill in this evolving area while they continue to work.

Full-time students in the Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma program are currently developing for this technology, such as a Hololens project Technical Programming Option students are working on under the leadership of Option Head Dr. Mirela Gutica. Students in the CST Bachelor of Technology Games Development Option have also developed VR games for the VIVE headset.

“When these BCIT Computing students graduate, they’ll already have hands-on experience in this growing field,” explains Dr. Bethany Edmunds, Associate Dean, who joined stakeholders onstage at The Cube event.

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