BCIT-backed Supercluster given the green light

Today, the Government of Canada announced significant funding towards The Digital Technology Supercluster – a BCIT-backed initiative involving over 200 BC-based businesses including Telus, Microsoft, Teck, Canfor, Shoppers, Shoppers Drug Mart, Providence Health Care, and six post-secondary institutions.

“This initiative directly supports students who are eager to succeed in the jobs of the future, and industry who are in need of skilled talent,” says Kathy Kinloch, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. “The Digital Technology Supercluster fosters new collaborations, partnerships, and training advancements that will ensure graduates have the right skills for the changing workplace. The implications of this investment are profound. Together, we are ensuring that Canada is at the forefront of the digital economy.”

Of more than 50 Supercluster proposals, involving over 1,000 firms, and 350 other participants, nine were shortlisted, and five were selected. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada defines Superclusters as dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. They attract large and small companies that collaborate with universities, colleges and not-for-profit organizations to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market.

“Today we are investing in five superclusters so that tomorrow we will be more than 50,000 jobs richer and benefit from an even stronger economy—an innovation economy, says The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “With the Superclusters Initiative, we bet on Canadians. We looked at what we did well across our great nation, and we asked industry, academia and NGOs how we could do it better. The response was impressive and the ideas were remarkable.”

As the sole polytechnic institute partnered with the BC-based Digital Technology Supercluster, BCIT will be contributing its unique educational model that focuses on applied learning and industry connection.

With an anticipated 50,000 jobs to fill over the next 10 years, BCIT will be supporting industry in building a strong pool of skilled workers and positioning learners of all ages to succeed in the ever-changing workplace landscape.

In fall 2017, BCIT launched a Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VRAR) Statement of Completion comprised of four part-time courses. Industry expertise and curriculum guidance for these courses is being developed in collaboration with Microsoft.

With the VR/AR sector growing quickly, the need for experts who can program and work with these technologies will only continue to grow – and not just in the tech world. VR/AR is already being utilized in immersive training platforms in sectors from healthcare, to automotive repair, to mining.

For over 50 years, BCIT has been training high school graduates, mature students, new Canadians, business leaders, and skilled tradespeople to embrace the rapid rate of change in their future workplaces. With the arrival of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, BCIT is ready to help inspire Canadians as we anticipate and outpace the complex forces of global technological innovation.

For more information on how BCIT is supporting Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, media are asked to contact Jocelyne Leszczynski, Media & Communications specialist.

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