- Vancouver Tech Journal
- Thriving in the Digital Era: Invest Vancouver’s Strategies for Success
Thriving in the Digital Era: Invest Vancouver’s Strategies for Success
The organization presents four strategies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the city's digital economy.
Technology touches every industry as organizations move towards new and efficient solutions to meet operational and strategic objectives. The fact of the matter is that if you aren’t innovating, you aren’t evolving.
Technology adds a new layer of analysis, increases productivity, and likely streamlines tedious tasks. If you’re a Vancouver Tech Journal reader, you already know that there isn’t an industry that technology hasn’t touched.
Innovation drives the digital economy, and, now more than ever, ideas and intellectual property hold more value than physical assets did in years past. Digitization, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and improvements to information technologies enable faster and more efficient processes. With this comes new challenges, including the challenge we’ve all seen in the headlines: transitioning to new processes that alleviate tedious tasks can also remove jobs. However, Invest Vancouver - the Metro Vancouver region’s economic development leadership service - sees this transition as a major opportunity to propel prosperity for the region’s 2.8 million residents.
Tech dominates our key industries
In the farming sector, technological innovations improve production, profitability, and sustainability. Water tech mitigates water risks, improves water system monitoring, and expands access to water treatment in remote locations. Hydrogen is growing as a viable source of energy due to innovations in clean tech.
Technological innovations in these sectors are flourishing in the Metro Vancouver region. With a diverse set of applications, our tech hub is growing prominently by the day.
Our region’s strengths set the path forward to promote innovation and grow with our talent. The natural resources of the west coast lend itself to be applied across sectors, opening opportunities for innovation, and contributing to a dynamic economic landscape. Invest Vancouver focuses on these key sectors, in which we have an existing competitive advantage, because this is what will allow the regional economy to thrive and deliver prosperity for all residents in the region.
Talent in our region is unmatched, and recognized globally.
Access to abundant natural resources, combined with world-renowned universities and research institutions, supplemented by sector-specific accelerators and a supporting regulatory environment is drawing more attention to our region. Metro Vancouver has historically offered a strong pipeline of developing talent in the technology sector and the anticipated number of job openings across the region follows a similar trend. In 2023, Vancouver exhibited the largest growth in technology sector talent of any major North American city, having increased by 69% between 2017 and 2022 to over 111,000 individuals, according to CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent 2023.
Technological innovations are taking shape across the region, and has been for some time to establish our region as a tech hub. Successes in the region have put our name on the global stage, but to stay in the eyes of global investors, we need to continue to develop our workforce and meet the needs of the market two, five, and ten years down the line.
Preparing for the Digital Economy
In spring 2021, Invest Vancouver released its inaugural technical paper, Preparing Metro Vancouver for the Digital Economy, and identified four strategies to contend with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that the digital economy presented:
Invest in our people: Reinforce a regional talent development structure that is more connected, industry-responsive, “future-proof”, and adaptive to the rapidly changing labour market needs of industry
Catalyze innovation: Develop the region’s innovation capabilities to diversify and strengthen the productive advantages of established industries and to create entirely new ones that drive solutions to societal challenges
Build capacity in our key industries: Align and deploy assets and fill gaps along the product / service value chains within our region’s export-oriented industries
Increase our global connectedness: Open up new markets for the region through trade facilitation, export assistance programs to increase the number of export-ready firms, and the attraction of foreign investment into the region within key industries
When Invest Vancouver set forth these strategies, their aim was to drive the region’s economic recovery, further its resiliency, and power the region’s next economic renaissance in a way that advances equitable opportunity and more broadly shared prosperity for all. We asked President of Invest Vancouver Jacquie Griffiths if she thinks these priorities, now two and a half years old, still feel relevant.
Her answer was clear: “Absolutely, these priorities are still very much relevant. In the post-pandemic landscape, the digital economy has opened numerous doors for those who were prepared, driving innovation and economic growth. Invest Vancouver’s strategies, and collaborations with key partners across the region and beyond, continue to be a guiding force behind our region’s success in seizing these new opportunities.”
Intellectual property, technology, capital, and knowledge are driving value creation and capture. This is where we can continue to develop our talent, play to our strengths as a region, and advance the export-oriented industries that are strengthening our position in the global economy.
To continue the conversation, Invest Vancouver and local business leaders will discuss how Metro Vancouver’s unique strengths in tech are driving innovation and economic outcomes at #VTJTALKS on October 11th hosted by Vancouver Tech Journal.