I am pleased to present this Cleantech Cluster strategy for the province of British Columbia – a roadmap of engagement, collaboration and programming to accelerate the growth of BC’s promising sustainable economy.
It should come as no surprise that BC is well positioned to formalize a cleantech cluster. With over 290 cleantech SMEs, several of which are growing and scaling to become anchor companies across several key sectors, as well as $3.4 billion invested into our local sector since 2017. All of the elements are here and ready to be mobilized.
Clusters demonstrate a thriving economy. A cluster organization signifies a commitment from all stakeholders to align and mobilize resources. When all of the elements work well and grow together, the cluster becomes stronger. The cluster stakeholders benefit from a boost in prosperity, revenue, investments, exports and jobs.
Clusters also energize the economy. They foster innovation. They create an ideal environment for talent development, capital deployment and strategic market development. And they attract large industry players and service providers to support the cluster’s mission. Not only does this coordinate all of the right pieces for growth, it establishes a healthy competitive environment, pushing everyone in the ecosystem to perform better.
The power of a formalized cluster network is profound. Cluster organizations and strategies across the world show us what happens when a cluster is launched and energized. People connect and work together. They create thousands of new jobs, they build tech parks, and they launch groundbreaking initiatives. They attract investment and start scaling huge infrastructure projects – and they do it collaboratively and profitably.
This strategy is unique to BC and is designed with our history in resources and innovation top of mind. It also considers that while Vancouver is a natural hub for the cluster’s foundation, several regions across BC have critical elements to connect to the cluster. Connecting the hubs of diverse innovation activities that are happening in multiple regions of the province not only takes advantage of one of BC’s most enduring strengths, it is also an ideal scenario to advance a world-class, distributed cluster model and support CleanBC objectives.
I’d like to thank several groups and teams that helped with the process of developing this strategy. Thank you to all of the individuals, experts, leaders, associations, cleantech SMEs, industry partners and stakeholders across the province for supporting this endeavour. Thank you to the project Advisory Group and entire Foresight team for working along a fast-paced project timeline. Thank you to our project advisor, John Tak, and researcher, writer, editor and colleague, Diane Sam.
And, a very special thank you to my colleague and project lead, Catriona Power. Your leadership, commitment and unwavering work ethic were instrumental in bringing this strategy together.
This forward would not be complete without addressing the impact COVID 19 is having globally. We are in the midst of a massive health crisis and an unprecedented global economic crisis. And while this is true, most thought-leaders still maintain that the biggest crisis ahead of us is the climate crisis. A cluster that addresses both economic and climate priorities is an ideal path forward for our Province, and as a leader for the rest of Canada.
We look forward to working with everyone on bringing this strategy to life.
Chief Executive Officer
FORESIGHT CLEANTECH ACCELERATOR CENTRE