Technology and Innovation

The tech sector is growing in B.C. and innovative uses of technology are helping to breathe new life into many industries. This section shares stories and resources to support the growth of technology and innovation in your community. 

CivicLabs: Learn How you can Implement and Tailor a Variety of Apps to Serve your Community

More and more people are relying on their phones to access community services and information, however many local governments and First Nations lack the resources to develop apps to serve the unique needs of their residents and businesses.  To counter the high costs associated with app and software development, CivicInfo BC created CivicLabs is a program that develops apps that can be accessed and customized at a fraction of the cost of developing the applications independently. The development costs are split amongst members, which provides a unique opportunity to curate their own range of apps at an affordable price.

Join Todd Pugh, the Executive Director from CivicInfo BC, for an overview of the CivicLabs program. Hear what apps have been created so far and learn what you need to do to give your community access to CivicLab’s library of apps.

Presentation Slides: 

Watch the CivicLabs webinar originally broadcast on February 13, 2020.

CleanBC for Local Governments and Economic Developers: A Clear Path to a Cleaner Future

CleanBC sets a pathway to a cleaner, prosperous, and balanced future. That means reducing carbon pollution and using more clean, renewable energy to power our industry, businesses and homes. Along with our actions to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, CleanBC provides an effective blueprint to build our economy. Building a cleaner future means new opportunities for everyone. Whether it is to utilize clean energy, renovate buildings or design new technologies, a cleaner future will help create good jobs, and support generations to come.

Join the Climate Action Secretariat to learn about the programs and opportunities available to communities through CleanBC as we transition to a clean economy.

Presentation Slides:

Watch the CleanBC webinar originally broadcast on December 5, 2019.

TechDev101: Benchmarking Your Community and Measuring Its Progress

You want to grow your technology and innovation community, but how do you measure your progress? How do you compare to other communities? How much did you progress over the last 1, 3, 5 years? What should be your targets for the next 5 years?

Join Robert Bell of the Intelligent Community Forum and Joe Sterling of Rainforest Strategies to learn more about their benchmarking methodologies and others that you can use to better understand your community’s current situation and how you can monitor your progress moving forward.


Watch the TechDev101 webinar originally broadcast on October 3, 2018.

Community Readiness for Rural Connectivity

What does it mean to be “ready” for connectivity? How can a community demonstrate there is a strong case for support from government or industry to invest in expanding or improving Internet services?

In this webinar, we’ll discover a model for showing how connectivity relates to the broader subject of community sustainability. We’ll also look at how infrastructure intersects with community needs to create positive value and return on investment. Finally, we’ll explore tools and supports to help communities advance their connectivity goals.

Presenters: Ivan Rincon and Colleen McCormick, NetworkBC

Presentation Slides:

Watch the Rural Connectivity webinar originally broadcast on September 27, 2018 and re-recorded October 5, 2018.

TechDev101: Building a Supportive Community and Culture for Technology and Innovation

What makes a vibrant innovation ecosystem? It starts with people! But how do you find those people and get them working with each other? Hear community manager and fearless networker Rose Hoeher tell the story behind building Nelson, B.C.’s strong and vibrant technology and innovation community; a community that is attracting talent and businesses and putting Nelson on the map as one of the Province’s technology hotspots.  

Alongside community is the importance of culture: the set of norms and values that guide people’s behaviour. When building your innovation community, how do you also foster a culture of cooperation and collaboration? Joining us will be technology entrepreneur and author Jim Gibson. Hear Jim share his experiences building the Innovation Ecosystem in Alberta, and how Rainforest Alberta is using a unique social contract to define the values and principles of their community. These principles can be applied in communities of any size.

Presentation Slides:

Watch the TechDev101 webinar originally broadcast on September 18, 2018.

TechDev101: Innovation Ecosystem Canvas

This session introduces the Innovation Ecosystem Canvas and its five main components for building and supporting innovative workers and businesses in your community:

  • Talent
  • Capital
  • Infrastructure
  • Community and Culture
  • External Connections

Following the session, you’ll be able to use the Innovation Ecosystem model to map your community’s current innovation-related assets, strategies and actors; identify any gaps that might exist in your strategies, tactics and operations; and develop programs or policies to fill those gaps.

Presenters: Steve Thomson and Cindy Pearson (Capasiti Consulting), and Beth Gallup (Under the Sun Consulting Corp).

Presentation Slides:

Watch the TechDev101 webinar originally broadcast on June 19, 2018

Innovation Partnerships with Post-Secondary Institutions

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. You’ll also help build the workforce of the future and develop your community’s economic diversity. Our featured guests introduce the nuts and bolts of innovation partnerships and share examples of how this approach has built economic benefits for their communities.

Innovation partnerships combine the research and innovation power of post-secondary institutions with the market savvy of visionary entrepreneurs. Research partnerships promote enhanced productivity in industries, businesses, and community organizations while developing the next generation of our workforce.

Did we mention that research partnerships can potentially attract funding to build your community’s economic resilience and a future-ready workforce? You don’t want to miss this interactive learning opportunity!

Presentation Slides:

Watch the Innovation Partnerships with Post-Secondary Institutions webinar originally broadcast on March 6, 2018

Geothermal: Heating up Rural Economic Development

Direct-use geothermal heat resources have the potential to drive rural economic development opportunities and offset greenhouse gas emissions, but are currently underutilized in BC. 

In this webinar, you will be introduced to a project funded by Geoscience BC and the Province of British Columbia that identified and evaluated Direct-use geothermal resources in BC.

You’ll learn what geothermal energy is and how BC communities can evaluate this cost-competitive and sustainable heat source. Geothermal heat can be used for natural hot spring areas, space conditioning, greenhouses, fish farming, breweries and more. 

You’ll also hear from communities of The Xa’xtsa-Douglas First Nation and Valemount, who will share how their communities are currently evaluating and moving forward with geothermal energy opportunities.

Presentation Slides:

Watch the Geothermal webinar originally broadcast on February 28, 2017

Technology: The BC Venture Acceleration Program

The BC Venture Acceleration program fosters a disciplined approached to growing a technology company. Providing strategic leadership with an Executive in Residence and valuable networking opportunities, the program helps grow tech-startups in their own community. The new virtual program means any community, rural or urban, can be an innovative technology hub. Hear from the experts who deliver the program, and a community and company that are thriving following their involvement

Presentation Slides:

Watch the BC Venture Acceleration Program webinar originally broadcast on November 13, 2014

Green Energy as an Economic Development Tool

Green energy has a great potential for rural communities to offset community costs, and even generate revenue. Case studies will be presented outlining the experience and lessons learned by municipalities and First nations in developing small scale hydro electric and biomass electrical generating projects.

Presentation Slides:

Watch the Green Energy webinar originally broadcast on February 20, 2014