B.C. Innovation Commissioner
The Innovation Commissioner (IC) is B.C.’s champion for technology and innovation. They facilitate partnerships and promote innovation across the province. The IC helps companies grow in all regions and sectors.
The Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation (JERI) oversees the role. The IC works with the Executive Team of JERI and other relevant ministries. They also work with the CEO and Board Chair of Innovate BC.
The IC holds an ex-officio position on the board of Innovate BC.
B.C. Innovation Commissioner’s focus
The first IC focused on discovery. Discovery was based on literature, research, and engagement. Going forward, the IC will focus on:
- Implementation guided by the initial work
- The current priorities of government
The IC supports the implementation of technology-related innovation priorities to promote:
- Initiatives under the Technology and Innovation Policy Framework
- Recommendations in the Economic Plan
- COVID-19 recovery efforts
This may include activities that:
- Boost innovative cluster development
- Build and maintain intellectual property (IP) in B.C.
- Develop talent
- Support technology-enabled adoption
The IC champions innovation through speaking engagements and participation in public events and discourse.
Funding and investment
Investments help companies grow and setup firms in B.C. The IC works to increase investments by working with:
- Other organizations
B.C. Innovation Commissioner’s biography
Gerri Sinclair was first appointed as B.C.'s Innovation Commissioner in July 2020. She has a breadth of experience in senior leadership positions in the investment capital, digital media, and information technology fields. She is also an Associate with the non-profit Creative Destruction Lab.
Sinclair is the former Managing Director at Kensington Capital in Vancouver. In this role, she led the $100M B.C. Technology Fund. She was the founder of SFU’s ExCITE Media lab, a Visiting Scientist at IBM Research, the founder/CEO of NCompass (acquired by Microsoft), a past President of the B.C. Premier’s Technology Council and Chair of Canada’s National Telecom Policy Panel.
Sinclair was the Founding Director of the Centre for Digital Media’s Master of Digital Media program in Vancouver. She has served as Innovation Strategy Advisor at Vancity and Telefonica in Barcelona.
She has served on many government and corporate boards. Including the Toronto Montreal Stock Exchange, the Vancouver Airport Authority, Telus Corporation, BC Telecom and Ballard Power, as well as Canada’s Information Highway Advisory Council and the National Broadband Taskforce.
Sinclair is the recipient of many awards as a leading woman in technology. She has received the prestigious Canadian Public Policy Forum Testimonial Award. Additionally, Sinclair was named a member of “Vancouver Power 50”, a BC Business “Woman of Influence” and among the Top 150 Women in Canada. She is the 2018 recipient of the BC Technology Association’s Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award. Recently, Sinclair was awarded the 2020 Business in Vancouver Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award.