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CLUSTER INITIATIVE

Foresight - Cleantech in British Columbia

Wine in California. Software in Silicon Valley. Leather Goods in Italy. Cleantech in British Columbia

Foresight is leading the charge to create a cleantech-focused cluster where SMEs, corporations, academia, NGOs and investors can collaborate to accelerate the cleantech industry in British Columbia. We’re excited about this bold vision – to catalyze a sustainable transition to a green economy through growing the cleantech sector in British Columbia.

The plan to get there involves creating dynamic collaborations between all the things we love about this Province – from the passionate, dedicated people that work in cleantech, to our world-class research and educational institutions, the hands-on and driven industry organizations, large corporations, SME’s, non-profits, investors and financial experts, and the startup entrepreneurs with an idea. In other words, you. The plan involves you.

We know better solutions are required to meet the needs of a sustainable low carbon economy, and we know the success factors for the growth of an industry are open innovation, research and development excellence, proximity to market, public and private investment, and access to a skilled labour market. And we also know that British Columbia has a lot of things going for it in terms of seeing this vision come to life – a robust, resource based economy, a skilled workforce, government leadership and commitment, proximity to trade and transportation routes and a growing reputation as a tech hub.

Foresight - Cleantech in British Columbia

But we don’t know the full scope and nature of the interconnections and business needs that are out there today. We don’t know who is working together, who wishes they could work together, who’s out there searching for connections, for insights, for research support, for larger scale investments.

Economic research is pretty clear – you can’t create an economic cluster out of nothing. They emerge naturally out of a regional industry strength, and out of the complicated, layered and dynamic interactions within the sector’s existing business ecosystem.

What specific subcategories of cleantech, in what regions, are seeing significant growth, showing interesting potential or attracting new investment? What levels of investments are coming in? Where can we match supply and demand for cleantech innovation? Where are economic and business needs aligned? Where are the hidden gems and the missing pieces?

Creating a strategy to support the emerging cleantech cluster that we see happening in BC (over 270 cleantech companies already operating in the Province) requires building on and consolidating current research – building a deep understanding of these interactions in order to apply resources and support where they are most needed – and making bold moves that position our Province as a world-class leader in cleantech.

How to get involved

There are multiple opportunities to get involved. We are creating both an advisory board and a cross-industry decision making board to drive the mandate. We will be conducting surveys and field research, and putting on information sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions to identify regional priorities and funding considerations. We will be looking for stories and opportunities to market and promote some of the most exciting elements of the BC cleantech sector to a global audience.

Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on events and activities, and contact Catriona Power directly for more information or to inquire about helping with this initiative.