$6M for Innovation Centre

By Trevor Rockliffe
July 28, 2014, Castanet.net

The Province announced a $6 million investment toward the development of the new state-of- the-art Okanagan Centre for Innovation in Kelowna on Monday.

Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Andrew Wilkinson were joined by local technology entrepreneurs and Mayor Walter Gray for the announcement.

“Becoming the next made-in-B.C. success story like HootSuite or Club Penguin is no easy task – that’s why we’re investing in this project to help give people in our tech industry a competitive advantage,” says Premier Clark.

“This new centre will help entrepreneurs get their companies up and running, and launch Kelowna not only as a national tech leader but a globally recognized destination for tech investment and entrepreneurial development.”

Construction of the six-storey, 9,850 square-metre (106,000 square- foot) centre, which will be located adjacent to the Okanagan Regional Library, is expected to begin in late summer and is anticipated to be completed in early 2016.

The innovative centre will provide work space for budding local technology entrepreneurs, students and companies at a minimal cost. In return, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to collaboratively develop their ideas, gain invaluable experience and grow their businesses further with companies and mentors, like Accelerate Okanagan, who also will share office space in this building.

“This new technology centre is the perfect addition to Kelowna’s already booming tech sector, providing up-and-coming tech companies and entrepreneurs with a workspace ideally suited for networking and collaboration,” says Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

“The centre will play a key role in innovation and growth in the region, driving the creation of new jobs and helping build economic prosperity and diversity here in the Okanagan.”

The $35-million project is being funded largely by the Kelowna Sustainable Innovation Group, who will also own and operate the building. The project was created by a diverse group of creative minds including: community, civic and academic leaders including representatives from private industry, Okanagan College, University of British Columbia, Accelerate Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. Read more…

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