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Okanagan High Tech Sector Development

Okanagan Valley High Tech Sector Development

Community Futures strives to develop and market a technology development strategy that accelerates the diversification of the regional economy from retail, health care and construction towards becoming a high technology cluster, to supplement the agriculture and tourism base. The strategy originally developed and employed in 2009 built upon the developing critical mass of technology and pull together all the disparate streams of activity already being undertaken by the various stakeholders, into a single coherent brand promotion.

The overall goal of this project was to accelerate the diversification of the Okanagan Valley economy, by attracting, retaining and enhancing the competitiveness of high technology businesses, which create sustainable jobs and economic growth.

The objectives of this project included:

  • The development and marketing of a coherent technology brand for the region that all stakeholders endorse.
  • The identification of the niche technologies that exist in the region and development of targeted international campaigns to promote them.
  • Development and execution of a strategy to mesh the quality of life/tourism offering into the technology attraction efforts.
  • The cultivation of a domestic and international network of relationships which open markets and enhance the competitiveness of local businesses.

Benefits of this project included:

  • Creating and retaining skilled, well-paying jobs in the Okanagan Valley.
  • Attracting leading edge technology companies to the region from overseas.
  • Providing long term sustainability to the local economy and shielding it from cyclical pressures in tourism, construction and agriculture.
  • Enabling local businesses to attract world class talent.
  • Developing the relationship between business and the two local higher education institutions, to strengthen outlets for their research and an employment pipeline for graduates.
  • Opening new international markets for local technology businesses, protecting them from the impact of slowing US demand.

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