VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – To hear local politicians and executives tell it, our tech sector is a leader in North America, and perhaps the world. However, Vancouver has failed to crack the top 15 in a new survey from KPMG on leading global innovation hubs.tech-hubs-forging-new-paths
In fact, just one per cent of tech leaders who participated in the new poll chose Vancouver as one of the top tech cities to lead the way in this sector over the next three years.
One local executive feels we do have room for improvement but the snub is nothing to be too concerned about.
Given the other cities on the list, with Shanghai, Tokyo and London rounding out the top three, Vancouver-based tech executive Michael Tippett says scale is part of why we didn’t make the top 15.
“Vancouver, being a small city, is going to be, I think, probably underrepresented in that sense,” says Tippett. “So, although we have a lot of technology things happening and we have a vibrant tech scene, we don’t have the millions of people that cities like Shanghai and Tokyo have.”
And he insists we are leaders when it comes to Virtual Reality (VR,) gaming and special effects — pointing to local schools as part of that success.
“We have some of the best universities, computer science schools, design schools, schools like Emily Carr, SFU and UBC are some of the top schools in the world, so I think absolutely we have reason to brag,” he explains.
Tippett feels our tech sector would get the biggest boost from things like more affordable housing and better transit.
“I think there are definitely things that the city and the region can do to improve the local tech sector,” says Tippett. “We need to continue to try to attract tech companies, larger and small companies to the city. We need to ensure we have affordability. That means housing that people can afford in the city, or access to adjacent regions and high speed and decent transit that connects those cities together. Without that, people will not be able to buy or rent a place, and they’re not going to move here. So, we definitely need to solve that problem and I think it’s both a housing and a logistics issue.
Another problem he points out is finding an easy way to get around. “It’s a transit issue that needs to get fixed and it needs to get fixed fast.”