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Western Innovation Forum connects Western Canadian innovators to investment and growth opportunities

8th annual conference focuses on defence, security, marine and aerospace sectors

March 5, 2020 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Over 250 innovators from the defence and security sectors are meeting in Vancouver to explore new business ventures and learn how to participate in major defence-related government contracts. They are taking part in the Western Innovation Forum (WIF) 2020, hosted by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) in collaboration with the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada-Pacific.

WIF supports the Government of Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) policy, which leverages defence and security procurement to create innovation-driven jobs and economic growth. The ITB policy requires companies awarded major federal defence contracts to do business in Canada equal to the value of their contracts. This often creates business opportunities for smaller start-ups, suppliers and innovators.

Working to spur innovation and economic growth in Western Canada

Western Canada’s economy and jobs of the future depend on the ability of Canadian businesses to continue to adapt, innovate, and maintain their competitive edge in a fast-paced and increasingly global economy. Innovation is the key to competitiveness, productivity, economic growth, creating good jobs, and overall making life better for all Canadians.

Today, Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for WD, spoke about WD’s role as convenor and pathfinder to connect key economic actors such as industry, post-secondary institutions and Indigenous groups with federal departments and other partners.

This year, WIF features presentations by industry officials, workshops on how to leverage Canada’s defence procurements and government programs, and over 260 business-to-business (B2B) meetings between major defence contractors with ITB obligations and representatives of Western Canadian companies and research institutions.

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