Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

April 16, 2015 12:00 ET

Western Innovation Forum 2015 Brings Together Business and Innovators

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, will welcome more than 500 participants to the 2nd Western Innovation Forum (WIF 2015) today in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two-day event is being hosted by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Mitacs, and Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). The Forum brings together small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutions, multinationals, and other innovators in the aerospace and defence sectors from across Western Canada to foster collaboration and investment opportunities.

The Forum is focused on creating new opportunities for Canadian businesses by gathering all key players under one roof. In addition to showcasing the services available from government, the Forum will encourage interaction between businesses and innovators to drive new growth opportunities. By highlighting some of western Canada's most dynamic SMEs we are helping to create high-skilled jobs and economic growth.

In addition to Minister Rempel, who will be providing a keynote address at the Forum's opening, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services; the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade; and the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue will also be in attendance at the Forum.

Quick Facts

  • WIF 2015 will welcome over 500 participants for business and networking opportunities.
  • The Forum's second day will focus on Business-to-Business/Government (B2B/G) meetings for aerospace and defence companies; as well as an Innovation Stage to spotlight new ideas, products, and processes to potential partners and investors.
  • The Forum is an important networking event in Spring 2015, with multinational defence contractors attending, including Seaspan, Irving, Lockheed Martin, Thales Canada, and Boeing Canada.
  • WIF 2015 will also feature an interactive marketplace, where participants can learn more about federal and provincial support programs available to further develop innovative ideas and technologies.
  • The Forum will also include elements of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development's (DFATD) 'Go Global' export workshops which provide practical information and support to help SMEs take advantage of international export opportunities.

Quotes

"Our Government recognizes that we must not keep new ideas in laboratories and test centres but bring them to market. Through the Western Innovation Forum, we are helping to drive collaboration and promote the capabilities of western Canada's most innovative individuals and companies so that we can continue to grow our economy."

  • The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"Given that defence and security companies across Canada spend about $250 million each year in direct research and development and "The West Means Business", the Western Innovation Forum is a perfect marriage of the two - business innovation. CADSI is pleased to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada, Mitacs and the Canadian Commercial Corporation to make this annual Forum the must-go defence and security event in the West. "

  • Christyn Cianfarani, President, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries

"Mitacs is proud to have an active role in the Western Innovation Forum, which showcases the cutting-edge research being done by small- and medium-sized businesses, start-ups and universities in western Canada. It is an important opportunity for local enterprises to share ideas, learn about emerging technologies and network with multi-nationals and government, all while promoting R&D.

  • Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

"CCC is honoured to take part in the 2015 Western Innovation Forum. Western Canadian defence and security companies have proven solutions that have supported Canadian requirements for years. Now it's time to share these Canadian solutions abroad. As the Government of Canada's defence and security export organization, CCC looks forward to helping western Canadian companies reach their export potential."

  • Martin Zablocki, President and CEO, Canadian Commercial Corporation

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The West Means Business.

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Backgrounder

Western Innovation Forum 2015

Western Economic Diversification Canada's (WD) role is to support the growth of a dynamic western economy that innovates, competes globally and creates new opportunities. As business innovation is vital to creating jobs, promoting economic growth and maintaining Canada's competitive advantage in a global economy, WD works diligently to bring western Canadian innovators together to encourage the creation of new economic opportunities.

With these goals in mind, WD, in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Mitacs, and Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is hosting the 2nd Western Innovation Forum April 16-17, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two-day industry-oriented event - focusing on innovation, technology commercialization, and cross-industry collaboration in the aerospace and defence sectors - provides a platform for western Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage and connect with innovators across business, academia, not-for-profits, and sectors. The event features:

  • a full program of panel discussions focused on identifying business development opportunities by bringing together government and industry experts to speak about the Canadian defence supply chain, research and innovation, and export opportunities for Canadian enterprises;
  • opportunities for Business-to-Business/Government (B2B/G) meetings that will allow industry and academia to meet with potential partners and learn about federal and provincial government support programs;
  • the Mitacs Innovation Stage, that allows companies to showcase new innovations and products, and present them to an audience of potential investors and partners;
  • access to federal and provincial innovation support programming representatives, to help SMEs navigate government support programs; and
  • elements of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development's 'Go Global' export workshops which provide practical information and support to help SMEs take advantage of international export opportunities.

The Western Innovation Forum provides an opportunity for improved collaboration and partnership among government, agencies, associations, science and technology organizations, academia and industry. Participants will gain an increased understanding of best practices in the commercialization of innovative technologies, ideas, and products in Canada and learn about a range of Canadian innovation funding programs - including the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative.

The Western Innovation Forum's focus meets a need identified by western Canadian innovators and builds on WD's role as a pathfinder and facilitator for western Canadian innovators and businesses.

Contact Information

  • Emily Goucher
    Office of the Minister
    Western Economic Diversification
    613-668-2903
    emily.goucher@wd-deo.gc.ca

    Brian Berube
    Director of Communications
    Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries
    613-235-5337 ext. 43
    brian@defenceandsecurity.ca

    Chelsea Dibble
    Communications Specialist
    Mitacs
    604-827-3094
    cdibble@mitacs.ca

    Lina Seto
    Communications and Planning Officer
    Canadian Commercial Corporation
    613-995-7380
    communications@ccc.ca

    WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
    Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.