Economic Transfor­mation Lab

Through research and investigation, we’re uncovering what it takes to future-proof Vancouver’s economy

Our Mission

The Economic Transformation Lab (ETL) is a research program developed by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) to prepare Vancouver’s economy for global trends anticipated to impact the region within the next 15 years. By leveraging academic and industry collaborations, the ETL aims to produce research that results in actionable goals, best practices, and insights that inform policy advocacy or programs to help future-proof Vancouver.

We are pleased to have been supported by Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (SFU) for our inaugural studies, and also acknowledge Mitacs and their Accelerate and Elevate programs for securing additional resources to conduct the research.

Explore Projects Get Involved

Research Partners

SFU Beedie School of business logo
Mitacs logo

What is considered transformative?

These are some of the criteria we use to select and design our projects

Global Drivers

The project involves key global shifts likely to impact Vancouver’s economy within the next 15 years


The project relates to building a more resilient Vancouver economy

Actionable Goals

The project informs initiatives that the VEC or its partners could undertake for the benefit of the future economy

Completed and Upcoming Projects

The Economic Transformation Lab is delivering insightful research on key topics

Circular Food Innovation Lab (CFIL)

Research with City of Vancouver, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and Mitacs

CFIL is a collaboration between municipal government, academia and local businesses to develop and test solutions that will eliminate avoidable food waste across Vancouver’s food supply chain. The approach, different solutions, and respective findings are detailed in the project report and landing page.

View project

Advanced Air Mobility Cluster Analysis

Research with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Mitacs and Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM)

The project consists of a business cluster and opportunity analysis for advanced air mobility (AAM) in Vancouver and the Cascadia Corridor, to understand the strengths of Vancouver’s existing AAM cluster, identify any gaps and highlight potential opportunities.

Read the Report

Beyond GDP

Research with McGill University and Mitacs

This project identifies supplementary measures to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to indicate Vancouver’s economic prosperity and quality of life. The goal is to promote a more holistic view of measuring Vancouver’s economic success, since GDP only represents certain aspects of the economy.

Read the Report

Circular Economy of Food

Research with Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Mitacs

The study aims to identify gaps in Vancouver’s current food system that allow food to be wasted and will explore innovative solutions for a circular food economy centered on justice, equity and the right to food.

Read the Report

Remote Work, COVID-19, and Downtown Vancouver

Research with SFU Beedie School of Business and Mitacs

A comprehensive research report that describes the tangible impacts of remote work to economic activity in Vancouver’s Central Business District.

Read the Report

How to engage, contribute, and participate


There are numerous ways to support this important work. We welcome academic institutions or industry to engage with or participate in our research.

Become a Research Partner

Contact our team to find out more about becoming a research partner. With your support we can deliver more projects.

Suggest a topic for research

Have an interesting research idea that may lead to transformative change in our economy? Let us know!