Business for Good: An Interview with Coro Strandberg on the Purpose Economy

Government and Ecosystem Support for Technology in Vancouver

British Columbia’s economic growth depends on having enough skilled and qualified people to meet labour market needs

The provincial and federal government also provides considerable research and development (R&D) incentives, and for scaling and anchoring high-potential companies. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of these supports and opportunities.


  • (Federal) Global Skills Strategy (GSS) – designed for employers seeking a fast and predictable process to attract top talent. The strategy features faster application processing times, work permit exemptions and enhanced customer service.
  • (Federal) MITACS – a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 20 years. Working with 70 universities, 6,000 companies, and both federal and provincial governments, MITACS builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • (Provincial) The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an employer-sponsored program that helps high-demand foreign workers and experienced entrepreneurs gain permanent residency. The BC Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot offers an expedited immigration pathway for people with tech skills applying to be permanent Canadian residents, with a focus on 29 in-demand tech occupations.


  • (Provincial) The BC Fast Pilot program helps SMEs design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology in real-world conditions. Administered by Innovate BC, this program allows BC technology companies to demonstrate the impact of their product, measure the value of their solution, and encourage customer adoption.
  • (Federal) National Research Council (NRC) – the Government of Canada’s premier research and technology organization. NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) helps firms develop, adopt and adapt technologies and incorporate them into competitive products and services to be commercialized in the global marketplace.
  • (Federal) Digital Technology Supercluster – The Digital Technology Supercluster bridges opportunities across industry, researchers, data scientists, innovators, and governments to accelerate the advancement of digital technology solutions and talent across Canada’s largest sectors.
  • (Federal) The Innovation Solutions Canada program is a business productivity and scaleup program run by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), and provides funding opportunities and calls for technology solutions to commercialize and scale.
  • (Federal) Idea to Innovation (I2I) grants aim to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising tech originating from the university and college sectors, and to promote its transfer to a Canadian company by providing critical aidin the early stages of tech validation and market connection. Eligible activities include (but are not limited to) refining and implementing designs, preparing demonstrations, and building prototypes.


  • (Provincial) InBC – a $500 million strategic investment fund of the provincial government that invests in potential high-growth firms, with an eye towards growing and anchoring talent, intellectual property, innovation, investment and jobs, and driving economic growth in every region of BC.
  • (Federal) PacifiCan invests strategically in growing companies through its Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program, and one of its focuses include technology commercialization.

Reliefs and Incentives

  • (Federal) Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) – this tax credit program provides companies with refundable or non-refundable credits for eligible expenditures incurred in Canada supporting research and development activities.
  • (Provincial) Digital Animation, Visual Effects, Post-Production Tax Credit (DAVE) – This line of the British Columbia film and television tax credit is calculated at 16% of eligible salary and wages to BC-based labour for animation and post-production labour.
  • (Federal) Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC) – calculated at 17.5% of eligible salary and wages incurred in the tax year, and granted to eligible registered corporations that develop interactive digital media products. In recent years, this federal program has expanded its scope to include augmented and virtual reality products designed for entertainment.

Digital Transformation

  • (Federal) Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) Micro grant to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies to increase their competitiveness. Eligible businesses will receive a grant to build their digital plan, followed by a 0% loan of up to $100,000 to implement it.

Other ecosystem support

As Vancouver’s ecosystem grew and matured, so has its network of advocates and supporters.

Indigenous tech accelerators and catalysts

Climate tech programs

Vancouver’s strength in the green economy, coupled with ambitious climate action policy from all orders of government, has unlocked innumerable opportunities in climate technology.