Phase 3 Share your ideas! (Completed) March 19 - April 2

Innovation Hubs to fuel Economic Development

Invest and build an innovation hub to foster the development of emerging technologies within Calgary, allowing entrepreneurs and business leaders to come together and collaborate. This hub could serve as a “Virtual Industrial Park” for new start-ups for application development, innovation, collaboration, and to test and incubate ideas, with a path through to a full production environment. These hubs would be able to leverage the current vacant downtown real estate in Calgary. This concept could combine inexpensive office space, hyper-connectivity, and leverage our young, educated labour market to attract hi-tech “silicon valley” industries to set up branches in Calgary.

Why is this an ambitious idea?

Calgary has focused on fostering and maintaining the success of the Energy sector, and overall this has been of great benefit to the city. It has been challenging for new emerging technologies to get the support and visibility required to be successful. In creating a hub that will foster technology in areas traditionally outside of the energy sector, such as agri-business, a hub can help foster diversity and lead to economic development and stability in the future. This will also help Calgary address current downtown vacancy rates, and inject energy, innovation and growth into our downtown core.

How do we measure the effectiveness of this idea?

The effectiveness of this idea can be measured through the following:
-Entrepreneurial & organizational growth of the organizations that leverage economic development hubs
-Change in downtown commercial vacancy rates
-Net new investment made in Calgary’s technology sector

How is this idea attainable through the use of technology or data?

Technology plays a pivotal role - and TELUS is able to provide the physical connectivity (fibre & wireless), and the scalable data orchestration technology behind the “Virtual Industrial Park”. Use of this space and technology will enable the entrepreneurial growth and economic diversification that Calgary needs.

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Submission No. 219