Today’s announcement of BC’s very first Innovation Commissioner is a major boost to BC’s tech sector. The Innovation Commissioner will work as an advocate and ambassador on behalf of the B.C. innovation and technology sector in Ottawa and abroad. The appointment of Dr Alan Winter, whose expertise covers the whole spectrum of the BC technology success story, was welcomed with elation and delight by the community.
As the tech sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, Winter will play a pivotal role in advocating for funding, building relationships, and cementing partnerships both domestically and abroad. “By establishing this position we are helping BC companies and innovators access the investment dollars they need so that can improve their innovative products, processes, and grow their businesses,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology.”
Winter, an experienced veteran of BC’s tech industry, has helped to create some of the province’s most prolific tech companies including PMC-Sierra and Sierra Wireless. More recently, he led Genome BC—under his leadership the organization grew to be a global leader in genomics.
“His expertise covers the whole spectrum of the BC technology success story from satellites to telecoms to applied genomics. He built several successful private companies, generating billions in revenue and thousands of jobs,” said Jill Tipping, President, and CEO of the BC Tech Association.“You could not meet a nicer person or a more impactful visionary change agent. Alan is collaborative, creative, determined, ambitious, precise, modest and effective. He is the ideal ambassador for BC and our Tech sector.”
The creation of the Innovation Commissioner role was initially envisioned by BC’s Green Party as a way to increase the flow of capital into the sector and open up new markets for BC tech firms. Recognizing the values of dedicated tech ambassador, the provincial government embraced the concept and began the search for a commissioner.
“People have asked me over the last few months what has been some of the highlights of working with the NDP. I can say today that the single biggest highlight is the announcement of the Innovation Commissioner and Alan Winter,” said Andrew Weaver, BC Green Party Leader. “To say I am thrilled about the appointment of Alan Winter would be an understatement, I can not think of a better person to champion innovation in British Columbia.”
Over the coming months, Winter will be spending time developing relationships and working closely with senior leaders in BC’s tech ecosystem including industry associations, accelerators, and post-secondary institutions.
To find more about Alan Winter and his appointment as BC’s Innovation Officer, please see the BC Government’s Press Release.