Partner Content | Connecting B.C. to the rest of the world, reigniting Canada’s auto manufacturing sector and other news


1000’s are nonetheless with out energy in British Columbia following a robust “atmospheric river” final week that dumped enormous quantities of rain, inflicting widespread flooding, mudslides and rock slides. However for a lot of residents in distant areas in B.C. and elsewhere, entry to important connectivity has all the time been a significant problem.

The issue is particularly urgent in First Nation communities. Whereas Canada has made vital progress on its aim of offering all households with entry to broadband speeds of 50 Mbps (obtain) and 10 Mbps (add) by 2030 (a stage of service practically each city family has), 65 per cent of households on First Nations reserves and nearly each family in the territories are nonetheless with out entry.

Households in B.C. that don’t have entry to broadband are totally on the outskirts of linked communities or in distant areas the place populations are small or dispersed, making web connectivity cost-prohibitive and difficult. “First Nations communities in coastal B.C. have confronted connectivity challenges for a few years, nevertheless these challenges turned most obvious when the COVID pandemic started and compelled the whole lot on-line,” says Paige Richardson, neighborhood connectivity coordinator at the Coastal First Nations Connectivity (CFNC) Community. “The digital divide locked us out.”

However enhancements are underway. Canada’s Digital Supercluster, an trade led-consortium supposed for financial development and jobs creation, introduced a $725,000 funding final week in the CFNC Community to catalyze training and studying. The community goals to present the First Nations neighborhood leaders with the training and assets to take part in the digital financial system, with Rogers Communications as the connectivity partner.

Led by Coastal First Nations, neighborhood connectivity leaders could have the alternative to work with companions, corresponding to Microsoft, Vancouver Island College and First Nations Know-how Council to create digital upskilling alternatives and IT coaching. “As we construct B.C.’s coastal financial system whereas defending our surroundings for future generations, the CFNC Community challenge will bridge the digital divide in our distant communities by supporting long-term careers and alternatives in know-how,” says Coastal First Nations government director Christine Smith-Martin.

Can Ontario meet its bold EV targets?

The longer term of mobility is electrical. Traders and tech fans alike are conserving their eyes on firms like Tesla and Apple for the subsequent technology of electrical automobiles, as the North American market is predicted to develop to practically $148 billion (U.S.) by 2028. And by setting a daring goal of 400,000 vehicles per yr by 2030, Ontario is trying to get in on the motion.

Linda Hasenfraz, CEO of Linamar, one of Canada’s largest auto elements producers, says the province is completely positioned to scale up manufacturing. “We’ve a depth of expertise, a well-developed provide base, a powerful technical workforce and one of the cleanest power infrastructures on the planet,” she says, noting that Ontario-built batteries will carry a drastically decrease carbon footprint than these inbuilt U.S., China and a lot of Europe, the place fossil-fuel power dominates.

Hasenfraz sees an enormous potential for North American automobile producers to broaden the continent’s international market share (lower than 1 / 4 of EVs are at the moment constructed and offered right here). “Canada ought to construct the most energy-intensive elements of the automobile to take benefit of our clear power grid, Mexico ought to make the most labour-intensive elements of the automobile, the U.S. ought to produce the whole lot else. The outcome can be the cleanest, lowest carbon footprint constructed automobiles in the world at a great value with the newest in know-how,” she says. “That may be a system for fulfillment.”

Nonetheless, like other rising pains in the power transition, this shift to electrical shouldn’t be with out its challenges. “We want expertise, we’d like help together with authorities funding for innovation and we’d like a regulatory setting to streamline our capability to make investments and launch rapidly,” says Hasenfraz.

And there wants to be clear incentives for customers, says Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit that goals to speed up the adoption of EVs. “We nonetheless have lots of work to do in phrases of encouraging uptake,” she says. “Producing the automobiles might be one piece, however there are nonetheless other steps, together with extra training about the advantages of electrical automobiles, monetary incentives and higher charging infrastructure.”

Digital care and training tech are huge winners on this yr’s Deloitte Know-how Quick 50 Listing

Maple, a Toronto-based digital care platform, had a file yr due to elevated demand and large adoption of distant well being care throughout the pandemic. The corporate noticed eye-popping 15,568 per cent development and earned second place on this yr’s Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 list, a rating of Canada’s fastest-growing tech firms.

“All through the pandemic, Canadians have been by numerous phases of financial instability, and folks and organizations have been compelled to take a look at new methods to ship and eat merchandise and companies,” says Dr. Brett Belchetz, the CEO and co-founder of Maple. “Consequently, we’ve seen the innovation sector in Toronto explode in phrases of funding, income development, and new product and service choices.”

One other winner is Waterloo, Ont.-based Applyboard, which raised $350 million in funding final June and employed greater than 900 new employees this yr. Since its inception in 2015, Applyboard has helped greater than 250,000 college students from 125 international locations with their purposes to pursue post-secondary education abroad, and the demand for training tech throughout the pandemic has solely fuelled Applyboard’s development.

As Applyboard co-founder Meti Basiri notes: “This yr we’ve assisted extra college students than ever earlier than and our workforce is working by the pent-up demand for worldwide college students trying to examine overseas.”

In other news:

  • Oceans, which have absorbed greater than 90 per cent of the warmth brought on by greenhouse gases, are very important to the well being of the planet. Discovering extra sustainable methods of defending them might be key in the struggle in opposition to local weather change.

In a recent report on the progress on ocean sustainability, Canada positioned tenth amongst the high know-how leaders, forward of the Netherlands, Japan and Australia. In partnership with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the MIT Know-how Evaluate checked out the progress 66 coastal international locations and territories have made in prioritizing the safety of ocean well being by sustainable marine exercise, know-how innovation, and coverage and regulation.

“Canada could be a chief in the international blue financial system and we’re making vital progress,” Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster mentioned in an announcement. “However there’s a lot to do.”

  • In accordance to a brand new CBRE Tech-30 report, the Toronto market noticed the highest improve in high-tech job development in North America, up 29 per cent from final yr. It wasn’t the solely Canadian metropolis to rank extremely — Vancouver and Montreal positioned third and sixth, respectively.

The report attributes the high-tech job development to Canada’s expert labour drive that’s boosted by each immigration and the energy of our greater training system.

  • Waterloo and San Francisco-based unicorn Faire raised $508 million in a funding spherical G. The corporate, which helps small companies uncover and inventory new merchandise by its wholesale on-line market, is now valued at $12.4 billion. Faire intends to use the new funding to broaden its workforce and choices to prospects, in addition to develop its international footprint.
  • To assist ease some of Canadian producers’ supply-chain complications, Molded Precision Parts (MPC) has lately launched a reshoring initiative with the help of the non-profit group Subsequent Era Manufacturing Canada. Companies requiring injection-moulded elements can use MPC’s lately expanded superior manufacturing amenities to produce needed parts.
  • Mangrove Lithium has secured a $12.6-million Sequence A spherical to help high-purity lithium manufacturing to construct electrical automobile batteries. The Vancouver-based firm has developed an electrochemical course of for lithium hydroxide that’s easier and less expensive than conventional strategies.
  • Throughout a session at Open Banking Expo, Nationwide Financial institution of Canada and Flinks introduced the launch of a brand new product known as Open Banking Setting that can enable fintech startups to securely entry shopper information from monetary establishments with out the want for screen-scraping.

Open Banking is safer than screen-scraping as a result of the latter requires the person to share their password and login credentials to a 3rd get together so as to entry their information. Whereas open banking is accessible in Australia, Hong Kong and the U.Ok, it isn’t but accessible in Canada.

Yan Zhou writes about know-how for MaRS. Torstar, the mother or father firm of the Toronto Star, has partnered with MaRS to spotlight innovation in Canadian firms.

Disclaimer This content material was produced as half of a partnership and subsequently it might not meet the requirements of neutral or unbiased journalism.





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