On Wednesday, Nov. 9 the Regional District of Central Okanagan, in partnership with Tourism Kelowna, hosted elected officials, community partners and economic development staff on a cleantech, manufacturing and aerospace industry familiarization tour.
According to RDCO, familiarization tours are a staple in the tourism and hospitality space and provide guests with firsthand experiences, immersing them in facilities and services.
The OKGo Team adapted the concept to have an industry-specific focus, providing a platform for the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus and industry leaders in cleantech, manufacturing and aerospace to share stories and information to further deepen industry understanding for elected officials and partners.
“It was an incredible privilege to engage with industry leaders to learn about research, innovation, growth and the challenges that lie ahead. Today’s insights have inspired us and furthered our commitment to a shared vision of a resilient, clean and prosperous future,” said Loyal Wooldridge, chair of the RDCO Board.
“These industries are the engine driving our regional economy and it is essential that we create an environment that not only attracts and retains the brightest talents but also fuels research, innovation and technological advancement.”
RDCO tells Castanet the tour started with a welcome from the board, followed by an economic update and industry stats for cleantech, manufacturing and aerospace from EDC.
Attendees then visited UBCO's Cleantech Hub at the UBC Innovation Precinct.
While touring the facilities, the group learned about academic-industry collaborations aimed at promoting clean technologies and helping industry bring their technologies and products to domestic and international markets, all while supporting Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
Last year alone, UBCO attracted nearly $45 million in research funding to the Okanagan.
“UBC Okanagan places a high priority on research partnerships that solve pressing societal issues while helping drive economic development and industrial diversification in the valley. The work taking place at the UBCO Cleantech Hub is doing just that, with exciting projects underway in areas like carbon recovery, hydrogen tech, renewables and more,” said Dr. Lesley Cormack, Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UBC’s Okanagan campus.