VITP Creates Jobs, Pumps Millions into the Economy

The University of Victoria-owned Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) delivered a major boost to the Island and provincial economy in 2005 by generating more than 2,000 jobs and $280 million in direct, indirect and induced revenue, according to a new economic impact study released today. The report predicts even more growth in the next two years. The impact study, the VITP’s first, demonstrates the significance of the high tech industry to the Vancouver Island economy.

“The technology park is a powerhouse of jobs and opportunities that has more than lived up to our expectations,” says UVic President, David Turpin. UVic’s ultra modern technology park, located on 35 acres in Saanich, is a facility to accelerate the transfer of technology from research labs to the marketplace.

Turpin presented the findings of the UVic-sponsored economic impact report to an audience of business, academic and government leaders including Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament Saanich-Gulf Islands; Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Minister responsible for Research and Technology and Frank Leonard, Mayor of Saanich.

The 53-page report, covering fiscal year 2005, demonstrates that VITP contributed $279.9 million to the local and provincial economy through $160.2 million in direct sales and $23.3 million in municipal and provincial tax revenues with the rest coming indirectly through spin-off business, and employee and business visitor spending. (A further $18.8 million in federal tax revenues was not included in the $279.9 million total.)

During the same period, VITP companies directly employed 995 people and helped to create additional jobs in the construction industry and with other local companies supplying groceries, clothing, furniture and other goods for a total employment impact of 2,023 jobs.

“High technology is a vital and sustainable industry,” says Coell. “Vancouver Island Technology Park is creating jobs and attracting talented people to the Island and BC. These are well-paying, exciting, challenging jobs that provide opportunities for young people in their own province."

“This study is clear evidence of the tremendous impact that the cutting edge research and technology transfer activity at VITP is having on communities on Vancouver Island and beyond,” says Turpin. “The anticipation of continued economic growth in the future supports the case for a significant expansion of the VITP, giving it the capacity to create even more jobs and contribute even further to the economy.”

“The success of the Vancouver Island Technology Park is directly correlated with our ability to attract great companies, but even more importantly, their people,” says Dale Gann, VITP Vice President. “Our investment lies in the bright individuals of these companies, and in doing so, we have been able to generate a community within VITP that is both knowledge-rich and innovative.”

The economic impact study was prepared by UVic students Marian de Monye and Amanda Wright for their Masters of Business Administration degree. They conducted six months of research and analysis, basing their work on the BC Statistics employment impact model. The students’ work was supervised by Anthony Goerzen, a professor in the UVic Faculty of Business and director of its graduate programs.

The VITP, now employing 1300 people, represents the greatest concentration of high-tech companies and workers on Vancouver Island. Many of the 28 current VITP tenants —a cluster of fuel cell, new media, wireless, life science, biotech, ocean technology and information communications technology companies—got their start at UVic, involve UVic graduates or employ UVic co-op students.

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