The forum is taking place on April 4 at The ACT in downtown Maple Ridge, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Innovation and tech forum reaching out to region

Maple Ridge looking to be an emerging city.

  • Mar. 15, 2018 12:30 p.m.

The City of Maple Ridge is looking to attract registrants from around the region for its Innovation in Emerging Cities Forum.

It is taking place on April 4 at The ACT in downtown Maple Ridge, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The forum is meant to be a catalyst to foster an innovative and creative culture for industry, government and education.

It will feature keynote presentations from Steve Dotto on “How technology is changing everything” and Dr. Salvador Ferreras on what businesses need to do to prepare for “Industry 4.0.”

Panel discussions featuring leaders from industry, post-secondary education, First Nations and government will follow up keynote presentations.

The forum will also include a trade show, as well as a code-a-thon, involving students tasked with development apps for the city’s new open government portal.

A new website, innovate.mapleridge.ca, has been set up by the city to promote the free event, and on which participants can register.

As the Canadian economy continues its transformation from resource-based to knowledge-based, cities have become increasingly important centres for job and wealth creation, said Lino Siracusa, City of Maple Ridge manager of economic development.

Josef Hans Lara is chair of the city’s economic development committee (EDC), which has a task force that has been working on the innovation and emerging cities event for about a year.

“People don’t know that there’s a lot of tech people who live in Maple Ridge,” he said.

Left is an example of the types of growing business the economic development committee wants to foster.

Hans Lara, who operates Big Bang Innovation Services, said the event is going to help the city raise its profile and showcase innovation.

“One of the main objectives for the EDC is to elevate the profile of our city – create the good vibe that we are open for businesses, and actually to start forging a more close relationship with the technology industry as well,” he added.

“Because this is the fastest growing industry in the province, and Maple Ridge actually has the potential to take advantage of that.”

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