This November, job seekers across Canada will be attending the Tech Talent Canada Virtual Job Fair.
The free event is a compelling one: Hiring companies showcase their employer brand and pitch to a crowd of candidates on why they’re the best employer around.
This season’s event is looking BC-rich, with Surrey in particular making a strong showing. Several entities from will be hiring from the rapidly growing growing city, which is quietly moving out of Vancouver’s shadow to emerge as its own small but mighty startup and innovation ecosystem.
Some of the Surrey-based companies attending November’s Techtalent.ca Job Fair include Delta Controls, FortisBC, and Coast Capital Savings. We’ve also heard that CTK Bio Canada, Argus Controls, and Ensol Systems will be present and hiring at the affair.
Global YouTuber Linus, whose Tech Tips channel boasts 15 million subscribers, will be checking in through his firm, Linus Media Group, which is headquartered in Surrey. Neighbours Safe Software and Vaisala are hiring at the Job Fair too.
So what’s in the water in Surrey?
Surrey Standing Out
In 2013, a collaboration between the City of Surrey, Simon Fraser University, and Fraser Health led to Innovation Boulevard. The initiative is aimed at fostering an environment of innovation and to add economic and social value for these organizations and the larger community.
Since then, City Centre has taken a life of its own with private sector entrepreneurs and academic researchers continuing to build the cluster into a global hub for health innovation—including the Health and Technology District, which is located across from Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Building on this momentum, the University of British Columbia announced in November 2021 a 135,000-sq.-ft. property in City Centre and in June 2022 the university said it would be expanding its physical therapy program into Surrey as part of a $33-million investment.
Surrey looks to tackles problems with head-on solutions.
In 2021, Life Sciences British Columbia noted a shortage of wet-lab space as a barrier to the province’s life sciences sector. While the sector excels at scientific research and discovery, it has struggled to commercialize and scale up companies, a report from the organization concluded.
Beyond energy and investment in healthcare tech, we can observe innovation stirring from the Surrey pot in other areas too.
For example, four-wheeled delivery robot ROLL-E 2.0 hit the streets for the first time in Surrey in September as part of a pilot project through the City of Surrey’s Urban Technology Test Lab.
The UTTL came about after the City participated in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge in 2019.
One of the key takeaways from the challenge was that tech companies in the process of developing software and hardware frequently lack a venue for field testing.
Responding to the need for technology testing areas, the Urban Technology Test Lab Pilot provides technology firms with access to safe, local test zones, according to the City.
Surrey’s geography—which includes agricultural and bare land, waterways, and the region’s largest road network—allows for a unique opportunity for field testing.
The city is also outside of restricted airspace for Boundary Bay and Vancouver International airports, which allows for large airspace parcels with the potential for unmanned aerial vehicles testing.
Without the opportunity to field test in a real-world setting, “many of the products could not proceed to final development and commercialization,” the City notes.
Surrey as a City feels it is ready to take the province—and country—”by storm, with plans well underway to ensure the city is a shining example of new smart technology, innovation, and both social and economic growth.”