BC Tech Association, local municipalities announce $400,000 program

The Supply Chain Resiliency program seeks to support local manufacturing by enhancing their adoption of technology.

The BC Tech Association announced yesterday the $400,000 Supply Chain Resiliency Program. BC Tech is partnering with the City of Surrey, the City of Richmond and the Township of Langley to make it happen. 

Why it matters: Manufacturing is buoyed by technology and local innovators can thrive when they provide solutions for industry. There’s no need to just take my word for it:

“The digital economy is here to stay and we want to empower companies to scale by adopting technology,” said BC Tech President and CEO Jill Tipping. “This partnership enables us to bring made-in-BC solutions to manufacturers to help ensure their businesses continue to grow and thrive.” 

Details: These three municipalities have become something of a manufacturing hub for the province, representing more than 70 percent of all manufacturing activity in B.C.

The program will help the partner municipalities—home to thousands of manufacturers—identify existing industrial capabilities and how that output could be retooled to support future emergency production needs. It will also help them diversify through exploring emerging opportunities in new sectors. 

The program has three key deliverables, which are:

  • an industrial capabilities inventory, 

  • a toolkit for de-risking emerging market opportunities, and 

  • a seminar series educating manufacturers to adopt technology.

This announcement comes in the wake of the Supply Chain Resiliency Grant (SCRG) program. The SCRG program invested $6 million to help B.C. manufacturers implement projects that increase capacity and resiliency and identify supply chain or supplier barriers, all while generating economic opportunities in B.C.

The Big Picture: The COVID-19 pandemic, though difficult, has presented an opportunity to the manufacturing industry, particularly in Surrey. In April 2020, the city launched the Surrey Makes PPE program to meet the demand for Canadian-made PPE. The program surpassed $12.4 million in sales and brought home awards for Economic Resiliency and Recovery and Excellence in Service Delivery. With COVID-19 cases in the province near all-time highs, the need for PPE has never been greater. Local manufacturers and innovators have you covered. 

Bottom line: An important cog in the local economy will continue to run smoothly while innovators and manufacturers will be rewarded for working together.