The New Brunswick Information Technology Council released its new plain-speaking report to Premier David Alward that outlines needed solutions required for the province’s technology sector.
The report, entitled Growing the ICT Sector and written on behalf of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Technology, reiterates that the private sector and government must “be in lock step” if New Brunswick is to get back on the global technology map.
“The ICT sector is where the growth is and New Brunswick has incredible opportunities before it,” says NBITC Chairman Geoff Flood. “New Brunswick as an economy is not leveraging ICT to its fullest, but paradoxically this is fundamentally a great opportunity.”
Mr. Flood adds that New Brunswick has seen fantastic recent successes such as Radian6 and Q1 Labs. “We know it can be done, and government and business are together prepared to lift the entire New Brunswick ICT sector,” he says.
Over the past decade, New Brunswick’s Information Communication Technology sector has slipped and is now 20 per cent smaller than the Canadian average (3.8 per cent of GDP vs. 4.9 per cent), according to the report.
“If New Brunswick simply reaches the Canadian average for ICT as a percentage of our GDP, $256 million new dollars will be generated each year for the economy and thousands of new jobs,” says Larry Sampson, NBITC’s Chief Executive Officer. “As it has done – and is doing – for economies around the world, ICT increases employment, creates personal and corporate wealth, grows government revenues, improves productivity and the quality of life for every citizen.”
Among the report’s findings and recommendations:
• The ICT sector is the engine for growth as it has been growing at double the rate of the Canadian economy as a whole since 2007
• NB’s ICT sector is not investing in R & D on a per capita basis as much as other jurisdictions, such as Costa Rica, Iceland, Israel, Korea and Canada as a whole
• New Brunswick needs to find and develop more talent and spur a culture of entrepreneurialism in the province
• New Brunswick needs to generate more ideas with export potential
• The province must differentiate itself away from cost to where the world knows they can find better people and ideas in New Brunswick