A Diverse Economic Hub
North Vancouver is a vibrant, diverse centre, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and water. It is located on the north side of Burrard Inlet, bounded by the Coast Mountains to the north, the Capilano River to the west and Indian Arm fjord to the east.
With a skilled and growing labour force and dedicated educational training programs, the region has a strong value proposition for new and expanding companies. The highly-skilled workforce has a demonstrated affinity for North Vancouver’s natural assets, outdoor recreation opportunities and high quality of life.
North Vancouver is an active participant in the energy ecosystem, boasting several successful cleantech startups and growth companies who have recently acquired venture capital funding. Companies in the cleantech sector include clean and energy production and transmission, water treatment and management, energy efficiency and resource management use, advanced materials, green agriculture, clean transportation, green building, agrotech, and engineering services.
- Energy: The sector is not only focuses on generation, transmission, distribution, and end use or management of electric power and process heat, but also includes software and service-based businesses; specifically, the businesses dealing with integrating distributed energy sources into existing power systems.
- Resource Management: This includes new advances in waste reduction and recycling technologies and the food production supply chain – i.e. crop optimization and green agriculture.
- Transportation: Smart mobility centres on environmental-friendly modes of transportation such as electric vehicles, shared transportation services, and on-demand smart mobility services. It promotes convenient and safe multimodal travel, accessibility, and efficient use of roads and resources through strong circulation network management. It also includes niche sectors such as advanced traffic management system (ATMS), parking management, and ITS-enabled transportation pricing system. It’s strongly linked to the increasingly prevalent ‘smart city’ initiatives that are gaining traction around the world.
- Buildings: Smart buildings are green, energy efficient and intelligent in that they are equipped with advanced automated infrastructure and usage sensors that control and manage building functions.
- There are over 1,600 employing and non-employing businesses in the region in the energy and construction sector who are potential users of cleantech technologies.
- North Vancouver workforce is currently well represented in cleantech-related engineering occupations.
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The Digital Media and Entertainment sector encompasses the traditional industries of television and film production. It also includes niche industries such as Visual Effects (VFX) and animation, virtual reality and interactive media, and video game development. Top occupations employed in Specialized Design Services have an overall concentration of 1.9 in the North Vancouver region. The job share is almost twice as high as the national average, with a 19% growth rate compared to the national growth rate of 12% since 2014.
- Film and video production: The Asia-Pacific market is the primary driver of growth in the global film and video production industry and contributes 70% of consumers to the $1.8 trillion industry according to First Research. In film, Canada is the third most popular global location, finishing ahead of California, which hosted 12 top-grossing movies that year to Canada’s 13 according to Film L.A. This resulted in the film and television industry directly supporting 67,500 jobs and a further 104,200 spin-off positions in Canada between 2016 and 2017 according to Telefilm Canada.
- Pre- and post-production: Includes the graphic design, editing, film/tape transfers, subtitling, credits, closed captioning, animation, and special effects industries. These industries represent a significant opportunity for business in this sector as there is a growing demand for highly skilled, specialized workers.
- Filming technologies: Advances in filming technologies are continue to reshape the industry. Trends in the industry, such as 4K camera technology, create new business opportunities for photographic and optical equipment manufacturing with innovative camera technologies, new lenses, and equipment that can be used in aerial photography.
- Video and interactive games: This is another example of a significant and constantly growing industry. Interactive entertainment played on mobile platforms such as tablets and smartphones, and on online platforms and social networks represent key opportunities to enhance growth and profitability.
- North Vancouver has a strong presence of designers, technicians and media developers, with over 2,000 jobs directly related to the film, digital media, and entertainment sector.
- There are 120% more jobs in the motion picture and video production industry in North Vancouver than in the rest of Canada.
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The Marine sector includes shipbuilding, marine technologies, port and logistics, and marine transportation, It is bolstered by national and international growth trends and existing assets within the region, with a focus on technology-driven services and niche light manufacturing. North Vancouver boasts unique opportunities for advanced manufacturing technologies within in marine transportation sphere. Working to strengthen the local sector supply chain and expanding the focus to niche products and services that support existing North Vancouver port activities provide significant growth and investment attraction opportunities overall.
- Marine technologies: The construction of both commercial and naval ships has spurn demand in sub-sectors such as electronic navigational devices, communication equipment, radar and sonar, marine robotics, sub-sea vehicles, imaging equipment, and marine application programming. Another principal driver of the wider logistics industry is investment in technology innovation.
- Marine transportation: Key opportunities for growth in the sector are related to advanced manufacturing technologies such as increased automation, unmanned cranes, automated gates for entry and exit, and optical character reconvicting technology to track cargo movement, as well as continuous applications of data and logistics analysis tools and services.
- Shipbuilding and repair: The National Shipbuilding Strategy by the Government of Canada has resulted in significant investment in infrastructure, ship construction, and repair and maintenance.
- Supply chain opportunities: Seaspan’s supply chain consists of more than 500 suppliers of goods and services needed to fulfill its shipbuilding contracts. The successful fulfillment of the existing shipbuilding contracts requires enhanced access to local suppliers, which in turn creates opportunities to attract new companies who are able to meet the local sector supply needs. Specific niche opportunities may include further connected logistics and automation services and products. Advances in disruptive technology such as 3D printing put pressure on traditional suppliers in this sector and favour localized manufacturing.
- There is a deep talent pool in North Vancouver, which further strengthens the marine sector.
- Key occupations for the traditional ship building industry have an overall concentration of 5.7 relative to the nation, indicating an above average workforce availability.
- These occupations experienced an overall job increase of 7.5% between 2012 to 2017, especially for industrial painters/coaters, industrial electricians and structural metal and platework fabricators.
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The Life Sciences sector is demonstrating rapid and significant growth in the region of North Vancouver. Currently, the region identifies health and wellness services as one of the top drivers of their economy. Thanks to a $62.2 million expansion to the Lions Gate Hospital – first announced in 2011 – and a new $166-million six-story acute care facility on the horizon, the region of North Vancouver is truly a hub for the Life Sciences sector.
- There is an increased opportunity to collaborate with other experienced practitioners thanks to several new facilities opening in North Vancouver.
- Thanks to the HOpe Centre and the increased space in Lions Gate Hospital for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, there is access to a growing and experienced workforce thanks to the growing number of medical students and residents moving to North Vancouver.
- There is an aging population in the region of North Vancouver. Presently, there are around 21,400 people who will reach retirement in the next 15 years – the average age of retirement in Canada is 61. This aging population results in increased economic opportunity and significant construction, home renovation, and business development opportunities.
The region of North Vancouver is home to many post-secondary facilities including the Greta and Robert H.N. HO Psychiatry & Education Centre, (The HOpe Centre).
The HOpe Centre will help train future physicians, many of whom will make North Vancouver their permanent home.
According to UBC News, the $62.2 million expansion to the hospital – first announced in 2011 – not only provided the funding for The HOpe Centre, it also made it so there was increased space in the hospital for the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s growing number of medical students and residents. Lions Gate Hospital is one of 20 hospitals throughout the province that plays a formal role in the faculty’s medical training programs.
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