high tech forum 

High technology isn’t coming to the Sea to Sky corridor, it’s here. But one of the problems is no one knows for sure how many high-tech businesses are operating in the corridor, or how many more might come if they knew about the related industries that are already in operation. Answering those questions is one of the goals of the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission’s Technology Forum, June 17 at the Sea to Sky Hotel. "We’re specifically focusing on people in high-technology industries in the corridor," says Economic Development Officer Robert Fine. "Either users or producers of high technology." Fine estimates there are 25-30 individual high-tech businesses in the corridor. They range from a producer of CD ROMs in Squamish to Whistler Networks in Whistler. The main goal of the forum, however, is to bring users and producers of high technology — and anyone interested in becoming a user or producer — together. Speakers from Revenue Canada, the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour, the B.C. Science Council and the National Research Council will discuss the latest funding programs, training programs, tax breaks and private capital available to assist high technology companies in expanding or establishing business ventures. Chris Hannah of Richmond-based ALI Industries will also present a case study of his own business. Hannah started in his basement and now employs dozens of people producing ultra sound equipment which produces a clearer image than previous equipment. A discussion on what role local governments can play in facilitating high technology industries is also scheduled. The forum takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 17. The $20 registration fee includes lunch. Call the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission at 892-5467 to register.

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