The partnership was selected by the Government of British Columbia in order to scale up the methodology developed by the City of Surrey as part of the multiple-award-winning Surrey Makes PPE program, which has seen 25 local manufacturers generate over $12.4 million in sales, and support over 140 jobs during the pandemic, by retooling to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).
“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. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.”
With the combined manufacturing bases of Surrey, Richmond and Langley representing more than 70 percent of all manufacturing activity in BC, the program will allow the partner municipalities to help thousands of manufacturers:
- identify existing industrial capabilities that could be retooled to support future emergency production needs,
- diversify their businesses by focusing on emerging opportunities in new sectors, and
- increase Canada’s overall domestic manufacturing capacity.
The program will support three key deliverables:
- an industrial capabilities inventory,
- a toolkit for de-risking emerging market opportunities, and
- a seminar series educating manufacturers to adopt technology.
“There’s no question there has been a big demand for high quality Made in Canada PPE, and the Surrey Makes PPE program has helped to fill that void,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “The program’s success to date is a testament to Surrey manufacturers for their ability to pivot quickly to meet the critical needs of our health-care professionals, frontline workers, and essential businesses. This latest investment will go a long way in keeping our domestic supply chain strong to help protect Canadians not only through COVID but also through future disasters.”
“Richmond is a vibrant centre for manufacturing businesses that employ many people from across the region and produce a diverse range of goods including food and beverages, clothing and textiles, wood products, printing and packaging, and much more.” said Mayor Malcon Brodie. “Many of these businesses rely on technology to succeed and this investment supports the City’s commitment to help them connect with new and emerging market opportunities so they can continue to grow, thrive and create new jobs in our community.”
“The Township of Langley is proud to contribute to this partnership and truly appreciates the provincial investment, which will allow us to work together to support our businesses and adapt to emerging needs,” said Mayor Jack Froese. “Projects like this will help us move forward beyond the pandemic by opening doors to new opportunities as we expand on our strengths and explore our capabilities. Not only will it help our local manufacturing sector continue to thrive, we are pleased to be taking part in a regional effort that will help increase long-term supply chain resiliency throughout BC and across Canada.”