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Greetings Kanata Networkers,

As 2019 drew to a close, I was reminded that this will be the last message I share with you from this decade. To summarize all that has been accomplished in Canada’s largest tech park over the last 10 years would be an insurmountable task. However, I am proud to note that signs of continued growth are evident all around.

With more than 540 member companies now directly employing 24,000 highly skilled and talented professionals in the tech park, it is safe to say that serious tech still lives here.

Contributions to GDP now exceed $13 billion annually, up 66 per cent since 2015. This reinforces that the Kanata North technology park is an economic and innovation engine for Ottawa, Ontario and Canada.

Our workforce is highly educated, skilled and valuable, contributing at four times the national productivity rate. The recent opening of the University of Ottawa’s Kanata North campus supports a successful partnership and a close integration of a post-secondary institution in the tech park, offering talent, research and training to accelerate the capabilities of our companies.

There are a select few tech parks in the world that have closely and successfully integrated industry and academia. Partnerships such as this, as well as with others across the city and country, will give our companies direct access to the raw material of our tech industry.

As a community we are moving into a new era – one that features smarter, more productive and seamless integration of technology into our everyday lives.

The way we commute, connect and collaborate will be vastly different over the next decade. With this new era approaching, there is also much optimism for positive impact and change.

There’s a sense that to progress, we must build collaboratively and sustainably. So what does that mean for the future of our tech hub? I turn to our government and innovation leaders and ask them to reflect as this decade comes to a close.

We urge them to consider:

• Making Kanata North an urban centre with an overall community design that Canada’s largest technology park deserves;
• Investing in infrastructure for transportation to support the current and future level of growth;
• Continuing the widespread cooperation, commitment and cultural shift with all levels of government to promote new ideas and concepts;
• Creating flexibility and approvals at a more rapid pace to encourage and allow for ease of growth;
• Investing in Kanata North to be the national and global model for integrating all infrastructure and technology related to smart cities; and
• Investing further in connected and autonomous technologies and testing to showcase Ottawa as Canada’s connected and autonomous vehicle capital.

What are the outcomes? Prosperity, continued business growth and job creation. We are at a critical point in time that will determine the future potential of our national tech hub.

In collaboration with our partners in public and private industry, we have an amazing opportunity to foster a vision for the future of this unique economic zone as a special district and develop the Kanata North Technology Park into a world-class model for innovation, technology, infrastructure and economic development.

Let’s go 2020!

Jamie Petten
Executive director
Kanata North Business Association

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