History:

The Vancouver Island Technology Park was formerly Glendale Lodge, a residential facility for adults with mental and physical disabilities built in 1976.

Glendale Lodge closed in 1996 when residents were moved into community-based homes. Since then, the film industry and government clients have used small areas of the building.

In August 2000 the provincial government approved $11.9 million for the park's development.

High-tech in the region:

The high-tech sector is the third-largest employer in Greater Victoria, with more than 700 firms. It is growing by 15 per cent per year.

More than 1,300 technology firms operate on Vancouver Island, and the industry grossed in excess of $1 billion in 2001.

In 2000, British Columbia's high-tech industry created $3.8 billion in revenue. By comparison, tourism revenue was $5.4 billion.

The Vancouver Island Advanced Technologies Society is a not-for-profit, industry-driven venture with 400 local members and a $700,000 annual budget. It operates as VIATeC (the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre) to facilitate the growth of technology on Vancouver Island by linking local resources with emerging or growing high-tech companies.

VIATeC is a partner organization for the National Research Council's industrial research assistance program. It has reciprocal arrangements with the British Columbia Advanced Systems Institute, the Science Council of British Columbia, the Information Science and Technology Agency, the Canadian Technology Network and the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence.

Business Centre:

Group Telecom (telecommunications), CISCO Systems (manufacturer of network hardware), IBM, NexInnovations (integrated systems provider), SMED and Graphics Office (office design and furnishings companies) have contributed to the creation of the business centre.

Tenants can use the business centre for educational purposes, shareholder meetings, and special events. It will be the site of lectures featuring academics, venture capitalists, bankers, patent lawyers and accountants.

Events and some facilities are available to all advanced technology firms in the area.

Tenants:

Epic Biosonics Inc. developed a prosthetic device designed to restore hearing to profoundly deaf people. Developed by high technology entrepreneur Peter Berrang and Ear Nose and Throat surgeon Alan Lupin, the first totally implantable cochlear hearing device will be produced at the tech park. Contact: Peter Baillie, 250.727.9833.

Jasco Research, a University of Victoria-based acoustic research firm, is involved in environmental impact assessment studies related to the effect of sound on wildlife and marine life as well as advanced software development and instrument design. Contact: Roberto Racca, 250.472.4328.

eTraffic Solutions, operating under a contract with the federal government, creates software for Internet delivery of educational programs. In addition to developing educational software, the company provides Web design services. Contact: John Juricic, 250.658.8238.

Omega Biotech Company was established in 1991 to develop and extract phyto-nutrients, from botanicals, such as grape seeds. These antioxidants from grape seed extract act as both a shield and sword against free radicals and are thereby key components in the prevention of ill health and the promotion of health and longevity. These extracts are used in food and beverages and personal care products. Contact: Joji Ishikawa 250.655.6572.

Aspreva Pharmaceuticals works with patients, doctors, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and investors in the development and commercialization of high value medicines for the treatment of rare medical disorders. Leaders in the health research and pharmaceutical industry have founded the company. Contact: Richard Glickman 250.213.1523.

Special features:

The retrofitted buildings feature a seismically upgraded concrete structure, fibre optic broadband connectivity and a 25kv electrical power feed.

The centre is equipped with IP telephone technology and unified messaging. The IP phones allow data and voice to be consolidated into a single network infrastructure that reduces operating costs. Unified messaging allows clients to have a single point of access for e-mail, voice mail and faxes, which aids in productivity.

The park offers work-life balance: a fitness centre and showers, a cafeteria, a games area including an outdoor basketball court, and a park-like setting with hiking and cycling trails that connect with the regional trail and green space network.