TechTalk Blog
Vancouver Island Technology Park sponsors “startup alley”

Vancouver island technology parkHave you heard the news? VIATeC and the Greater Victoria tech community will be putting on Discover Tectoria (pdf) (the cool kids call it DiscoTec) on December 8th, and Vancouver Island Technology Park is proud to be part of it. Dozens and dozens of Victoria’s advanced technology companies will be attending DiscoTec in early December to show off all the cool things they are working on to make Victoria the fastest growing tech hub in the province.

More importantly, DiscoTec is all about fostering up-and-coming talent to continue to build a strong tech sector – and provide interesting, high-paying jobs for Victoria graduates.

That’s why Vancouver Island Technology Park will be sponsoring “Startup Alley”. Startup Alley is where Victoria’s newest companies will have the opportunity to show the Victoria community what they’re up to, to help generate interest (and perhaps even investment dollars!). It’ll be a lot like  VIATeC’s recent Launch Party, where the coolest kids in the room wowed seasoned tech folks with their latest gadgets, gizmos and products that will undoubtedly revolutionize the way we live.

We want to encourage you to attend Discover Tectoria at the Victoria Conference Centre (actually, the cool, cool Crystal Gardens across the street) on December 8th. For one thing, we hear VIATeC has arranged for more than 1200 local students to be bused in for the day. As well, it’s a great chance to learn more about what’s up in the tech sector and to show your pride in our community.

And be sure to look for us in the Startup Alley.

New DiscoTec site is live check it out to find out more event details!

Nikki de Goey is the Manager of Culture and Corporate Relations at Vancouver Island Technology Park.

Victoria Launch Party II from Dan Gunn on Vimeo.


Vancouver Island ambulance dispatch moving to Langford from tech park
In partnership with Langford and a development company, B.C. Ambulance Service plans to relocate it’s Vancouver Island dispatch and house an ambulance station in a new building on Leigh Road.


By Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette
Published: October 25, 2011 5:00 PM
Updated: October 25, 2011 5:53 PM
Posted by: Tech Park staff

BC Ambulance Service plans to relocate its Vancouver Island dispatch centre and Colwood ambulance station to an earthquake ready building on Leigh Road, near the Spencer interchange.

The two-storey building will house four ambulance bays and the dispatch service on City-owned land across from Spencer’s Pond. The project has a June 2013 deadline and the facility would employ about 60 people.

“The ambulance service will have great access to the highway and the core area,” said Langford fire Chief Bob Beckett, who was involved in discussions for establishing a new station in Langford. “From my perspective in emergency services, Langford will benefit greatly from having this resource in our community. We are going to have a modern, state of the art ambulance station.”

The ambulance service plans to move its Island communications centre from the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Saanich to Langford by July 2013, one of three such centres in the province. At the same time, the three-bay ambulance station on Jacklin Road would become redundant and shut down.

The ambulance service is leasing the building from Langford for 20 years, and will pay about $500,000 per year in operating costs and rent, according to lease documents.

Although the City owns the land, Keycorp Consulting in Langford is financing and constructing the building. Mayor Stew Young said Langford is acting as a “flow through” between the development company and BC Ambulance.

“It is a three-way partnership, but there is no money in it for the City,” Young said. “Langford is a flow-through. The contract is with us, and we have a contract with the person who will own the building.”



Government of Canada News Release

Victoria, British Columbia – Proteomics research continues to flourish on Vancouver Island, thanks to $663,000 in Western Diversification Program (WDP) funding. The investment was announced today by the Honourable John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Funding will enable the University of Victoria (UVic) to purchase and operate two pieces of specialized equipment for the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre, the only facility of its kind in Western Canada.

Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins – the enzymes, antibodies and other molecules that make up our cells and tissues. There are an estimated one million different proteins in the human body, and the role of many of them is unknown.

“By investing in the University of Victoria’s Genome BC Proteomics Centre, we are investing in science, technology and innovation, while at the same time creating knowledge-based jobs,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “This equipment will help develop preventative and diagnostic medicine, benefiting Canadians living with illnesses, now and into the future.”

The two new instruments, known as mass spectrometers, will be used to provide fast and highly sensitive analysis of biological samples, such as blood, to detect protein biomarkers – which are molecules that indicate the presence of disease, conditions and degenerative changes in the body. Scientists hope that by validating proteins as biomarkers, doctors will eventually be able to identify patients prone to a particular disease before symptoms appear and tailor treatment to the individual.


Carmanah Appoints Bruce Cousins as Chief Executive Officer

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (October 12, 2011) Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH)  is pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Cousins as Chief Executive Officer and a Board Director, effective October 12, 2011. Mr. Cousins takes over both roles from Ted Lattimore, the company’s CEO and Board Director since 2007.

Mr. Cousins’ professional experience began in finance, having completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Chartered Accountant designation in 1987 and 1989, respectively.  He has gained extensive experience in leadership and operations working for both multi-million dollar companies and in leading start-ups through to successful completion of their strategic growth plans.  His 22 years of entrepreneurial and executive experience, began with a 13 year tenure with Johnson and Johnson in finance and operations.  In 2004 Mr. Cousins left behind a successful career with Johnson and Johnson and joined three founders in the start-up phase of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals. Aspreva developed rapidly as a private company and in slightly more than one year Mr. Cousins played a leadership role in the IPO of the company, with a successful cross border listing on both the NASDAQ and TSX.  Aspreva continued to develop with market capitalization reaching 700 million dollars with operations in Switzerland, UK, US and Canada.  In 2007 Mr. Cousins led the strategic assessment, resulting in the sale of the company in January 2008, delivering a 24% premium to shareholders in a 915 million dollar all cash transaction.  More recently, Mr. Cousins has spent the past few years in the renewable energy industry.  At Xantrex, he completed the sale in a four month period resulting in a 55% premium to shareholders; at Ballard Power he led finance and operations through a balance sheet fortification initiative.

“We are very pleased to have Bruce joining Carmanah as CEO at this point in the company’s development,” stated Board Chair Rob Cruickshank. “Bruce has an outstanding track record of delivering financial, operational and organizational performance, and company profitability, in the global technology industry. His wealth of knowledge, commitment to success, and experience in taking new technologies and solutions to new markets, will take Carmanah into the next phase of its strategic growth plan.”

The Board thanks Ted Lattimore for his contributions to Carmanah as CEO and as a Director over the past four years and wish him well in his future endeavours.

About Carmanah Technologies Corporation

As one of the most trusted names in solar technology, Carmanah has earned a reputation for delivering strong and effective products for industrial applications worldwide. Industry proven to perform reliably in some of the world’s harshest environments, Carmanah solar LED lights and solar power systems provide a durable, dependable and cost effective energy alternative. Carmanah is a publicly traded company, with common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CMH”. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

David Davies

Direct: 250.382.4332


The University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business receives $5-Million Gift Honours Parents’ Belief In Higher Education

Students at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business will be the beneficiaries of a $5-million donation from Victoria businessman Sardul S. Gill. The gift will establish a permanent endowment that will disburse funds for scholarships and financial awards, international projects, teaching and research. The university will recognise the gift by naming its graduate business program the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School.

“Mr. Gill’s generous donation will do a great deal to strengthen graduate level business education and allow us to reward outstanding academic achievement and foster excellence in teaching,” says UVic President David Turpin.

“This magnificent gift will benefit generations of business students and advance our teaching and research programs,” says Dr. Ali Dastmalchian, dean of the Gustavson School of Business. “We are delighted to honour Mr. Gill in this way; he is a person who exemplifies the values of hard work and integrity.”

Gill attended UVic’s predecessor Victoria College (Class of ’53) and is the president and secretary of Gill-AM Investments Ltd, a Victoria-based real-estate holding company. He was born in Victoria in 1931, the son of Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India. Gill graduated from Victoria High School and attended Victoria College before completing his commerce degree at UBC.

“I made this gift to honour my parents. My father immigrated to Canada from the Punjab in 1906,” says Gill. “He laboured all his life and encouraged me to pursue my education at a time when there were significant barriers to people of Indian descent in this country.”

Gill’s father, Bhan Singh Gill, came to Canada with a fifth grade education and had to settle for labouring jobs in Vancouver Island sawmills. His wife, Hardial Kaur Gill, came to Canada in 1926.

“My father could not get a job for nine, 10 cents an hour,” Gill recalls. Bhan Singh Gill toiled in saw mills up and down Vancouver Island; the younger Gill worked in those same mills as a young man supporting himself through college and university.

“As a result, I never had much of a social life,” Gill relates, “but I knew the value of hard work from a very young age.”

In 1953 he was admitted to the commerce program at UBC and after graduation, completed his CGA. Over the years, Gill worked diligently to build up a considerable portfolio of real-estate holdings.

“I owe the fact that I got this far to my parents,” he says. “My parents were staunch believers in education, and now I want to honour them, and the value they placed on higher education by giving something back to the institution that gave me a start in life.”

The naming of the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School at UVic represents the first time in Canada that such an institution has been named after a philanthropist of Sikh Indian descent.

This gift has other historic benchmarks: it is the largest gift ever from an alumnus to the university and may be the largest gift to a Canadian university by a person of south Asian heritage. It is the largest gift ever to a graduate program at the University of Victoria.

“My greatest hope,” says Gill, “is that this gift inspires others to give back to their own communities – perhaps just as my father and mother inspired me.”


Media contacts:

Dianne George (Gustavson School of Business) at (cell) 250-882-6411 or (office) 250-721-6411 or
Chris Thackray (Development) at 250-721-6247 (after 2 p.m. on Oct. 7) or

Media advisory: Mr. Gill and his family respectfully wish to decline media interviews. On Oct. 7 UVic President David Turpin is available for interviews between 3 and 3:15 p.m. and Gustavson School of Business Dean Ali Dastmalchian is available for interviews between 3 and 3:30 p.m.

VITP LEEDing by example with continuous energy optimization tools

Starting in 2009, VITP engaged in an energy audit  in effort to take building operations beyond LEED and to showcase VITP in the area of sustainability in Canada.  Firstly, VITP utilizes real-time energy monitoring to increase its energy efficiency thanks to BC Hydro’s new Continuous Optimization program and Pulse Energy Software.  Through the program, which aims to improve the operating efficiency of VITP, the Tech Park received a comprehensive energy audit. All suggested changes in the audit are now live resulting in lower operating costs to VITP’s tenants.

During the first summer alone VITP saved over $8,000 in natural gas bills, reduced yearly gas consumption by 6%, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35 tonnes.  Pulse Energy recently wrote a case study detailing how VITP is considered one of Canada’s most efficient office environments! Please read below.

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Tech Parks Vital Key to Canadian Psyche

The recent unveiling of this year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) reveals that Canada continues to fall on the worldwide stage. In 2009 we were holding our own in ninth position of all worldwide nations considered competitors with us. Since then we have dropped steadily to a current ranking of twelfth in the 2011-2012 GCI. Although the current global economy is dismal at best, we cannot cite it as a reason for our decline, since all other nations are experiencing the same stagnant economies. For some reason, three of those nations have passed Canada in the past three years, in spite of suffering from the same economic maladies that we Canadians face. What can we as a nation do to overcome this downward trend in our global competitiveness?

In a recent speech at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty challenged Canada’s private sector to become more involved in research and development throughout our nation. “Every person in this room… knows that the global economy we now compete in is increasingly driven by new ideas and knowledge-based industries. Despite this global reality, Canada still lags other nations in overall business expenditures on R&D.” He went on to say that R&D spending by businesses in Canada had actually been decreasing in real terms since 2006. His final statements were eye opening, as he said, “Failure to invest in innovation will leave the country a laggard in the digital economy. At great expense, both economically and socially, we will be reactive rather than proactive. And our businesses will continue to lag in productivity compared to their competitors in other countries.”

We here at Vancouver Island Technology Park see the future as one of great promise. We do not believe that our best days are visible only in the rear view mirror. Nor do we hold to the conviction that the great institutions and engineering programs and research platforms that we Canadians have founded in the recent past are doomed to take a back seat to the competition the world is offering us at this juncture.  Here’s a few reasons why:


BC’s top science students set to explore Victoria’s technology community

Planning is well underway for BCIC’s 2011 Innovation Exploration (IE) program, coming up this October 24 – 25. Now in its 21st year, IE recognizes British Columbia and the Yukon’s leading secondary school students who represent their regions at the Canada-Wide Science Fairs (CWSF). The program provides these young scientists and innovators an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in BC’s science and technology community and ultimately raises their awareness to many science-related education and career choices in BC.

This year, for the very first time, IE participants will experience a different twist as they travel to Victoria for two action-packed days in the province’s capital. Sixty- six BC students, who brought home 87 awards for a total of $84,150 in prize money at the 2011 CWSF, will meet and engage with a number of Victoria’s leading technology and science organizations including:  Victoria Advanced Technology CouncilVancouver Island Technology ParkCentre of the Universe (Astronomy Interpretive Centre)The University of VictoriaNatural Resources Canada and the Institute for Ocean Sciences. IE will culminate at a Grand Opening Dinner where BC’s brightest will have a chance to meet and mingle with prominent members of government, academia and business.

“BCIC is very excited to be collaborating with some of Victoria’s top leaders in the technology community to host this event,” said Tomica Divic, Manager of Imagination Strategies (Secondary Schools) at BCIC says,  “This is an incredible opportunity for BC’s young student scientists and budding entrepreneurs to have a unique look into potential science and technology careers in BC .”

For more information about Innovation Exploration, visit our website at

Partnership spurs growth, new digs for Terapeak

Source: Times Colonist

September 9, 2011
Terapeak founders Andrew and Anthony Sukow, flanked by Saanich mayor Frank Leonard and Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin officially shared their "bright idea" with the rest of Victoria in one of their themed rooms at the launch of their new location in Saanich.

Buoyed by a partnership with Yahoo Japan and continued growth, Victoria’s Terapeak has opened new digs in the city.

The company, which offers analysis of online auction data to help sellers improve their results, now has 46 employees and has just moved into 10,000 square feet of space at 3962 Borden St. to handle its growing roster.

Previously, the company occupied three separate offices at the Vancouver Island Technology Park.

When the deal with Yahoo Japan was signed in July of this year, Terapeak said it took the company to a new level on the international stage, noting Yahoo’s auction site is larger in Japan than either eBay or Amazon.

Terapeak’s web-based service is a tool for sellers.

It receives and crunches millions of lines of data daily to offer sellers information and guidance on how to improve their sales results.

Costs to use Terapeak can range from about $10 to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the service the sellers want or need.

The company was founded by brothers Andrew and Anthony Sukow in 2004, when they began buying and selling on online auction giant eBay from the basement of their family home.

They developed ways to track trends in sales data, leading the company to link up with eBay.

Today, Terapeak does business through eBay’s global platform, which has grown to include Germany, the U.K., Australia, France and Spain, Sukow said.

The new partnership adds seven new jobs for a team dedicated to Yahoo Japan with expectation it could reach beyond 80.

That roster of employees will now get to enjoy an open-office concept that features a wide variety of themed board rooms – from rustic cabin to comic book – as well as quiet spaces all designed by Victoria’s Michelle Matte Interiors.



World-ending destruction, straight from Vancouver Island

Source: Globe and Mail

Written by: Brennan Clarke

Special to Globe and Mail Update
Last updated

Seated at a high-powered computer terminal in the bunker-like ground floor of Vancouver Island Technical Park, Edwin Braun rolls a clip of his company’s latest project, a hyper-realistic disaster scene from a German documentary about the crash of the Hindenburg.

Like a proud parent, he watches the ill-fated Zeppelin buckle and collapse in an orange wall of flames behind a group of terrified passengers fleeing the wreckage. In vivid detail, sections of the Hindenburg’s cloth exterior flutter as they burn, stripping the crumpled frame bare as it falls to earth in a cloud of computer-generated smoke and debris.

“The cloth falling down, the smoke, the flames… it’s all done with the physics engine in our software.”

Originally based in Germany, Mr. Braun relocated the company’s headquarters to Victoria three years ago – partly for the lifestyle and partly for the city’s proximity to a growing number of Hollywood producers who were expressing interest in the company’s software “solutions.”

With a list of movie credits that now includes Lost in Space, Black Hawk Down, Spiderman 3, Transformers 3, Green Lantern and 2012, Cebas has emerged as an industry leader in the art of digital destruction.

In the past, major studios had to design separate pieces of software to control individual effects. Thinking Particles, by contrast, is programmed to automatically apply multiple effects, an idea that Mr. Braun and his business partner Achim Smailus began developing when they founded Cebas 20 years ago.

“Back then everything was linear and two dimensional; for every effect, they were writing a tool, and I wanted one tool that would work for every effect,” Mr. Braun said. “My idea was to give every particle a brain, in the form of a little program, and back then, that was really revolutionary.”