The provincial government of British Columbia is investing more than $125.1 million in the next three years to support its technology and innovation sectors, primarily through talent development for research, entrepreneurship and job opportunities. The biggest investment — at $102.6 million through the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) — will support 75 post-secondary research projects. The fund helps build up the talent pool through state-of-the-art research equipment and infrastructure. The province is also allotting $12 million for graduate scholarships in science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the next three years. This fund also helps support Indigenous students and regional programs. There’s also $10.5 million for co-op and entrepreneurship training for post-secondary students. Aside from providing funds, BC is also expanding its Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot, which seeks to attract top international talent by allowing for priority processing of applications for jobs such as biotechnologists, software engineers and web developers. BC’s investments are also encouraging women to get into STEM. The province said it would invest in women-in-technology scholarships but did not specify any financial commitments for this initiative. In boosting support for the technology sector, BC Premier John Horgan noted in his announcement that the sector has over 10,000 companies that employ more than 106,000 people. The BC government said it will unveil a province-wide tech strategy next year.
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