Geospatial Sector ProfileLet’s start with some data-based facts:
- In 2012, mobile data traffic worldwide was nearly 12 times the size of the entire global internet in 2000.
- By 2017 there will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices, exceeding the global population of 7.6 billion.
- 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years.
The way businesses utilize and manage data will be the basis of continual development and innovation in the future. The confluence of mobile, social media, cloud computing and big data is transforming the way businesses run and create value for society. All at once the reach of data is being extended to all corners of the world where it is accelerating the creation, management and application of knowledge, enabling new markets and the movement to mass customization.
How do we contribute to that industry?
As the Province of Alberta aims to diversify its economy, Information Technology (IT) is seen as a logical offshoot of the oil and gas industry which has brought skilled engineers and valuable investment to the region. Using the resources that come from a vibrant economy, the province has been supporting research and innovation while building the digital infrastructure needed to support this technology eco-system.
During 2012, the Alberta IT sector experienced annual revenue growth of 65% for SMB's and 24% for Enterprise. And, with over 25% of Canada’s geospatial, navigation and positioning firms located in Alberta, this province is well-positioned to support continued growth in the industry. In fact, annual revenues for the geospatial sector in Alberta are expected to reach more than $5.7 billion by 2017.
Between the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge, the collective provincial expertise in the areas of space physics, space instrumentation, imaging and space materials is unmatched by any other jurisdiction in Canada.
On average there are over 150 graduates from IT related programs at Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge each year. Our post-secondary institutions are training and educating graduates to utilize and develop geospatial technologies. With diploma, degree and PhD options, graduates are recruited by employers across the province and are well equipped to fill the demand for skilled resources in this industry. It is also through the creation of the tecconnect incubator facility that we have made strides towards the attraction of technology investment in this region and been recognized as one of the top three places in Western Canada for investment in the high-tech sector. This, combined with recognition as the ninth most entrepreneurial city in Canada and the fourth best mid-sized city in which to live just adds to the opportunity for growth in the local knowledge economy.
With tremendous industry and institutional support within the community, Lethbridge is fostering an innovative environment with focus on Research & Development, Commercialization and Collaboration. Partnerships like the Regional Innovative Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA) and organizations like TECTERRA and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures provide valuable resources to support economic growth in the city, province and country. As a result, municipalities such as Lethbridge, are emerging as IT hubs.
The geospatial sector in Lethbridge is known for its specialization in remote sensing, imagery and GIS. Business leaders in this industry are forging international reputations and proving that this city has the right environment for success and growth in the high-tech industry.