Moncton Technology Planning Group (MTPG)

The Moncton Technology Planning Group (MTPG) launched a technology growth strategy targeting Moncton’s technology-based strengths and opportunities at Moncton city hall yesterday, aimed at helping the region find its niche in the global economy.

About 50 community leaders and representatives of some of the more than 400 tech-based and knowledge firms in southeastern New Brunswick were on hand to hear Dr. David Gibson present the results of eight months of extensive analysis and consultation carried out by IC2 Institute and the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Texas at Austin.

Gibson and his local partners were working from the executive summary of a much more extensive report to be released in about a month.

Among the ideas found in the plan is the establishment of the Moncton Technology Commercialization Centre, a business incubator which will support existing clusters in information and communications technologies (ICT). It would have a near-term focus on ICT, gaming, animation and bioinformatics, as well as a longer-term focus on biosciences and thin film technologies.

Spielo founder and local success story Jon Manship was at city hall for the presentation yesterday. Now the chairman of Technology Ventures Corporation, Manship said, “building a brand clearly defining Moncton as a technology centre of excellence will help promote our region as a hospitable place for technology entrepreneurs and foster the strong growth of our knowledge-based economy.”

Good to see Moncton taking the bull by the horns on this. There was a time, it seems to this old fart, that local communities relied – more or less – on the provincial government to do ‘economic development’ in any meaningful way.

Not any longer. There are aggressive strategies in place in Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton and beyond. It’s a bit sad that this local initiative was born out of a collapse in provincial government effort.

Maybe now there will be some realignment and synergy.

How’s that for two passe and trite late 1990s corporatespeak words in the same sentence?

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0 Responses to Moncton Technology Planning Group (MTPG)

  1. Anonymous says:

    A ‘business incubator program’ should be interesting…I wonder how they’ll PAY for it. I wouldn’t rule out the provincial government quite yet.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a great initiative. Whether it is born out of a collapse in government effort or not it is about time the private sector started to use its initiative and struck out independently. The government can provide back up in the form of legislation, expertise and knowledge assistance. Hopefully this will lead to a different state of mind when it comes to private investment or entrepreneurial initiative where the government nipple is no longer the first avenue for economic start up milk.

  3. Trevor says:

    This will likely be funded by local, provincial, federal and private sector partners. What makes this feasible is who the business players leading the charge are. Not only are they credible, but have the ressources to back it up.

    Kudos to the City of Moncton, specifically Councillor Doug Robertson for taking the initiative on this file.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whether they DO back it up is the question. Businesses are typically not likely to throw their corporate money at other businesses just to see them grow. And I don’t know what local resources are available. Whether the feds will invest will remain to be seen, that’s why I say the main dough will come from the province, or nowhere. Let’s not kid around here, if a private business wants to invest in ANYTHING they are free to do so at any time, they don’t need a firm from Texas to come up and say “yeah, you should invest in X and XX”. These people aren’t stupid, they invest where they can make money, which means the main push doesn’t come from private money, but from public money.

  5. Trevor says:

    While I can’t discuss specifics, I can tell you there is going to be private investment.

    You Said: “…they don’t need a firm from Texas to come up and say “yeah, you should invest in X and XX”.”

    No, but getting a second opinion from an international leader does help make the decision easier for investors. As stated in a previous post, we need to develop a cluster of ICT organizations so that existing companies can grow organically.

    I know your a skeptic, but there is a strong desire to cultivate more IT companies in the area by the existing group of heavyweights.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m not skeptical, I’m simply a realist. If a private investor wants to build a company they simply do it, nobody is stopping them. In fact people would be cheering them on. A second opinion? That’s ridiculous. Paying good money for somebody to say “yes, you should start out with ICT and animation”. What the *&^% good is that? Is there ANYBODY out there who couldn’t have said that? Hell, there’s a fella named David Campbell who’s been saying it weekly for as long as I’ve seen his blog. I’m sure he’d be more than happy if they cut him a cheque and counted it as a ‘second opinion’.

    But again, lets look at animation. The market is tiny, and just in the last summer two ‘prominent’ animation companies have packed it in. Fat Cat keeps trucking, but you can’t build an industry on one company.

    Its unknown whether these companies even USE the services of animators, so I’m really not sure what the thinking is…”hey, lets all put our money together and start an animation company”. I’ve never heard of that anywhere.

    However, IF you want to help build an animation industry, again I’ll tell anyone out there a secret, you need a MARKET. And with NO television stations and few web resources New Brunswick doesn’t have any of that.

    So if these companies want to build an animation industry, its easy to do, get some people together and create a New Brunswick public television broadcaster. Or hell even a private broadcaster. There is an immediate market for animation, and virtually creates a dozen animation companies overnight….now send me my goddamn cheque!:)

  7. Trevor says:

    All I will say is that I look forward to proving you wrong. This study identifies key factors thta will help increase the success rate of startups. Yes, everyone will cheer, but if you can’t find suitable employees to implement and build your software your chances of competing and winning are slim to none.

    Yes, we have challenges but we have the key ingredients to create a cluster of knowledge based companies in Moncton.

    To quote the great Winston Churchill,

    “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”