Who is the NBITC?

Anyone know anything about this organization?  It doesn’t have a website yet.  The LinkedIn profile is interesting.   I see the executive director has a commentary in the TJ today.

I am becoming more sold on the benefit of these types of groups – as long as they are properly mandated, resourced and funded.    Industry associations or sector councils that just host golf tournaments, the occasional motivational dinner/networking session and publish a directory – don’t not add much value and I would say that many of them fit this profile.

But the groups that are strongly mandated to catalyze the growth of an industry sector can have real successful.  Governments seem to be even less interested these days (at least around here) to hear about cluster development (or any synonyms) so maybe the industries themselves will need to pick up the baton and work on the issues.

Every industry has firm level and industry-level issues associated with competitiveness and long term growth.   At the firm level, industries should vigorously compete with each other but at the industry-level they should work on issues that impact them all such as access to R&D facilities/funds, the pipeline for workforce talent, the overall cost structure, promoting the industry far and wide, etc.

A litmus test for me about this NBITC will be its stand on attracting companies to the province.  If it comes out with the usual line about the need to “grow from within” and all the other related euphemisms – I’ll lose interest very quickly.

Successful IT clusters around North America are built on a health mix of large, national and internetional firms and small, dynamic startups.   Many of the sucessful IT industry associations are heavily involved in trying to attract investment to their region (think CTT) and if New Brunswick’s NBITC comes out with that old tired business and lobbies against efforts to attract industry – count me out.

Other than that, I am encouraged that this group is emerging and hope it can play that catalytic role that has been missing for sometime for this sector.

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6 Responses to Who is the NBITC?

  1. Samonymous says:

    Why have a large, bureaucratic council when you could just hire a couple of heavy hitter to lobby international ICT firms to our shores. Preferably heavy hitters from outside that beltway style thinking. A real risk taker. Not pencil pushing bureaucrats from NB.

  2. We used to have NBITA but when the government funding ran out, it closed. We used to have LearnNB, but when the government funding ran out, it closed. I see that NBADA has a website but I’m not sure if they’re still in business.

    Call me cynical, but I’d be interested in knowing how much of ICT’s operations are government funded and how much industry is willing to pay. I would guess that ICT is close to 100% government subsidized. When that money stops, there will be a pause and then some other industry association will be created by BNB its successor.

    With only 750,000 people, we will never attract any large companies to move here except as subsidized branch offices. New thinking and new models are needed.

  3. Thanks for the emails and telephone calls. I guess I am the only person in NB that hasn’t heard of the NBITC. As for Samonymou – that’s what I like about him/her – consistency. Doesn’t like bureaucrats in the public or private sectors. Harold’s point is valid. I remember the NBITA as well as many other industry associations that went under. I disagree with him about the attraction of companies. I think we can build a strong value proposition for specific niche industries and attract both local entrpreneurship and external investment. If UNB became a world leader in e-Learning research and we were turning out the best elearning designers in the world and we offered a massive tax credit to companies in that space and we beat the bushes, you don’t think we could attract Thomson Learning or some of the other large players? We’ve been through this before. Canada’s Technology Triangle has been very successful at both incubating great tech companies and attracting great tech companies (both greenfield and acquisition).

  4. Peter Lindfield says:

    On September 1st, 2009, I wrote a column in the TJ on how “sector associations matter more than ever” (http://nbbusinessjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/777819) and where I stated that “sector associations must possess national scope and scale in order to deliver network and alliance generation capabilities.” Integration into a national association would buffer regional organizations against funding shortfalls, which traditionally has been challenging, as Harold succinctly points out. In fact, the major cause of association failure is inadequate financing. That the NBICT is a standalone association with independence from a national mandate needs to be calculated against being plugged in to knowledge and information conduits to partners, investors and potential markets. Referring to the ICT industry, I said last September that “with ambitious leadership, and with the productive energy channeled and enhanced by association horsepower, we would be difficult to beat.”

  5. Samonymous says:

    Consistent. Thanks. Although sometimes even I have to admit that this type of “inside the beltway thinking” can come from couple of heavy hitters just as easily as from a huge government bureaucracy.

  6. David,

    Great commentary and very reasonable observations and questions. My Board (Accreon, Acron, Atlantic Loto, Ambir, Assumption Life, BellAliant, BarrettXplore, Bulletproof, CGI, Innovatia, Mariner, PQA, Spielo, SwiftRadius and T4G)asked me to try and sit down with you to discuss them. Let me know when you might have some time.

    Regards,

    Larry Sampson
    Executive Director – NBITC

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