At today’s Council meeting the City Manager highlighted the many challenges that our city will face as we turn our attention to economic recovery. We are however incredibly fortunate to have hundreds of technology companies and thousands of high-tech workers in Ottawa, including Canada’s largest technology park in Kanata North as we work towards recovery.
We have already seen many companies pivoted their operations to support COVID-19 critical needs and I believe there are opportunities for the city to support and benefit from this deep technological expertise in our city.
As we look to recovery, we have the opportunity to leverage the technological expertise in our city to address the challenges we face from COVID-19 that, among other things, could result in a more safe, resilient, and efficient return to work.
The city currently has an Innovation Pilot Program in place that accepts applications for testing of new technologies. I believe we have an important opportunity to use this program, however, we need to be more specific about our needs. We need solutions and technologies that will help support our recovery efforts. That must be our focus.
Given this, at today’s City Council meeting I directed city staff to pursue this.
Specifically, I asked that staff explore using the Innovation Pilot Program to issue a challenge to the local technology community to bring forward innovations and solutions that would support our city’s recovery effort.
I look forward to supporting this work moving forward and encourage local innovators and businesses who have solutions that could help with our economic recovery, to please reach out.
With the expertise we have in this city, I have full confidence that our local technology community can be a large part of the solution not only in Ottawa, but also our country and beyond. Local innovation could be key to our economic recovery.