The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) will provide up to $5 million to support the opening and scaling of IBM’s Western Canada Client Innovation Centre (CIC) headquartered in Calgary focused on sustainability.
IBM can earn funding from OCIF over a five-year agreement by achieving milestones that include the creation of at least 250, with the potential to reach 430, highly skilled jobs in Calgary.
“Developing a robust local talent stream is critical for a tech ecosystem to thrive, and this is an opportunity for Calgarians to acquire specialized skills with one of the world’s leading tech giants, strengthening our position as a hub for innovation,” said Brad Parry, Chief Executive Officer of OCIF. “This investment creates a local pool of IBM-certified talent in fields that include application architects and developers, business and transformation analysts, data scientists and security experts.”
In addition to tapping into traditional talent streams, IBM intends to build a diverse talent base with inclusivity initiatives that put a priority on career opportunities for equity-deserving groups. Its outreach will include recent university grads as well as workers transitioning to tech through upskilling programs. IBM will also recruit in-demand tech talent from outside Calgary.
The CIC in the Beltline area of downtown Calgary will be a collaboration hub to work with clients to advance digital transformation. IBM will deliver consulting services and technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud and blockchain.
The CIC will help organizations achieve environmental and social goals to create lasting impacts in five areas: climate risk management, infrastructure and operations, supply chain, electrification, energy and emissions management, and sustainability strategies.
A key element of the CIC will be the IBM Sustainability Centre to open in 2024 to help organizations accelerate their pathway to net-zero. The Sustainability Centre will further elevate Calgary’ position as a centre for energy transition. Calgary’s growth as a Western Canada tech hub, plus its skilled and diverse workforce, were among the reasons IBM selected Calgary as the location.
“The expansion of IBM in the downtown core is yet another signal of confidence in our city’s growing tech sector,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, a member of the OCIF Board of Directors. “As Calgary’s reputation for innovation grows, more companies like IBM are recognizing the value Calgary offers including the ability for their people to have a rewarding career and great life here. It also underscores the importance of continuing to invest in tech scale-up efforts, essential to attracting more growth to our city.”
OCIF is a $100 million initiative launched by the City of Calgary in 2018 to make milestone-driven grants to select organizations based on achieving employment and other innovation ecosystem development metrics. It supports investments that spur growth and create jobs in alignment with the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy. Approximately $68 million has been allocated to 22 projects.
For more information, visit the OCIF website or the Calgary in the New Economy page.