Innovation and the smart use of technology are core to the TimberWest strategy. We are striving for a step-change improvement on safety and productivity, and technology is the enabler.
The Federal Government has recognized the role that innovation and technology play in maintaining and improving Canada’s competitiveness. To support this, the Government recently committed $950 million to the Innovation Superclusters Initiative to spur investment in new technology development, and help drive growth, prosperity, jobs and global leadership.
TimberWest was an early participant and founding member of the Digital SuperCluster, one of five SuperCluster proposals approved by the Government. TimberWest is the only BC coastal Forestry Company to participate among the 200 companies that have now signed on. We have committed up to $2 million per year of in-kind and financial support for 5 years to work on collaborations with other companies, educational institutions and research agencies on opportunities where there is an intersection of interest. These collaborations will further benefit from the Federal Government’s monetary support.
There are a number of projects on the drawing board which leverage new sensing technology, big data collection and analysis in a variety of ways. Some of the potential projects are taking it to the next level by focusing on artificial intelligence and ‘deep machine learning’ to drive insights from the data.
TimberWest is already making a big investment in technology, almost 10% of TimberWest’s staff are working in departments focused on information systems, technology development, and data analysis. All of our staff are now using information systems and tools in their roles, many of which have been deployed in the last three years. Technology is transforming the way we conduct our business.
Forestry generates 140,000 well-paying jobs for British Columbians in over 140 communities. It is an essential pillar of the BC economy. The focus on improving competitiveness is paramount to the continued success of the industry, and the health of so many communities. The Digital SuperCluster is an important initiative that will help BC maintain its forest-sector leadership and grow into the future.
For more information visit Canada’s Digital Supercluster’s website.