Business View Magazine - October 2018

242 243 FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK economic builders in Greater Fredericton. Larry Shaw, CEO of Ignite Fredericton explains, “As the provincial capital, a lot of the City’s eco- nomic development in the past came from gov- ernment services. Another heavy employer was the academic sector, with a larger university and college presence in the region. So, the economy was representative of a government and universi- ty town. Two or three decades ago, the City start- ed looking at diversification of its economy, with a keen eye on knowledge-based industry.” In the mid-1990s, Fredericton invested in wire- less infrastructure and was one of the first com- munities in North America to provide free, public Wi-Fi, so people could be connected anywhere in the city. That set the stage for other investments. At one point, Fredericton had over 300 miles of its own fiber in place. That enabled companies to change the way they operated, and it became a foundation for the robust, diversified economy that Fredericton is building on today. Fredericton also houses Canada’s largest re- search and technology entity, Knowledge Park. The 26-acre campus offers 180,000 square feet of high-quality, Class A office space, a knowledge clustering environment, and close proximity to world-renowned research, education, and accel- eration partners. As announced in a very exciting recent press release, the Park is expanding to ac- commodate Fredericton’s flourishing cybersecuri- ty sector by constructing a new, 135,000-square- foot building, Cyber Park, with a $30 million repayable investment from Opportunities NB. “The Cyber Park will be the critical infrastruc- ture that brings together all of the essential com- ponents to catapult Fredericton into a leadership position in the cybersecurity industry,” says Shaw. “A dedicated cybersecurity centre will support regional, provincial and national economic devel- opment priorities to attract new talent and busi- nesses to our region.” “Knowledge Park is an integral part of Frederic- ton’s innovation ecosystem, supporting research and development organizations and helping companies streamline product development here in our province,” adds Peter Powell, Chair of Knowledge Park Board of Directors. “As we move forward, Cyber Park will provide significant sup- port for ongoing and future investment attraction opportunities. Thanks to the synergistic partner- ship between Cyber NB and Opportunities NB, this park will be the hub that brings together the sharpest minds in cybersecurity and the resources that will help them succeed.” Word is spreading, and interest in Fredericton as an innovation hub is stepping up. IBM is ex- panding its presence and Siemens is locating its global cyber security center in the City, as they both work to expand their global platform for smart grid infrastructure. Shaw acknowledges, “Today, we see ourselves as a digitally-based, smart community. There’s a difference between that and a Smart City. We just made application to the Smart City program run by the federal government, where communities are identified as Smart Cities and investments made to the value of $10 million.We are one of 20 on the short list and we’ll be moving through a pretty aggressive strategy to ensure we’re standing on the podium when that $10 million is announced.” In the wake of all these economic opportuni- ties, Fredericton is seeing significant growth in