Be Responsible in Green Monaco

April 2, 2019

Be Responsible in Green Monaco

A small principality of just two square kilometres that is perhaps best known for its glittering blue seas and its Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about sustainable destinations. However, the Principality has been acting as a pioneer in the matter for a few years, thanks to outstanding initiatives across the whole value and supply chain.

Beneath the surface of Monaco’s deep blue sea lie some very good creative activities and ideas designed to create – and protect – a sustainable environment that safeguards its inherent beauty. Over the last two decades, the Principality has witnessed a boom in sustainable tourism practices, and organizations of all kinds and formats have embraced the sustainability message wholeheartedly.

As a dynamic, competitive and innovative community of experts in the key sectors of science, industry and sustainability, Monaco has repositioned itself as a destination that is responsible and sustainably managed. At a time when the environment and the problems of climate change increasingly affect business decisions, it has, in 2018, joined the Global Destination Sustainable Index and was ranked 13th for its first participation (out of 60 participating destinations) with very high supplier performance. The Principality also recently won the Green Palm for Europe’s best carbon balance sheet, with a reduction of 15 to 40 % of your carbon footprint compared to other European cities, should you choose to spend some time there.

The initial push came from Prince Albert II via his Foundation in 2006, which set out to promote sustainable development on a global scale. Now it’s the whole country that is mobilized by its Sovereign on the over-arching theme of the environment. “Thanks to the pioneer work of its Sovereign, H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Monaco has been tackling environmental challenges for some time now. The official partner of many international conventions such as Kyoto Protocol, Paris agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and now the GDS Index, we are raising awareness and providing high standard sustainability practices through all our activities,” says Sandrine Camia, Director of Monaco Convention Bureau.

In this context,all hotels, representing a total of 2,500 rooms and Monaco’s main convention centre, the Grimaldi Forum, are eco-certified, while all its tourism professionals are committed to energy transition, the aim being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

The Principality of Monaco has also recently given the starting signal to its new offshore extension project and will expand its territory by six hectares in 2025. The project includes the construction of an eco-district mainly offering housing, public parking and facilities, a lively harbor with pedestrian quays, a green park, a coastal promenade, a shaded passage along the Japanese Garden as well as an extension to the Grimaldi Forum – all sustainably managed of course.

More information: This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.


March 26, 2019

Calgary: Meet in an Expanded, Vibrant City

Calgary is a centre of energy, not only because of its natural resources sector, but because of its vibrant communities and welcoming people. It prides itself on being a boutique city with big-city energy making it a great choice for conferences. Collaboration between the two large convention venues, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, offers a wealth of flexible space to accommodate large groups.

The BMO Centre is moving forward with proposed expansion plans, changing the game in terms of what size of events can be accommodated in Calgary. The expansion will double the current size of the BMO Centre to about 10,000 sqm of meeting space. The construction is expected to break ground in spring 2019 and be finished by 2025, in time to host the anticipated 20,000 to 40,000 attendees from over one hundred countries for the Rotary International Convention. This expansion is also expected to fuel development of hotels and restaurants in Victoria Park, rounding out the east end of downtown.

In addition to ample space to host global business events, Calgary offers convenience. Just four blocks away from Stampede Park is the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) and the convention district filled with cultural venues such as Studio Bell, the National Music Centre, and plenty of retail shops, restaurants, bars and theatres. CTCC itself is directly connected to three hotels through Calgary’s skywalk system called the Plus 15. Kaili Cashin, Manager of Marketing & Communications for CTCC says “the boutique feel of our Centre and the convenience of our city location is one of our greatest strengths.”

Ultimate hosts

But CTCC doesn’t just rely on their convenient location; over the past year, CTCC has put time into rethinking their event space to accommodate new ways that event planners want to use it to create experiential programs. These renovated spaces are meant to foster collaboration and increase interaction that fuel innovative ideas, including bright colours, state-of-the-art technology, furniture flexibility and different room configurations.

Calgary is a breath of fresh air outside of event space as well – literally. With nearly 800 kms of pathways within city limits, event planners and delegates can see the city by foot or bike. And just an hour away from Calgary are the beautiful Rocky Mountains and nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Banff and Jasper National Park.

Anticipating event planners’ needs and delivering exceptional meeting experiences is what Calgary is all about. In the end, they love to be “the ultimate hosts” to visitors and for over 700 cultural events each year, including the world-famous Calgary Stampede, and annual Global Petroleum Show.

This article is powered by Meetings + Conventions Calgary. For more information on Calgary as a conference destination, visit MEETINGSCALGARY.COM

March 20, 2019

Kigali: Building on Solid Ground

Imagine a place where strong African culture meets modern urban life, where years of troubled history gave way to cosmopolitan regeneration and where millions of inhabitants strive to upkeep one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world; add a pioneering convention centre like the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC); and all that surrounded and protected by green hillsides. That is Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, the ‘land of a thousand hills’, located in the central-east part of Africa.

Years of government and private investing, aided by the people’s ‘Umuganda’community-oriented spirit, have produced a secure, spotless environment with an upcoming economy in sectors like tourism, services, mining and agriculture. The city’s spike-like road network provides good connections to the rest of the country whereas local public transportation is modernising and runs smoothly.

Infrastructure development is evident throughout the city with facilities covering all types of events. New hotels pop out at constant pace with plans of big chains investing in the city,summing up actually to more than 2,600 hotel rooms. The Central Business District, in particular, is home to numerous hotels ranging all prices and categories. As accommodation is expanding, so is international connectivity; due for completion in 2020, a new airport will network the country further with the world.

A Committed Bureau, A Modern Centre

Established in 2014, the Rwanda Convention Bureau and its innovative leadership has been of fundamental importance in the promotion of Kigali as a meetings destination.Its services go beyond mere publicity for the city; it provides guidance and personalised solutions for the unique needs of associations, such as engaging with government and private sector specialists in supporting events. As a result, Kigali reached third place in the ICCA 2017 Africa rankings and has proven to be a major player in the business events industry over the past few years, with conferences such as the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and the Transform Africa Summit just this past year portraying the city’s ability to receive such heavyweight events.

Conferences of this calibre could only be held at pioneering facilities such as the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), the country’s biggest and newest events venue, located in the heart of Kigali, five kilometres in proximity to the bustling city centre but as well Kigali International Airport. Officially launched in July 2016, KCC has definitely made an impact on the city, both aesthetically and financially. Its dome-shape exterior, resembling a traditional Rwandan King’s palace, attracts attention as much on the outside with its light show as on the inside with its functional spaces. Eighteen different venues and an auditorium of 2,600 attendee’s capacity are what makes this centre adept for any kind of conference. Nagen Naidu, KCC Director of Convention, comments on the Centre’s work: “With the highest standards in East Africa, advanced technology and offers, KCC’s occupancy grows substantially every year and 2019 follows this trend.

The Director mentions their efforts to find the right fit when it comes to associations: “We are very active in terms of research and development and we work hand in hand with ICCA, the Rwanda Convention Bureau and local ministries in order to attract the most suitable association conferences for Kigali. Results have shown that medical, scientific and technology conferences will advance both experience and development in these fields.” And he continues stressing out the importance of sustainable meetings: “We have implemented ‘responsible business’ strategy in all our meetings, offsetting carbon emission for all events at KCC. ”

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Editor Vicky Koffa, is available in the February issue of Boardroom available here.

March 11, 2019

Northern Territory, Australia:
Into the outback

With its spectacular scenery, ancient Aboriginal culture and laid-back way of life Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) is a mecca for tourists keen to sample an authentic Australian experience. It is, however, its unique set of knowledge clusters, attention to local engagement, and the innovative ways it delivers ideas and learnings that makes it stand out as a congress destination.

More than dirt, rocks and crocs

Equivalent in size to France, Italy and Spain combined, Australia’s vast Northern Territory (NT) is divided into two distinctly different regions, each with its own weather system. The lush, green ‘Top End’ has a tropical climate and is home to the cosmopolitan capital city Darwin and the World-Heritage listed Kakadu, the country’s largest national park. In contrast, the ochre-coloured, desert-like landscape of the south has a semi-arid climate and is where you’ll find landmarks such as Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Alice Springs, Australia’s most famous outback town.

Darwin is acknowledged for its expertise in tropical medicine, food production, architecture, climate change research. Its Menzies School of Health Research is internationally renowned for its work in indigenous health, tropical diseases and infections. The Darwin Convention Centre is situated overlooking the harbour and can cater for up to 1,200 visitors. For delegates looking to tag some leisure time on to their trip, Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, and Litchfield National Parks are all within driving distance.

As well as a site of historic interest, Alice Springs provides a central meeting point for events, being situated within three hours flying time of most Australian airports. Its Desert Knowledge Australia facility showcases the state-of-the-art solar energy research and development projects for which the NT is famed. Local community organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air provide scope for educational off-site visits for groups. The 1,200-seat Alice Springs Convention Centre is the town’s largest conference facility. It is complemented by a range of other smaller hotel and resort venues within close proximity.

Engagement and delivery

The territory’s other economic and social strengths lie in agribusiness, land management, mining, education and defence. Planners looking to host events in NT can benefit from the Northern Territory Business Events Support Fund (NTBESF). Financial assistance of A$100 per delegate is available, up to a maximum of A$50,000 per event. To meet the criteria, the event needs to be at the consideration or bidding stage, align with NT’s industry strength sectors, and yield delegates from interstate and beyond.

The Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) is a key contact for setting the wheels in motion for any event. With 25 years of experience, it has built up an invaluable network of local contacts from the professional sector, government, business and industry. It also provides free, expert advice and assistance on the planning, bidding and delivery of business events in the NT.

This article was written by Boardroom editor Chantelle Dietz. For more information on Northern Territory contact or visit

Picture: Uluru, Central Australia -The spectacular Field of Light – Northern Territory

March 5, 2019

Share and Co-create at the European Association Summit

Already in its 7th year, the European Association Summit (EAS) was held last week at SQUARE – Brussels Convention Centre. The annual gathering for those representing international associations, it brought together about 200 participants under the theme “Share and Co-create.”

Challenges in a changing world

How to adapt to the rapidly changing world? How can we respond to new trends? How to face the digitalization of our organisations? How to effectively communicate? These were some of the questions that were addressed during an intense two-days of workshops, presentations, and other engaging sessions to which more than 30 associations had successfully submitted abstracts for.

New this year was definitely the level of engagement from the participants. If delegates listened to occasional one-way presentations, they were invited to actively participate in their colleagues’ workshops, and practical tips were shared during the sessions, covering subjects that include risk management, evacuating events, the development of communication campaigns or activities to involve young people in associations.

Nik Claesen, chairman of the EAS 2019, put it like this: “It is the role of associations to bring people together. Bringing people together in a context in which people are becoming more distant. We aim to be relevant not only to our members, but also to the entire community. Thanks to co-creation, our associations are becoming more important and relevant. We have lots to share with the world. The European Association Summit was a fantastic forum in which to exchange ideas and make new contacts.”

Particularly popular were sessions on the digitalization of associations, or the need for them to transform themselves digitally in order to create new services for their members using technology (“Choose hard and be agile” recommended speaker Audrey Benoit, of Brain & Belly), on strategies for growth (“Being glocal is the key – you have to expand globally while keeping in mind the local specificities” stated Matthew D’Uva, of the International Association for the Study of Pain), on how to communicate effectively. This last UIA-powered session had participants do short exercises and help them better define their organisation’s mission and vision.

Co-creation is key

In this regard, the co-creation aspect of this edition was well-woven into this year’s summit. Co-creation was indeed a key aspect during the sessions about community development, opening headquarters on other continents or dealing with the challenges of today’s environments. Thanks to the tremendous networking opportunities at the event, a learning culture has definitely developed over the years. EAS participants are people who wish to improve their skills and make progress so they can be better association professionals.

Worth noting is that this year also focus on sustainability. The intention was for the EAS to be an eco-friendly event. Participants received plenty of green tips for organising events and for daily use. As with many other initiatives in the Brussels-Capital Region, the focus is on sustainability and an environmentally-responsible attitude.

The European Association Summit is organised by the Association Bureau in collaboration with ESAE (European Society of Association Executives), FAIB (Federation of European & International Associations Based in Belgium), UIA (Union of International Associations) and GAHP (Global Association Hubs Partnership), the Solvay Brussels School in Economics & Management, PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) and ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association).

This report was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé (

March 4, 2019

Washington, DC, Where Economics, Culture & Academics Unite

Home to the most educated population in the U.S., Washington, DC is where great minds gather for meetings in the technologybiotech/pharmaceuticaleducation and medical sectors. As the connected capital continues to expand its knowledge economy, those working in sustainabilitytransportation and government advocacy have also taken notice. Meeting planners will find major sustainability advancements, transformative public transportation initiatives and access to the country’s leaders and lawmakers in DC, which benefit their attendees, sponsors and bottom line.

There are copious reasons why hosting your next meeting in DC will be valuable for your attendees and your organization. Here are just a few ways DC is a leading city:

  • 1st LEED Platinum City in the World (United States Green Building Council, 2017)
  • 2nd largest subway system by ridership in the U.S. (SmartAsset, 2018)
  • Fourth city in which Ford will debut its self-driving vehicles (CNN, 2018)
  • Access to 11,270 lobbyists in industries including pharmaceuticals/health products, insurance, electronics and business associations. Lobbyists spent $2.59 billion in 2018. (Center for Responsive Politics, 2018)

Washington, DC’s landscape is ever-changing. The city is dedicated to developing initiatives and investing in new opportunities by adding to its strong industries with $11.2 billion in development, 18 hotels in the pipeline and many new and renovated special events venues in the works. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center continues renovations that began in fall 2018 with capital improvements such as new seating, enhanced digital signage, a streetscape plan and a “mamava pod” for nursing mothers.

The ease of travel continues to add to DC’s appeal for business travelers. In 2018, new air service started into Dulles International Airport from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and seasonal service from Edinburgh on United Airlines. In 2019, new nonstop air service will begin from Rome on Alitalia in May, Tel Aviv on United in May and Lisbon on TAP Air in June.

“Two recent citywides showcased just how connected our city is,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “In December, American Geophysical Union utilized 65 hotels for over 28,000 attendees without the use of a shuttle, pointing to the abundance of hotels near our convention center. And in June, the World Gas Union took advantage of DC’s access to thought leaders when they recruited the Secretary of Energy for the United States as keynote speaker for the opening ceremony.”

To learn more about meetings and conventions succeeding in Washington, DC or submit an RFP, visit



February 26, 2019

Forward Thinking in the Netherlands

In Holland, modernity and tradition intertwine like, maybe, no other place in the world: artistic masterpieces, centuries-old windmills, tulip fields and romantic candlelit cafés seem perfectly at placewith visionary architecture, cutting-edge design and vibrant nightlife. As a conference destination, it may be a small country, but it is this compact environment, coupled together with a strong drive for innovation and knowledge, that make it truly unique.

You might think that the country that gave birth to celebrated Dutch Masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian would dwell on its past, but studying Holland’s trailblazing contemporary architecture, as well as its green initiatives, show just how forward-thinking the country is. With scenic landscape found on every last dyke, canal, river and coastal shore, where the Dutch and visitors alike explore by two wheels – one of the greatest pleasures is cycling around Dutch cities – Holland is open to the world, a place where freedom and high trust have flourished.

One of the main reasons Holland is such an appealing conference destination, in addition to this open-minded outlook and great convention infrastructure, is its compact size, offering more attractions, museums and venues per square mile than any other destination. This is not a marketing posture: everything is easily accessible, with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol serving as a hub and a convenient train system making it simple to hop from city to city.

Holland City

Taking all of this into consideration, it makes sense that Holland’s convention bureau wants associations to think of the country as one big integrated city. The country’s size is what makes this possible. Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague— Holland’s major financial and industrial centres—all sit inside a 50-km circle, with Schiphol International Airport in the middle. High-speed trains from Schiphol connect to Amsterdam in just 20 minutes and Rotterdam in 30, making the destination an international gateway epicentre and thus driving global trade.

All of these factors contributed to the branding of ‘Holland City,’ which recently launched in full force in the meetings industry. Eric Bakermans, Director Marketing Meetings & Conventions at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), explains: ‘Holland City’ is the name of our overarching strategy, which is all about the spread of international arrivals in time and place. This helps to overcome overtourism in some places, some of the time, and to attract future visitors and meeting planners to consider other parts of the Netherlands as a leisure or business destination rather than just the known places.

Asked if this concept can be applied to associations whose events rotate throughout Europe and beyond, Bakermans acknowledges that “it may be less applicable for conventions and congresses. Association meetings are less flexible in dates but might be open for flexibility in place, depending on volume and other factors, of course. Given the compactness of the Netherlands, I like to think that is always an option to consider.”

Growth through conferences

Holland boasts one of the 20 largest economies in the world and is a leading global knowledge centre with a longstanding history of invention. In times of global, social and economic challenges, the Dutch find ways to continue the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship. One factor that can help drive this growth is conferences. NBTC work on the country’s nine major industry sectors – agriculture, chemical, creative (media/design), energy, high-tech, logistics, justice and security, and water management – and identify and attract those international congresses that make sense for them to host. This sector-specific strategy leverages the country’s industry expertise to engage international planners and provide associations a targeted availability of potential speakers, exhibitors, researchers, audience members, sponsors and other business partners related to a conference’s unique theme.

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the February issue of Boardroom available here.

February 22, 2019

SACEOS, Carving Out a New Future

This year is a landmark one for the Singapore Association for Conventions Exhibitions Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS). It is celebrating its 40th year in operation and has appointed a new president. Aloysius Arlando – a prolific figurehead in the business events industry in Singapore – took over the reigns in February. Arlando has helmed various leadership positions in Singapore’s public sector. He currently serves as the CEO of SingEx Holdings and is on the boards of several associations, institutions and high-level committees around the world, including the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) of which he is also president. He shares his vision for SACEOS and explains why it is imperative associations are ‘future-ready’.

How does SACEOS position itself within the global associations market?

MICE-commerce is a global and borderless business world with distributed networks. In this super-connected global world of associations, SACEOS remains a key and committed player in this sphere of relationships, distinguishing itself as a thought-leader for its focus on sustainable business growth and merits it brings to the community.

How will your personal experience in the industry help advance SACEOS?

I have had the privilege of working in both the public and private sectors of the meetings industry over the past two decades. Through these domains, I will draw on the expertise and experience of my networks in this global industry to forge successful partnerships to make this industry a choice for all, where passion can truly be made possible. 

What is your vision for SACEOS?

To harness the power of communities and establish new levels of collaboration for the growth of the industry. In today’s world of digitally-enabled communities, cross-industry collaborations and global market connectedness, SACEOS will need to forge purpose-driven partnerships near and far to make our meetings industry future-ready and strengthen Singapore’s leading position in the global meetings space. It is therefore imperative for SACEOS to work with key local associations, institutions and global industry associations to address the capability and capacity challenges head on and create new and exciting opportunities for the betterment of the business community, people it serves and the workforce it employs.

What developments can we expect to see?

SACEOS has dedicated its strategy to the educational needs of the meetings industry for many years. The milestones and achievements that have been made provide a prime foundation from which my executive committee will draw strength and confidently enter into the next phase of growth. At the 2018 Singapore MICE Forum, SACEOS created the Asia Pacific Community Building Manifesto, a bold and courageous mandate towards the future meetings industry in 2030. The Manifesto outlined seven key pillars including people, technology, business models and new ecosystem, to promote sustainable business progress in the Asia-Pacific region.

How is SACEOS driving change in the industry?

SACEOS is raising awareness that standing still is not an option. We are driving the transformative change and fostering the collaborative wisdom of relevant stakeholders to create new business models. We believe the meetings industry needs to be generation-ready. The demographics and motivations of the four generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z) are all different and increasingly making an impact in the market. We are gathering understanding to provide a platform for members to prepare for generation readiness, so they can tap into the wave of opportunities this presents.

This interview was conducted by Boardroom editor Chantelle Dietz.


February 14, 2019

What to Expect at the Associations World Congress

It’s not long now until the Associations World Congress which takes place from 7 – 9 April 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden. There’s been a lot of development for this year’s event and the organisers, starting with a newly designed programme. With over four hundred delegates, the Associations World Congress is one of the largest as well as the most established conference for association executives.

The new and progressive programme includes an extension of the popular Association Leaders’ Forum from a half-day to it being integrated into the congress as a two-day Forum.  Greg Tracz, Chief Development Officerat the International Hydropower Association says: “The Association Leader’s Forum is a must-go-to event with world-class speakers, stimulating topics for discussion, and lots of lively debate.” And it’s because of this and many more positive comments, that Damian Hutt, Executive Director at AAE decided to broaden the Leaders’ Forum over the two days.

Additionally, AAE has created a new forum specially for event strategists.  The Association Events Strategy Forum is also integrated into the congress programme. During the Forum you’ll hear thought-provoking opinions on the purpose of events, their value, and the place of association events in the association’s offering and contribute to the discussion and ideas.

Excitement is also building around the keynote speakers. Sweden and indeed Gothenburg, are home to two world-renowned organisations who are delighted to take part in the congress:  The Nobel Organisation with their head Laura Sprechmann; and Volvo with their Senior Vice President Paul Welander.  There are more than fifty speakers from associations and specialist organisations, and this year, they’re not simply presenting…. There are many different formats including the new ‘Crash Course’ and ‘Camp Fire’.  AAE has created an environment that stimulates interaction and learning.  The new programme enables delegates to move to different sessions – essential, as many association executives are responsible for multiple functions.

Another new initiative is that AAE are issuing Certificates of Education in Association Management for verified attendees for up to 12 hours education.  This came about after receiving feedback from AAE members who wanted formal recognition and record of the time they spend learning at AAE seminars, conferences, masterclasses and congresses.

In conclusion, it’s going to be a busy time at this years’ congress …the two-day Forums, Crash Courses, Camp Fires, Success Story case studies, Breakfast Brains, Expert Briefings, Workshops, and the Solution and Services Providers in the Expo!  Not to mention the social side, with two drinks receptions, two dinners, the International & European Association Awards Ceremony, Gothenburg and its amazing archipelago, and more…

Find out more at





February 8, 2019

Ottawa: Canada’s Test Track for AV Innovation

Ottawa isn’t afraid to take trials out of the lab and on to a real-life test ground. Canada’s capital became the country’s first city to test on-street autonomous vehicles (AV) back in 2017, advancing testing on active public streets on a spin through Kanata North Technology Park. Imagine the look on the faces of people passing by when the driverless car came to a halt at a traffic light, allowing pedestrians to cross the street. The smart city is receiving the same reaction from industry leaders across the world as it showcases home-grown connected car and AV technologies, applications and services on the global market. 

Calling Ottawa Canada’s smartest city isn’t hyperbole. Located in the province of Ontario, with an international airport offering daily direct connections to over 30 major North American and European cities, Ottawa is the most technology-intensive region in Canada. The city boasts more PhDs per capita than anywhere else in Canada and excels in the areas of next generation networks and 5G, smart city initiatives, communications technology, and autonomous vehicles.

Ottawa is home to the top five mobile backhaul equipment market vendors (think Nokia and Ericsson), the top 10 optical network hardware vendors and 90% of telecommunications research, resources that have helped the city’s connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) cluster become a leader in sensors and LIDARS, key components of CAVs. Ottawa is a tech hub with decades of internationally-recognized strengths in fields that make up the core of CAV technology,” explains Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa. “Ottawa’s CAV cluster, comprised of leading companies, post-secondary institutions, government and non-profits, established a vision early on, and committed to build the city’s capabilities, investment and global opportunity in CAV development, testing and validation.”

Innovation Centre

The AV testing on Ontario’s roads, led by the expertise of BlackBerry QNX (a leading developer of mission-critical software that serves as the foundation for connected and autonomous vehicles) and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC), is one example of the development taking place in Canada’s AV capital—home to over 70 companies and other organizations working in the field. According toMichael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards: “Our region has the expertise and capabilities required to develop, commercialize, and adopt new vehicle to everything (V2X) solutions. These technologies can be integrated into global supply chains and sold around the world. This new testbed adds critical capability to our ecosystem, enabling innovators to test and commercialize these AV technologies.”

To build on its reputation as Canada’s AV capital, Ottawa and BlackBerry QNX have teamed up with organizations like Invest Ottawa (the city’s economic development agency) and the Kanata North Business Association, in addition to researchers at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College. The Kanata North Business Association, for example, represents over 500 ICT companies that contribute $13billion to Canada’s GDP in what is Canada’s largest technology park

Portland-based Allied Market Research predicts the global market for autonomous vehicles will be worth $54.23 billion in 2019 and increase to $556.67 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 39.47% during that period. “CAV is playing a key role in driving economic growth and in shifting the way in which we live and work around the world,” Shorey explains. Invest Ottawa has seen “keen interests from international firms in leveraging Ottawa’s CAV capabilities in V2X testing and our true four-season climate,” according to Shorey.

This article, whose full version is available in the February issue of Boardroom, was written by Lane Nieset. Your contact in Ottawa:

Picture: Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, during his tour of the BlackBerry QNX AVIC in Ottawa (copyright: BlackBerry QNX)