Community Benefits

BCLC’s Technology Innovation Lab Helps Fuel Demand for Talent in Kamloops’ Surging High-Tech Sector


Innovation lab

New research highlights Kamloops’s burgeoning status as a tech-hub destination of choice in British Columbia, and BCLC is helping to fuel the talent needed to support this growth with its innovative Technology Innovation Lab.

At BCLC’s Technology Innovation Lab, launched in 2018, co-op students from Thompson Rivers University tackle challenges and work in an environment similar to a tech start-up. With the resources of a large corporation at their disposal, students work together to test and apply rapidly developing technologies for key business projects in an immersive learning environment.

Whether it’s bringing a lottery selection slip into the digital age or developing add-ons for BCLC’s Lotto! App, BCLC Technology Innovation Lab students develop the hands-on skills – and understanding of how to solve complex business challenges – that are needed to support the local tech industry.

“In partnership with the Kamloops Innovation Centre, the BCLC Innovation Lab enables us to leverage the incredible energy and talent of students to solve our business challenges, while also giving them the legitimate experience they need to succeed in the rapidly-evolving tech sector,” says Pat Davis, BCLC Chief Information Officer. “We gain new perspectives and the students understand how to apply technology on real customer and business opportunities – it’s a win-win.”

Venture Kamloops’ economic development manager Nicole Bruce co-authored the study with TRU’s Dr. Laura Lamb, which cites the high degree of affordability, vast landscape, strong tech infrastructure and close proximity to Vancouver as key factors why Kamloops is an attractive destination for tech companies and start-ups.

“For years, Kamloops has worked tirelessly to establish itself as a city that is opening its arms for tech businesses and start-ups,” says Bruce. “Now that Kamloops’ vision is starting to take shape, it’s more critical than ever to have immersive learning co-op programs like BCLC’s Technology Innovation Lab to support and develop our talent right here in Kamloops.”

Kamloops has been BCLC’s head office location since 1985, employing on average approximately 470 employees, over one third of which work in the Business Technology division. In September 2019, Compugen awarded the 2019 Technology Innovation in Community Engagement Award to BCLC, which recognizes and celebrates organizations that enhance communities through their contribution, commitment and leadership.