#BCTECH Summit: Interview with T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan
Over 2,800 business leaders, tech companies, entrepreneurs & investors took part in the inaugural #BCTECH Summit at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The sold out Summit was hosted by BC Government and the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) to encouraged British Columbians to network, share ideas and build relationships. Vancouver is becoming a global player in technology innovation, research & development. Sierra Wireless is at the leading edge of the Internet of Things. D-Wave is breaking ground in quantum computing. Kairos Therapeutics is tackling cancer by combining antibodies with drugs. General Fusion is researching the production of clean energy from fusion.
Premier Christy Clark opened the Summit unveiling the #BCTECH Strategy. The new, multi-year initiative will support the growth of tech in BC by focusing on three key areas: access to capital for promising companies, talent development and market access.
In addition, the $100 million BC Tech Fund will give 600,000 B.C. students an opportunity to learn coding skills, access to work experience and dual credit partnerships between secondary and post-secondary institutions.
“We all want a diverse, knowledge-based economy that supports innovation. That’s why government is working with colleges, universities, institutes and the tech industry to adjust training and education to meet current and future demand for talent – as one-quarter of government funding for the post-education sector is earmarked for jobs in demand,” said Premier Clark.
Microsoft is making Vancouver its second home. The Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre (MCEC) will take over the top two floors of the new Nordstrom’s building and spending $90 million dollars annually to create the new 143,000 square foot facility. Microsoft initially plan to hire 300 people but new expansion will double the number of development staff to 700. The new expansion in developer talent enables Microsoft to significantly broaden the type of development work they are doing in Vancouver beyond high-end gaming to include Microsoft Band and HoloLens.
Microsoft Band is a connected fitness wearable to help you get fit and monitor your health. The Band can keep track of your heart rate, steps, stairs climbed, calorie burn, exercise and sleep quality. Whereas Microsoft HoloLens is changing the way we interactive in the virtual world, its a 3D holographic display.
“Microsoft HoloLens is the first holographic computer running Windows 10. It is completely untethered – no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to pin holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see your world. Microsoft HoloLens features see-through, holographic, high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can see and hear holograms in the world around you. Complete with advanced sensors and a new Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that understands the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real-time.”
In addition, the MCEC team will be responsible for research and development on the XBOX One, MSN, Microsoft Office, Gears of War, MSN, OneNote, The Garage and Skype for Business.
After his presentation, we spoke to T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Technology & Research, about the growing Vancouver tech sector, emergence of mobile and cloud computing and latest project development at the new Microsoft Vancouver studio at Pacific Centre.