Innovation Roadmap Squamish

Innovation Roadmap Squamish


The Innovation Working Group, formed in late 2022, comprises members from the District’s Economic Leadership Team and Economic Partner Forum with additional representatives from the local industry. The group was established to help develop and guide the District’s innovation work. From the outset, the Group recognized the importance of defining the role of innovation in shaping Squamish and the region's economy, thereby establishing the mandate for the Innovation Working Group.

Innovation Working Group Mandate:
'We are stewards of the Squamish Innovation Roadmap.  Our mission is to foster a thriving culture of entrepreneurship and sustainability. We continuously adapt and respond to the evolving needs of regional innovation, positioning the Sea to Sky Corridor as a dynamic innovation ecosystem. By forging connections with networks and leveraging available resources, we foster ideation, encourage innovative solutions, and advocate to eliminate barriers to the growth and development of our regional innovation ecosystem.'

In May 2023, the Innovation Working Group participated in a strategy session led by Ideas for Impact to provide insight into Squamish's distinctive opportunity as an innovation ecosystem. This Roadmap document was developed as a direct result of the session, exploratory meetings with the community, regular meetings with the Innovation Working Group, and tours of successful innovation hubs in the province.

The Roadmap offers a comprehensive summary of the findings from engagement and draws on best practices from other innovation ecosystems, and is meant to inform the District of Squamish, partner organizations, and other levels of government, in building Squamish’s innovation ecosystem.  

Innovation Roadmap Development Process

Endorsed by Council

On October 24, 2023, the Squamish Innovation Roadmap was presented by Community Planning and Sustainability to the Committee of the Whole.  The Roadmap was subsequently endorsed by District of Squamish council. 


Squamish Innovation Context

The Innovation Roadmap stems for the District of Squamish's Emerging Sector work.  In 2020, the District endorsed a sector ecosystem consisting of Core and Enabling Sectors and Emerging Areas in the local economy.  To enhance the diversification and resilience of Squamish's economy, subsequently the District completed its Emerging Sector Roadmap and Action Plan.  

Through an inclusive engagement process entitled the Emerging Sector Series, which involved industry, supporting organizations, government entities, and academia, it became evident that fostering local innovation was a crucial element in building this foundation.  Consequently, the District established the Innovation Working Group dedicated to driving local innovation forward.


Why Innovation?

Innovation is critical to every aspect of our district, from community well-being to economic prosperity. Innovation brings people together to tackle major challenges, attracts new talent and investment, and leads to more innovative solutions. If we don’t embrace innovation, we miss opportunities to foster solutions to our challenges.

 Squamish has one of Canada's highest numbers of entrepreneurs per capita. People here value exploration and problem-solving. We understand that people need the tools and resources and a supportive community to solve the major problems we face as a society. We have an opportunity to democratize entrepreneurship by making it accessible to everyone.

 Innovation is needed globally as it drives progress and enables us to overcome challenges. By creating space for people to innovate, we encourage the exploration of creative solutions, foster economic growth, and promote positive change in society. Innovation is about thinking outside the box, pushing boundaries, and finding better ways of doing things.