New Brunswick officials hope that Saint John’s New Health and Technology District will become a leader in digital health across the country.
The area is the result of a partnership between the University of New Brunswick, Opportunities New Brunswick and The Lark Group, a community development organization.
Partners say they want the area in Tucker Park because UNB Saint John, Dalhousie Medical School New Brunswick and Saint John Regional Hospital are all in close proximity.
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Dr Petra Hoff, Vice President of Union National Bank of St. John, said the St. John’s Health and Technology District will bring physicians, clinicians, educators, students and industry together in a common space to create innovative health solutions.
Hof began his speech as part of a virtual forum: “To connect the talent pipeline to the industry.” “To be pairing early students with job shadowing, lecture series, collaboration opportunities, and internships to connect with the industry and stay here and provide this talent pipeline to our community.”
Hof said the first phase will take place over the next two years. The initial goal is to attract 50 new companies and 1,000 jobs, adding $50 million to the local economy.
Opportunities New Brunswick Minister Arlene Dunn, who is also in charge of the MLA in St. John’s, said it could launch 100 new companies and 3,500 jobs upon completion.
The area is modeled after a similar setting in Surrey, British Columbia
“We are about 50 percent on our way toward our overall goal,” said Health Tech Connex spokesperson Ryan Darcy, “which is to create 1.5 million square feet of space in health and technology innovation, approximately 15,000 high-quality, high-tech jobs and contribute to the economy 1.1 billion ( dollars) annually.
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Paulette Hicks, CEO of Envision Saint John, said the district could help the EDA achieve its 10-year population growth strategy.
“We will view this initiative as transformative,” Hicks said.
Hof said further conversations with stakeholders and industry were planned to prioritize the initiative.
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