SURREY — Tech talk is beginning to create a buzz at a hub in Surrey specifically developed for such activity.
Health-technology companies that have made a home in what’s called the HealthTech Innovation HUB converged for a showcase event on Dec. 14.
The noon-hour gathering brought together health-related enterprises that share space at Lark Group’s City Centre 1 building, on 96th Avenue near Surrey Memorial Hospital.
It’s part of Surrey’s Health and Technology District on Innovation Boulevard, a partnership of health, business, education and government with the goal of “creating new health technologies to improve peoples’ lives.”
The HUB’s second-floor space is filling with companies that share a passion for health technology.
“A lot of them are relatively new here, and some employees don’t know what else is happening here, so this event is designed to showcase all of that,” Yvonne Chiang, a publicist for the facility, told the Now during a tour. “Today is an introduction for a lot of them.”
The semi-communal HUB includes companies such as Conquer Mobile, HealthTech Connex, Neuromotion, Breathtec Biomedical, Helius Medical Technologies and several others.
(Story continues below photo of City Centre 1 building)
City Centre 1 is the first of eight buildings planned in the immediate area by Lark Group, a development company that occupies the tower’s 15th floor.
Across the street to the north, City Centre 2 is being built, and the top four floors will be occupied by Safe Software, currently located on 132nd Street in Newton.
The software development firm’s 140-plus employees will move into 48,000 square feet of space at City Centre 2 in January 2018, said Don Murray, who with Dale Lutz co-founded Safe Software in 1993.
“We’re excited about being there, because our current location isn’t conducive to transit, which is key in (attracting) young high-tech employees,” Murray said.
“We wanted to stay in Surrey.… When we started the company, I lived in a ground-floor condo suite in Whalley, so not too far from City Centre 2, which is kind of full-circle.”
Rowena Rizzotti’s job with Lark Group involves recruiting companies to be part of the HUB.
“There’s a real positive energy here, and companies are bringing that with them and sharing it,” Rizzotti said. “It’s a groundswell. Once all eight buildings are up, it’ll be a million square feet of high-tech jobs. Depending on the market, that could be in 10 years or so.”
Taylor Byrom’s fledgling Taylor Hart Designs, which makes and sells adaptive clothing for kids with special needs, is part of the HUB space occupied by Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
“It’s a great place to learn and grow for a person like me who’s trying to get a new business off the ground, with so many health and technology people working here,” Byrom said.
Collaboration in the HUB is a key element of the enterprise, Rizzotti said.
“We create projects, we create prototypes, we create new technologies here and we work with the clinicians to help get them and validate them in the clinical environment, so they can quickly help people right away,” she said.