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Inside Surrey's new Technology and Skills Centre, a 2nd home for SBOT

Plans to build the 2,300-sq-ft facility were announced in September 2022 with expected opening in early 2023

Efforts to make Surrey even more of a technology hub are focused on a second-floor space at a building on 137A Street, just east of 96 Avenue.

The new Surrey Technology and Skills Centre opened Tuesday (June 25) in the City Centre 2 building, part of the city's so-called Health & Technology District.

Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) and Western Community College partnered to open the centre, the goal of which is "to make Surrey a technology destination for innovative businesses from around the world."

For rent there are office, pod and event spaces with hourly, half-day, daily and monthly rates posted on the centre's website (

The centre, a second home for SBOT, is hyped as "a beacon of innovation and opportunity" by Anita Huberman, president and CEO.

"It's 2,300 square feet here, and we're going to leverage the space of the other buildings as well," she said. "It's a vision, and we're a not-for-profit, so low-risk, but I think it's going to grow from here. We're going to be leveraging the four floors from Western Community College that are being built, other space as well. It's a start."

Plans to build the centre were announced in September 2022 with an expected opening date of early 2023, meaning project completion was delayed by more than a year. "It's construction, that's how it goes in British Columbia," Huberman said. 

SBOT aims to "revolution the chamber of commerce/board of trade industry to bring a unique, groundbreaking initiative designed to make Surrey a technology destination," she added. “We have a huge opportunity to propel Surrey’s technology and innovation by collaborating with government, businesses and academia.”

Surrey Technology and Skills Centre will "incubate" the Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, Blockchain Centre of Excellence, Indigenous Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre, "entrepreneurship hubs" for women, youth and newcomers, plus the expansion of Surrey International Trade Centre and Surrey Workforce Development Hub.

The facility is part of Western Community College's "commitment to fostering innovation and equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the technology and business sectors, according to Gurpal Dhaliwal, college president. 

“This state-of-the-art facility (is) a testament to our dedication to collaboration and leadership. Together with the Surrey Board of Trade, we are not just building a centre, we are creating an ecosystem where education and technology converge to shape a smarter, safer future for all."

Huberman said many people are keen to book space at the centre.

"Western Community College has been using the space for the past six months," she noted. "Now we're going to have a transition over the summer and we have to sign some lease agreements. It'll all come in by the end of the year, I expect."

Surrey Coun. Mike Bose was among several politicians to speak at Tuesday's ribbon-cutting event.

"What's happening here is just phenomenal," he said. "It's providing space, it's about providing that camaraderie, that group-think. It'll bring together people who have ideas that are getting further educated in the technology industry and bring together and incubate start-ups that will eventually grow into being leaders in the industry. It makes Surrey the centre of that universe. 

"One of our greatest challenges around the world is labour and getting people to work," Bose added, "so we need this to spark that innovation that will allow us to be productive without chasing human labour."

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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