Fredrick Clarke of the Babine Lake Community Forest Society has been visiting muncipalities in the region to discuss the idea of an innovation centre.

Supporting regional innovation

Babine Lake Community Forest Society is looking for support for secondary industries and innovation to diversify the regional economy.

Think long-term.

In what might be one of the few voices in the region not focussing on direct resource extraction, the Babine Lake Community Forest Society (BLCFS) is looking for support for secondary industries and innovation to diversify the regional economy.

Fredrick Clarke, general manager of the BLCFS, spoke at a council meeting in February to Mayor Rob Macdougall and council about the possibility of creating an innovation centre for the area.

Clarke is looking for engagement from local municipalities and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako for a centre to help support people in the region wanting to bring forward new ideas and research.

The centre could help to examine feasibility and address labour shortages or concerns, said Clarke.

Clarke said the BLCFS is mandated to spend surplus funds on small business innovation and therefore would like to invest in the creation of an innovation centre if other groups in the region would also get involved and support such a venture.

The centre would help to mentor and support start-ups in the region.

He also suggested the Topley School, currently for sale, as a possible location for the centre if it was to go forward.

He asked mayor and council to pass a resolution supporting a collaborative approach to the development of regional innovation, technology and innovative industries and they send someone to attend a meeting to explore this idea and a possible associated venture.

Mayor and council did not commit to anything specific regarding the proposed innovation centre.