08/22/16 - Local organization helping Manitoba companies transform IT departments (via MTS Business Hub)

The Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) is now the only Manitoba organization to be a member in a cross-Canada network of digital media innovation hubs.

“We are thrilled to join the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN),” said Kathy Knight, CEO of ICTAM. “Tech is everywhere and in everything, (so) being recognized as a hub gives us the opportunity to continue making an impact in Manitoba.”

“Being a hub will enable us to further elevate the profile of Manitoba’s burgeoning tech sector on the national stage.”

ICTAM is an industry-focused association representing Manitoba's information and communication technology sector. Not-for-profit and open to all businesses, ICTAM works to promote growth and sustainability in the ICT sector through programming, advocacy and collaboration. ICTAM is membership-based and structured to be inclusive of companies of any size. ICTAM membership includes almost 100 member companies representing a wide range of ICT companies and consumers.

The CDMN focuses on commercialization and research and works to establish Canada as a world leader in ICT by fostering connection and collaboration between entrepreneurs, established enterprise, research institutes, government and other intermediary bodies, and facilitates access to knowledge, markets and networking.

Joining CDMN will help member organization access national initiatives to support the commercialization of innovation. Clara Buelow, marketing and communications specialist for ICTAM, says membership in the CDMN, which was confirmed in July, is a big step forward.

“We see this partnership helping grow the tech sector in Manitoba and Canada,” Buelow said. “By joining CDMN, we’re able to extend our network beyond Winnipeg. There’s a real benefit to our member companies and organizations that we’re linked into a national network. For our tech community, they now have access to additional opportunities that complement our current programming. In addition, there are extensive connections that can be made through CDMN that can provide access to new opportunities that will help them grow their businesses.”

ICTAM has had an informal connection to CDMN for years.

“Through a series of discussions, an onsite visit and meeting with some of the other members of the community in Winnipeg (CDMN) recognized the collaborative nature of ICTAM,” Buelow said. “As a result, they saw that we would be an ideal partner in the West. The fact we have such a broad-based network also made it a great fit. There’s really good alignment in terms of our programs and how they see themselves fitting into communities across the different regions.”

ICTAM brings its own strengths into the CDMN’s countrywide network.

“As we look to find partners that are key players in their ecosystems it was clear that ICTAM was a solid addition to the Canadian Digital Media Network,” said Lisa Cashmore, director of network operations for CDMN. "Not only do they fill a geographical gap for us by providing coverage in Manitoba, but they are an asset to the network in many other ways.”

It’s also about the support ICTAM gives companies looking to commercialize.

“It’s an important resource and the economical benefit to their region and our country is impactful,” Cashmore said. “Their work on the ICT West program is impressive and will serve as a best practice to others nationally.”

“We know how to scale innovation,” Buelow said. “We have a really deep bench of knowledge and experience in international trade and partnerships paired with a good understanding of what it takes to prepare companies for international business. For example, our ICT West project is really helping small to medium-sized enterprises in Western Canada break into new markets. Because of our location, if you’re a company in Manitoba you have to be able to export because our market just isn’t that big.”

Buelow says ICTAM also brings CDMN a solid perspective on diversity and links further afield.

“We also do a lot of work in terms of building diversity into companies and understanding what it takes to onboard new hires from other countries,” she said.

ICTAM is an industry-focused association representing Manitoba's information and communication technology sector that holds events throughout the year.

Source