Shining brightly: a photographic look into SFU’s success at the 2019 #BCTECH Summit

It was the most diverse group of experts that Simon Fraser University has ever assembled for the #BCTECH Summit. Leaders in their fields and SFU experts in artificial intelligence, big data, materials research, computational linguistics, sustainable engineering and entrepreneurship engaged with summit attendees to share their knowledge and initiate partnerships. These connections led the way in making the 2019 #BCTECH Summit a resounding success for SFU as an academic innovation partner.

As Canada’s engaged university, the annual #BCTECH Summit is the perfect opportunity for SFU to activate all three aspects of the university’s engaged vision:

  • Engaging research

  • Engaging communities

  • Engaging students

Engaging research

SFU researcher Angelica Lim gave a live demonstration of her NAO robot while linguistics professor Maite Taboada demonstrated Informed Opinion’s Gender Gap Tracker powered by SFU. Experts specializing in many fields including smart textiles, data science and entrepreneurship were at the SFU booth space in person to discuss their research and answer attendees’ questions.

SFU Linguistics professor Maite Taboada demonstrates Informed Opinions’ Gender Gap Tracker to SFU President Andrew Petter.

SFU Applied Sciences researcher Angelica Lim discusses the NAO robot and her AI research with a summit attendee.


A definite summit highlight was British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan’s visit to the SFU booth during Tuesday night’s networking reception. Seychelle Cushing, SFU’s manager, strategic initiatives and operations (big data) demonstrated the recently launched gender equity tool, the Gender Gap Tracker powered by SFU. The Gender Gap Tracker measures the ratio of female to male sources quoted in online news coverage across some of Canada's most influential national news media.

Seychelle Cushing and Premier Horgan discussing big data and innovative solutions that SFU offers.


Engaging communities

A primary focus of the 2019 #BCTECH Summit was engaging with existing and future partners to discuss how SFU can deliver sustainable and relevant solutions to solve their problems. With experts and leadership from SFU Innovates, big data, linguistics, applied sciences, University Advancement, 4D LABS, entrepreneurship, the Centre for Digital Media, Industry Engagement, and the Office of the Vice-President, Research available throughout the summit, ideas truly did move into action.

SFU Innovates facilitator Nicky Dhaliwal (on the right) in discussion at SFU’s booth with a summit attendee.

Crystal Lynch, director, SFU University Advancement, Faculty of Applied Sciences, and Dugan O’Neil, AVPR, in discussion with a summit attendee. 


Beyond SFU’s booth in the Vancouver Convention Centre’s Marketplace, SFU’s science and technology accelerator, VentureLabs® represented the university in the Innovate BC space.

Engaging students

Fulfilling the university’s promise to prepare students for life in an ever-changing and challenging world, SFU had a strong presence on Youth Innovation Day. For one day at every summit, Grade 10-12 students have the chance to experience the province’s elite tech ecosystem and learn how to intelligently prepare for their future.

Michael Chang, SFU’s communications and marketing coordinator (big data), in conversation with students during Youth Innovation Day. 

Joy Johnson, VPRI, visits the university’s dedicated booth for students at Youth Innovation Day.

Looking to the future, the session entitled, ‘Reality Revolution Solution’ highlighted the province’s brightest young minds. Joy Johnson, SFU’s VPRI, was one of the judges.


A message from SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making SFU’s presence at this year’s #BCTECH Summit a success. We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces at 2020’s summit!

(L to R) Michael Chang, Edna Quan, SFU VentureLabs®, Amy Hool, SFU VentureLabs®


Until then, you are invited to engage with us:

SFU's Office of the Vice-President, Research:

SFU's Industry Engagement:

Big Data at SFU:

SFU Innovates:

SFU VentureLabs:

Gender Gap Tracker: