Development & Alumni Relations Office 


29 March 2018


British Columbia’s thriving technology sector will have a new voice in Ottawa, the seat of the Canadian parliament, and abroad, following the appointment of Queen’s graduate Dr Alan Winter (BSc 1969) as the province’s first innovation commissioner.


The newly created role aims to create new opportunities for British Columbia (BC) tech companies, shepherd innovation across all industries and regions of the province, and generate highly skilled jobs.


Commenting on the appointment on 5 February, BC Premier John Horgan, said: “Today’s announcement is an example of what can be achieved through co-operation and putting the people of BC first.


“I know that Mr Winter will proceed in that spirit of co-operation to strengthen national and cross-border relationships, and ensure that BC maximizes federal funding to benefit BC innovators and employers.”


Dr Alan Winter has a breadth of experience at senior levels in the technology sector and in government, including such roles as the president and CEO of Genome BC from 2001 to 2016. He previously worked for Telesat Canada and the federal Communications Research Centre in Ottawa.


Speaking to Queen’s on his latest role he said: “It’s a significant honour to be appointed British Columbia’s first Innovation Commissioner and to represent the province’s thriving tech sector in Canada and internationally.


“My degree in electronics at Queen’s gave me the inspiration and foundation for my career!”


In addition to his Queen’s Belfast qualification he received his PhD from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s Peter B Gustavson school of business and a member of the University of British Columbia’s Research and Innovation Council.

In 2007, he received a Leadership Award from LifeSciences BC, and in 2017 he received its Don Rix Award for Lifetime Achievement. A fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr Winter is also a fellow of the Canadian Astronautics and Space Institute and received its inaugural Alouette team Award.

As the province’s foremost tech advocate, Alan Winter’s mandate includes relationship-building with senior government leaders in Ottawa and with BC’s tech and innovation network, including partners in industry, academia and the province’s regional tech accelerators.


The technology sector in British Columbia currently employs over 106,000 people, in around 10,000 businesses across the province.


General enquiries to Gerry Power – Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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