Rogers unveils Advisory Council for proposed THINKLab


Rogers Communications has introduced the first members of its blue-ribbon Advisory Council to oversee a National Centre of Technology and Engineering Excellence to be established in the heart of Calgary following the close of its proposed merger with Shaw Communications.

The Rogers THINKLab will bring together leaders from academic institutions, developers, and research partners that will foster made-in-Canada technology solutions to benefit consumers and businesses, while fuelling Canadian competitiveness.

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The new Rogers THINKLab Advisory Council will guide and support strategic decisions to achieve THINKLab’s mandate with a focus on training talent, recruitment, and development. Inaugural council members include representatives from leading academic and economic organizations in B.C. and Alberta:

Deborah Yedlin, CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Bill Rosehart, Dean, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary
Laura Jo Gunter, CEO, NAIT
Kory Wilson, Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, BCIT
Bala Kathiresan, President & CEO, BCNET
Rhys Andrews, Vice President, Education, Selkirk College
Robert Rohling, Professor and Director ICICS, UBC

Through the creation of THINKLab following the close of the proposed Shaw merger, 500 skilled technology roles will join Rogers Technology employees nationwide and contribute to the company’s mandate to create business opportunities through technology and to grow Canada’s talent pipeline. The skilled technology roles will focus on engineering and technical delivery across networks, digital and IT for the combined company, with an emphasis on 5G, DOCSIS & Fibre technology, Digital & Cloud, Data analytics, Multi-edge Compute, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Cyber Security.

THINKLab builds on Rogers more than $25 million of national investment in 5G research and development. This includes strategic partnerships at leading Canadian institutions including UBC, University of Calgary, Communitech, Sheridan College, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), and the University of Waterloo. Shaw’s current relationships with NAIT, SAIT and Mount Royal University would be incorporated into the THINKLab post-close and the centre would develop new relationships with post-secondary institutions like Selkirk College.

The proposed combination of Rogers and Shaw will allow the combined company to accelerate the multi-generational investments needed to close the digital divide faster than either company could alone, including investing $2.5 billion to expand 5G networks and creating a new $1 billion Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund to bring reliable and high-speed connectivity to more communities across Western Canada.

“We are excited to introduce the first esteemed members of our new advisory board, each an expert and leader in their own field, who will help guide this critical technology and engineering hub. THINKLab will leverage the incredible talent pool in Western Canada, while also bringing together the brightest academic talent across Canada to research, develop and deliver leading technology infrastructure and services to Canadians,” said, Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications, and head of proposed Rogers THINKLab.

“Rogers’ THINKLab is a vote of confidence in Alberta and showcases our strengths as an innovative province. These 500 new engineering and IT jobs will build on our momentum as a global destination for investment and jobs in our flourishing technology sector,” commented, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

“The expansion of THINKLab to Calgary is yet another signal of confidence in our city’s thriving tech sector. As the sector continues to gain momentum, it’s critical that we build a talent pipeline of skilled workers to fuel the growth. This innovative collaboration will help boost Calgary’s competitiveness by producing and attracting even more qualified professionals to satisfy the demand of industry,” explained, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

“Calgary’s growing technology sector continues to be in a global competition for talent. A critical way to ensuring we will have the skills and talent to fill the gaps and accelerate our economic potential is to locally develop, upskill and re-skill talent. Rogers THINKLab is an important investment in addressing these pressing challenges and will accelerate our ability to seize the economic opportunity that results in strong, sustained and diversified economic growth that benefits Calgary and Alberta,” said, Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

“As the tech sector grows in Edmonton, Calgary and across Western Canada, we need skilled talent to drive business and our economy. THINKLab’s creation of 500 technology jobs is in perfect alignment with NAIT’s mission to graduate highly skilled talent through a polytechnic education. Given our shared focus, I’m honoured to join my fellow leaders on the inaugural Rogers THINKLab Advisory Committee,” commented, Laura Jo Gunter, NAIT President & CEO.