In 2015 the Premier’s Technology Council (PTC) conducted a tech exports study. The goal was to address a theory that the official count of the value of BC’s tech exports was under represented. As a result, the survey was designed to get a better idea of what percentage of BC tech companies exported, what their attitudes towards exports were, and what is the role of government in helping increase exports.
Email invitations were sent to executives at several hundred companies, resulting in a sample that included companies from every region of the province and every subsector of the tech industry except film and TV production. The survey was complemented by secondary research using publicly available information to confirm revenue and headcount data.
As a result of this survey, it was discovered that many tech companies were not fully aware that their services and software subscriptions were actually exports (as opposed to a more tangible product being shipped out of country) and that the official export amounts were likely significantly undercounted. Consequently the PTC was able to open a broader dialogue with senior government officials and BC Stats. This led to greater emphasis on trying to improve the future calculations of official exports numbers and further interest in this area, as the modelling suggests that tech has a larger economic impact through its exports than is currently recognized.