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ICTC and CIVDDD work towards creating advanced technology youth opportunities


Ottawa, Ontario/ Toronto, Ontario - The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and the Center for Innovation Information Visualization and Data Driven Design (CIVDDD) have signed a memorandum of understanding on August 1st, 2013 to support the growth and development of advanced technology and youth opportunities in Canada by collaborating on issues and projects of mutual concern.

The first joint event is scheduled for Friday, November 1, 2013 at York University in Toronto. This Reach-Ahead Opportunity is designed specifically for students who are least likely to have had early exposure to hands-on learning of advanced ICT skills. These grade 10 and 11 students will participate in interactive workshops that showcase data analytics and visualization tools as well as digital design and 3D animation.

Led by expert researchers from Lassonde School of Enginnering at York University and OCAD University, these workshops not only offer ICT career awareness but aim to build skills most critical to in-demand jobs of tomorrow.

“With the current rate of youth joblessness in Canada, industry, government and academic institutions must join forces to tackle the talent gap by igniting the interest and skills development of youth while they are still in high school,” says Namir Anani, ICTC’s President and CEO. Our partnership with CIVDDD is part of our ongoing commitment to helping Canadian youth acquire the right skills needed to effectively contribute to our knowledge-based and increasingly digital economy.”

“Data is exploding with the amount of digital information doubling every two years. In this big data paradigm, determining what’s relevant is a key task. Equally important is discovering how best to present such data in a form that is quickly and effectively understood,” says Amir Asif, Chair, EECS at York’s Lassonde School of Engineering and Principal Investigator, CIVDDD. “To maintain our position in the digital market, Canada needs highly qualified professionals in data analytics, information visualization, and data drive design. In collaboration with ICTC, CIVDDD will be organizing several events directed at high-school students to make them aware of the big data challenges and consider big data as their career.”

This memorandum of understanding represents another step forward in ICTC’s youth and education initiative: a commitment to Canadian students, educators, and employers to increase opportunities and competitiveness in Canada’s digital economy. It represents our shared goal of providing the necessary building blocks for an innovative learning experience and encouraging students to acquire 21st century business, technology and communications skills while completing their secondary school diploma.


The Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data Driven Design (CIVDDD) is a Big Data research project collaboration funded by the Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence (ORF-RE), between York University, OCAD University, the University of Toronto and private sector partners to develop the next generation of data discovery, design, analytics and visualization techniques for new computational tools, representational strategies and interfaces.

About ICTC

ICTC is a centre of expertise in digital economy research, labour market intelligence, policy development, program management and delivery. Through our strong network of industry, academia and government, we enable the progress of Canada’s future economies by empowering industries to maintain a competitive advantage in a global market through a highly-skilled and innovative workforce.

The Focus on Information Technology project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program.

ICTC will continue to present and explore new and exciting opportunities for the expansion of the Youth & Education initiative throughout the year. For more information about ICTC’s efforts to address technology skill shortages and youth unemployment, call Jeff Leiper, Vice President, Research, Policy & Communications, 613.868.2375