Proposals sought for Revelstoke innovation centre

Revelstoke could soon be home to a new innovation centre.

Revelstoke could soon be home to a new innovation centre. Innovation in what field? That depends on what comes back from a request for proposals that was issued in April.

“It’s a very open canvas,” said Kevin Dorrius, the manager of Community Futures Revelstoke, which is spearheading the project. “We’re looking for somebody to come in and give us ideas.”

The centre’s goal would be to “attract talented entrepreneurs, workers and companies to the region, thereby increasing the vitality and sustainability of existing businesses, while diversifying the local economy, and creating and attracting new creative enterprises to Revelstoke,” states the RFP.

Dorrius said how the centre is focused will depend on what proposal is chosen. It could be focused on any field, whether its technology, housing, food, sustainable development, or something else a consultant has in mind. As an example, he said Nelson is developing an innovation centre focused on technology.

“Essentially, what we want to do is build on things we have going for us like the tech strategy, the co-lab, some of the stuff that Community Futures is doing, economic development, and see how we can pull it all together to really drive entrepreneurialism and innovation in Revelstoke,” he said.

The centre should provide space for new and existing businesses to develop products, with access to coaching, equipment, space and expertise, says the RFP.

The deadline for proposals was on May 5.

“We’re looking for a real good open discussion about what we have to work with and how do we pull it all together and really drive forward,” said Dorrius. “There’s no specifics I can give you at this point until we get the report back from the successful consultant.”