Samsung Electronics has recently announced the opening of a new R&D facility in Vancouver. According to Tom Nyberg, senior director and general manager at Samsung R&D Institute Canada, things are going well for the fledgling team.
Currently 60 people are working at the facility, a relatively small number considering Samsung currently has 33 R&D centres around the world employing 67,000 people.
Last year Samsung spent US$10.8 billion on R&D. The Vancouver facility represents a drop in the bucket globally.
But don’t be discouraged. They are still hiring. “We have a number of positions we are advertising and actively recruiting for. We are looking for the best talent for the needs we have,” said Nyberg.
Could that be a problem? According to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), the unemployment rate for ICT workers is 2.6 percent, much lower than the national average hovering around 7 percent, and employers are still having difficulty meeting demand.
That said, Nyberg was quick to mention British Columbia’s talent in the area of software security, and especially the availability of experienced talent, part of the attraction for Samsung.
“It’s a very good place to do business, and do high-tech business. For a company like Samsung, to recruit talent, it seems to be a good match.”
He also said he feels that the proximity to the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology were “definitely part of the equation.”
According to Industry Canada, ICT represents 5 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product, accounting for 11.5 percent of all real GDP growth in Canada since 2002.
The council singled out mobile technology as the biggest growth area: The total number of new jobs expected to be created by 2017 in mobile technologies and related services is approximately 40,000.
Nyberg’s team will be working on B2B mobile applications and customer support for business clients. One of their core areas of research will be security software for enterprise mobility.
“It’s a big area of exciting growth in the whole mobile industry,” Nyberg said.
Vancouver staff will also work on software development and technical support for Samsung’s international business clients.