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What do an R2-D2 droid, biomechanical sports bras and holographic truck body design all have in common?

They are among the many products Finger Food Advanced Technology Group — the newest addition to Calgary’s growing innovation and technology ecosystem —already has in its toolbox.

The company has announced it will launch its first-ever, state-of-the-art advanced technology centre in Calgary, providing 200 full-time jobs for highly-skilled design, software development and management professionals.

Existing clients include Microsoft, Lego, Lululemon, SoftBank Robotics and Paccar.

“People ask me ‘Why Calgary?’,” says Finger Food CEO Ryan Peterson. “The business community wants us to be here, and so do local and provincial governments. Calgary is the most liveable city, has a great education system and a highly-skilled workforce. Plus, it’s an affordable place to live. I look around this city and I see space and opportunity. Today, this is probably the greatest investment opportunity — you can actually grow and expand with people. Our plan is 200 jobs but my goal, and what I tell my team, is 500 jobs.”

The facility will foster global innovation; a state-of-the-art space dedicated to disrupting traditional thinking, fostering user-centric and innovative ideas, and learning opportunities.

That includes expanding long-standing Microsoft collaboration with offerings like Microsoft Azure, HoloLens 2, Industrial IOT Artificial Intelligence technology and accredited certification programs.

“We look forward to continued growth of Calgary’s local business and tech ecosystems ultimately reinforcing the city as a leader in innovation,” says Microsoft Canada president Kevin Peesker. “The centre demonstrates commitment to equipping customers and partners with tools and technical skills to capitalize on the current digital market.”

Finger Food’s funding is the sixth agreement announced by the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF). With $22 million allocated to date, generating capital investment of nearly $150 million, and creating almost 1,000 jobs, it is an essential tool in Calgary’s economic strategy and a catalyst for ecosystem growth.

“OCIF is an incredible tool to help us do our work to achieve that vision of Calgary in the new economy,” says Mary Moran, president and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “We believe the team at Finger Food will make a significant contribution in helping us transform our key industries.”

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