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Rogers unveils new Advisory Council for proposed THINKLab, the National Centre of Technology and Engineering Excellence to be created in Calgary

2022-04-28 13:16 ET - News Release

Western Canadian Advisory Council to guide new centre that will help train new graduates and build a pipeline for high-skilled technical talent to stay and work in Canada

Following close of proposed Shaw merger, THINKLab to bring 500 technology roles to Calgary's rapidly growing tech sector, focusing on engineering, networks, digital and IT

Part of multi-year, $6.5-billion commitment to invest in Western Canada as part of Rogers and Shaw coming together, including $1 billion for Rural, Remote and Indigenous connectivity

CALGARY, Alberta, April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rogers Communications today introduced the first members of its blue-ribbon Advisory Council to oversee a National Centre of Technology and Engineering Excellence to be established in the heart of Calgary following the close of its proposed merger with Shaw Communications. The Rogers THINKLab will bring together leaders from academic institutions, developers, and research partners that will foster made-in-Canada technology solutions to benefit consumers and businesses, while fuelling Canadian competitiveness.

The new Rogers THINKLab Advisory Council will guide and support strategic decisions to achieve THINKLab's mandate with a focus on training talent, recruitment, and development. Inaugural council members include representatives from leading academic and economic organizations in B.C. and Alberta:

  • Deborah Yedlin, CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Bill Rosehart, Dean, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary
  • Laura Jo Gunter, CEO, NAIT
  • Kory Wilson, Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, BCIT
  • Bala Kathiresan, President & CEO, BCNET
  • Rhys Andrews, Vice President, Education, Selkirk College
  • Robert Rohling, Professor and Director ICICS, UBC

Through the creation of THINKLab following the close of the proposed Shaw merger, 500 skilled technology roles will join Rogers Technology employees nationwide and contribute to the company's mandate to create business opportunities through technology and to grow Canada's talent pipeline. The skilled technology roles will focus on engineering and technical delivery across networks, digital and IT for the combined company, with an emphasis on 5G, DOCSIS & Fibre technology, Digital & Cloud, Data analytics, Multi-edge Compute, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Cyber Security.

THINKLab builds on Rogers more than $25 million of national investment in 5G research and development. This includes strategic partnerships at leading Canadian institutions including UBC, University of Calgary, Communitech, Sheridan College, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), and the University of Waterloo. Shaw's current relationships with NAIT, SAIT and Mount Royal University would be incorporated into the THINKLab post-close and the centre would develop new relationships with post-secondary institutions like Selkirk College.

The proposed combination of Rogers and Shaw will allow the combined company to accelerate the multi-generational investments needed to close the digital divide faster than either company could alone, including investing $2.5 billion to expand 5G networks and creating a new $1 billion Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund to bring reliable and high-speed connectivity to more communities across Western Canada.

Quotes

"We are excited to introduce the first esteemed members of our new advisory board, each an expert and leader in their own field, who will help guide this critical technology and engineering hub. THINKLab will leverage the incredible talent pool in Western Canada, while also bringing together the brightest academic talent across Canada to research, develop and deliver leading technology infrastructure and services to Canadians."

- Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications, and head of proposed Rogers THINKLab

"Rogers' THINKLab is a vote of confidence in Alberta and showcases our strengths as an innovative province. These 500 new engineering and IT jobs will build on our momentum as a global destination for investment and jobs in our flourishing technology sector."

- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

"The expansion of THINKLab to Calgary is yet another signal of confidence in our city's thriving tech sector. As the sector continues to gain momentum, it's critical that we build a talent pipeline of skilled workers to fuel the growth. This innovative collaboration will help boost Calgary's competitiveness by producing and attracting even more qualified professionals to satisfy the demand of industry."

- Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek

"Calgary's growing technology sector continues to be in a global competition for talent. A critical way to ensuring we will have the skills and talent to fill the gaps and accelerate our economic potential is to locally develop, upskill and re-skill talent. Rogers THINKLab is an important investment in addressing these pressing challenges and will accelerate our ability to seize the economic opportunity that results in strong, sustained and diversified economic growth that benefits Calgary and Alberta."

- Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce

"As the tech sector grows in Edmonton, Calgary and across Western Canada, we need skilled talent to drive business and our economy. THINKLab's creation of 500 technology jobs is in perfect alignment with NAIT's mission to graduate highly skilled talent through a polytechnic education. Given our shared focus, I'm honoured to join my fellow leaders on the inaugural Rogers THINKLab Advisory Committee."

- Laura Jo Gunter, NAIT President & CEO

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements about the potential timing and anticipated receipt of required regulatory approvals and the anticipated timing for closing of the Transaction.

We caution that all forward-looking information is inherently subject to change and uncertainty and that actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information.

A number of risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking information or could cause our current objectives, strategies and intentions to change and readers should refer to Rogers' and Shaw's publicly filed reports for a description of such assumptions and risks. Accordingly, we warn investors to exercise caution when considering statements containing forward-looking information and that it would be unreasonable to rely on such statements as creating legal rights regarding our future results or plans. We cannot guarantee that any forward-looking information will materialize and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release represent expectations as of the date of this news release and are subject to change after such date.

Forward-looking information is provided herein for the purpose of giving information about the proposed Transaction referred to above and its expected impact. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The completion of the above-mentioned proposed Transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, regulatory approvals. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed Transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions contemplated in this news release. The proposed Transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated.

All forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of the applicable Canadian and United States securities laws. Rogers and Shaw are under no obligation (and Rogers and Shaw expressly disclaim any such obligation) to update or alter any statements containing forward-looking information, the factors or assumptions underlying them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. All of the forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by the cautionary statements herein.

About Rogers
Rogers is a leading Canadian technology and media company that provides world-class communications services and entertainment to consumers and businesses on our award-winning networks. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. Today, we are dedicated to providing industry-leading wireless, cable, sports, and media to millions of customers across Canada. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For more information, please visit: www.rogers.com or http://investors.rogers.com.

For more information
media@rci.rogers.com
1-844-226-1338

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/248f0baf-7951-402d-ad0f-4b434d9df232


Rogers announces new Advisory Council for proposed THINKLab, the National Centre of Technology and Engineering Excellence

From left, Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Dean Prevost, President of Integration, Rogers, Jyoti Gondek, Calgary Mayor, Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers, Damian Poltz, Senior Vice President, Wireline Technology & Strategy, Shaw, Candice McLeod, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business Solutions, Shaw and Zoran Stakic, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Technology Officer, Shaw at the THINKLab Advisory Council unveiling in Calgary, Alberta, April 2022.

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