The innovator behind BlackBerry broke ground today for its technical support operations centre in Nova Scotia. Canadian technology company Research In Motion (RIM) is set to begin construction of its technical support operations centre in Hammonds Plains. The facility will house the up to 1,200 employees the company plans to hire over the next five years. Premier Rodney MacDonald released details about the project at the construction site today, Oct. 26, along with Peter Kelly, mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, Peter Broughall, vice-president of customer support operations for RIM, and Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). “Nova Scotia is a province that prides itself on its strengths in information technology and education,” said Premier MacDonald. “The construction of this new facility marks an important step in Nova Scotia’s partnership with RIM.” RIM announced its expansion to Nova Scotia last November. The company’s growth is supported by a $14-million performance-based payroll rebate through NSBI, and a $5-million financial package, including recruitment and training incentives, from the province’s Office of Economic Development. “It is essential that we invest in sectors that will solidify the province’s economy,” said Economic Development Minister Richard Hurlburt. “RIM’s new technical operations centre will help ensure a strong future in information technology for the province.” RIM began looking for land late last fall in the Halifax area to build its support centre. Construction on the 13,500 square metre (150,000 square foot) facility will begin at the site in Hammonds Plains. “Halifax Regional Municipality has earned an outstanding reputation as an excellent place to do business,” said Mr. Kelly. “RIM’s new centre will further elevate that reputation andenhance our standing as a world leader in information technology.” In April, RIM opened at an interim location near Bayers Lake Industrial Park and has hired more than 200 employees to date. “We chose Nova Scotia as a strategic area to grow our business because of its strong information technology background and the quality of the education system,” said Mr. Broughall. “We’re looking forward to establishing strong roots in this region and growing our team over the coming years.” The announcement of RIM’s expansion in Nova Scotia is a crucial step toward growing the province’s information technology sector. RIM’s permanent facility is expected to open in spring 2008. “RIM is a proven leader in information technology and has chosen to expand to Nova Scotia for a reason,” said Mr. Lund. “We have the competitive advantages that make us the ideal location for leading international companies such as RIM, and this permanent location demonstrates RIM’s commitment to the region.” RIM is the developer and manufacturer of the world-renowned BlackBerry wireless solution and is a leader in mobile communications. Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, RIM’s customer base has grown to more than six-million BlackBerry subscribers and is supported on carrier networks around the world. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the private sector-led business development agency for Nova Scotia. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps companies in Nova Scotia meet their growth potential through business advisory, export development and financial services.