Halifax: The Ideal Place to do International Business

Posted: February 22, 2021

For George Palikaras, President and CEO of Metamaterial Inc. (META), Halifax’s strategic location, university connections, and access to skilled talent are what make Halifax the right place to do business.

Originally started in England, META is a smart materials and photonics company changing the way that people use, interact, and benefit from light. Committed to innovation in energy and light technology, the company is constantly looking for new ways to go above and beyond scientific expectations.

George was first introduced to Halifax’s competitive advantages from Maurice Guitton, a former board chairman and current director of META. Originally from France, Maurice had plenty to share about the benefits of living in and operating a business in Nova Scotia.

“Before speaking with Maurice, I had no idea what Halifax’s economic ecosystem was like,” shares George. “I didn’t know anything about the great aerospace and defence work that IMP and Lockheed Martin were doing there at the time either. Maurice kept telling me that if I came to Halifax, I would find great business support for talent from the local universities and government.”

After coming to Halifax, George quickly learned Maurice was right. “Government has been our partner for quite some time, and that gives us a fighting chance in a global arena for driving supports for exports.”

Aside from the wide range of business supports available in Nova Scotia, Halifax’s strategic location and time zone made it the ideal place to do international business.

“Halifax’s time zone is right in the middle of London and California, naturally it made sense to set up our head office in Halifax,” said George. “We were lucky with our local ecosystem. The hospitality from the Maritimes is extremely well known, and it felt like we were getting the red-carpet treatment. The lifestyle became a very interesting value prop in recruiting top talent around the world.”

When it came time to grow his team, George was able to access graduates out through research experience programs like the one META participates in with Mitacs and Dalhousie University, while also recruiting from elsewhere around the globe.

Metamaterial Inc

“I had a Canadian top scientist that, at the time, was working in Germany. We were so excited to recruit him we offered him any of our three locations - Silicon Valley, Germany, or Halifax. He chose here because he wanted to have a quality of life for his family and his kids. It was amazing to see that happen, and I felt even more strongly that Halifax has interesting benefits.”

While COVID-19 has changed the way many businesses recruit talent, George feels the decision to choose Halifax has never been easier.

“It’s an even stronger case now. I see people trying to leave the big cities and move back to Nova Scotia and there is a safety here, and a level of awareness that they are rethinking their choices. It feels very good to be in a place with local support.”

Learn why businesses are choosing Halifax to grow

Discover why businesses like META materials are moving to Halifax to gain a competitive advantage. Halifax has everything businesses need to grow globally.



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