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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:00 am

Briefs

Immigrant applicants eye Canada

News services

Many U.S. tech companies, including executives from Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple, have come out in opposition to the Trump administration's tightening of immigration policies, complaining that these actions will cost them valuable talent.

Tech companies in Canada, however, aren't complaining, according to a report in the Toronto Star,

Last year, technology companies in the Toronto area saw a spike in job applicants from abroad, thanks, in part, to stricter immigration rules in the United States and other countries.

In a study of 55 tech companies with more than $1 million in revenue, 53 percent said they saw an increase in international applicants in 2017 compared with 2016.

The study by the MaRS Discovery District, an innovation hub that provides venture services, funding and facilities to startups in and around Toronto, said 45 percent of those companies reported making international hires last year.

The Canadian government also recently launched a “global skills strategy” that includes expediting visas to attract more international talent, and over a third of companies cited in the study participated.

Toyota, Volkswagen make high-tech deal

Hino Motors, Toyota Motor Corp.'s group truck manufacturer, and Volkswagen Truck & Bus of Germany agreed to work together on technologies such as hybrids, electric cars, autonomous driving and connectivity.

Under the deal announced last week, the companies will maintain independence but executive teams will work together to map out cooperation on development of innovative technology.

The arrival of the digital age and robotics in the auto industry is pressuring automakers around the world to deliver vehicles that connect to the internet or avoid accidents automatically.

Partnerships can save costs and boost competitiveness. Automakers are also trying to respond to a push to reduce global warming and pollution by developing cleaner powertrains.

Ikea cuts planning time to keep pace

Ikea Group, the world's largest furniture retailer, is getting ready for a future where people have little to spare: both in their wallets and in terms of space.

The Swedish furniture giant is now abandoning its custom of planning five to 10 years ahead, setting a new three-year approach to keep pace with a rapidly transforming society.

The strategy will ensure that the company caters to an urbanized world where people “live in small spaces,” have “thin wallets” and “little time,” according to Chief Executive Officer Jesper Brodin.

Company research shows that by 2030 about 60 percent of the world's population will live in large cities, double from now, he said.