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BlackBerry Vancouver Developer Studio To Open At Wavefront

01/30/2013 04:42 EST | Updated 01/30/2013 05:00 EST
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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins displays one of the new Blackberry smartphones at the BlackBerry 10 launch event by Research in Motion at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City. The new smartphone and mobile operating system is being launched simultaneously in six cities. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

BlackBerry is opening a development studio in Vancouver, just as it re-brands and launches a smartphone that could revolutionize the mobile market.

The Kitchener, Ont.-based company is opening a centre at Wavefront, a non-profit facility that hosts a community of mobile startups.

BlackBerry, which until Wednesday was known as Research in Motion, chose Vancouver "because it makes sense to," says Wavefront CEO James Maynard.

"We have a library of over 1,000 handsets and a usability testing facility. It really takes resources out of what BlackBerry's offering in the tech sector and weaves it in with Wavefront's abilities," he tells The Huffington Post B.C.

Maynard says Vancouver has been a "strong mobile environment" since the '80s, when companies started developing mobile data like taxi monitoring and data tracking for FedEx.

Vancouver came in ninth in a Genome report ranking the world's best startup environments.

"We've always had a strong wireless and telecom engineering community," Maynard says. "It's just been simmering along with small startups."

The BlackBerry Tech Centre, set to launch on Thursday, is just one of three in North America, said The Vancouver Sun.

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