The Quartier de l’innovation (QI) de Montréal, launched on May 13, 2013, is an urban ecosystem fostering scientific, technological, industrial, urban, social and cultural innovation. It is designed to encourage the development and attraction of innovative companies, researchers, students and entrepreneurs. This initiative was inspired by the experiences of numerous large cities, such as Barcelona’s 22@Barcelona project.
“The QI already boasts Canada’s largest concentration of IT employees (20,000) and businesses (350),” said Yves Beauchamp, Director General of the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS).
The QI is a joint project of ÉTS and McGill University, which signed a 25-year agreement. This mammoth project, located in Montréal’s Griffintown district west of Old Montréal, comprises the Cité Multimédia, the Cité du commerce électronique and the Nordelec repurposed industrial building. A total of $6 billion will be invested over the next decade, with $2.5 billion already committed.
This news reinforces Greater Montréal’s status as a centre of creativity, high technology and innovation. Here are a few facts and figures that illustrate the region’s strong performance in these areas:
- Ranked 10th for best student city in the world, 2nd in North America and 1st in Canada (2012)
- The largest pool of recent graduates in Canada: more than 420,000 from 1999 to 2009
- Ranked 1st among Canadian cities for university research funding in 2010
- The highest concentration of high-tech jobs in Canada in 2011 (7th in North America)
- Ranked 1st among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in North America in regards to the competitiveness of total operating costs: a cost advantage that is even stronger in hi-tech sectors (2013)
- Lowest tax burden in North America for R&D companies (2012)
- Tailored incentives for innovative companies: tax credits for scientific research and development (refundable in Québec), refundable tax credit for the development of e-business, refundable tax credit for the production of multimedia titles, etc.
- Dynamic industrial clusters: Aéro Montréal, CargoM, Écotech Québec, Finance Montréal, Montréal InVivo, Québec Film and Television Council and TechnoMontréal
Information on QI de Montréal from an article published by Dominique Froment on lesaffaires.com on May 13, 2013, and a press release from the government of Québec.
Statistical data on Greater Montréal is from the following sources: QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2012; Statistics Canada, 2013; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013; KPMG, 2012-2013.
Mathieu Lefort, Senior Analyst, Direction of Economic Studies, Montréal International