Information and Communication Technologies

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At a glance

  • 91,000 qualified workers in 5,000 facilities in 2014
  • A GDP of $10.2 billion in 2014
  • Ranked 8th in North America for ICT jobs concentration in 2015
  • Nearly 16,500 postsecondary students in ICT in Quebec in 2014
  • A leader among North America’s 20 biggest metropolitan areas : Ranked 1st for lowest ICT business operating costs in software development
  • Ranked first among major North American metropolitan regions in terms of operating costs and tax burden for R&D businesses; ranked third for job growth in the sector between 2008 and 2013

Sources: TechnoMontréal, 2016; Statistics Canada, 2016 et Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2016; Techno compétences, Diagnostic sectoriel; KPMG, avril 2016.

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Greater Montréal

1. Strategic Location and Direct Access to NAFTA Markets

Greater Montréal is located in the heart of a vast free trade zone governed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with a market of approximately 500 million consumers.

Montréal is just a 90-minute flight from other major business centres like Boston and New York City, and less than an hour’s drive from the U.S. border.

Air Transportation

The region is served by two international airports: Montréal-Trudeau (passengers) and Montréal-Mirabel (freight), and by a regional airport. Some 50 airlines offer direct flights to 130 destinations in Canada, the United States and around the world.

Shipping

The Port of Montréal, with service to and from more than 100 countries, offers the most direct link between Europe and North America’s industrial heartland.

carte_Montreal_airport

See a map of Montréal in North America

2. High Concentration of Industry Leaders

Recognized as a high added-value strategic platform by ICT multinationals, Greater Montréal is also an effective springboard for creative businesses and SME start-ups.

Big or small, Canadian or foreign, there are many players, such as CGI, Moment Factory or Ubisoft, that regularly stand out internationally for their inventiveness and performance.

Did you know?

Greater Montréal is a world-famous video game development and production hub. The popular Assassin’s Creed and Deus Ex franchises were produced in the region.

Computer Services

  • CGI
  • IBM
  • ACCEO Solutions
  • UPS Solutions
  • CSC
  • Groupe conseil OSI
  • Accenture, Epicor Software
  • Fujitsu

 

Multimedia

  • Ubisoft
  • Electronic Arts
  • Gameloft
  • Eidos (Square Enix)
  • Moment Factory
  • VMC
  • Ludia
  • Warner Bros
  • Google

 

Software

  • Autodesk
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nuance Communications
  • SAP
  • Mediagrif Interactive Technologies
  • Dassault Systèmes

 

Telecommunications Services

  • Bell
  • TELUS
  • Vidéotron
  • Cogeco
  • Ericsson
  • ADP

 

Manufacturing

  • CAE
  • Esterline CMC Electronics
  • Macdonald Dettwiller and Associates (MDA)
  • Alstom
  • Covidien

Did you know?

85% of the world’s commercial flight simulators are designed in the Montréal area by CAE.

3. Myriad Business Opportunities and Strong Investor Confidence

Greater Montréal has welcomed more than 30 new ICT investment, expansion or implementation projects in the past three years alone.

Did you know?

There are 400 subsidiaries of foreign ICT companies in Greater Montréal.

  • Alten (France): 200 jobs
  • Adetel (France): 100 jobs
  • Alphanumeric Systems (U.S.): 150 jobs
  • AppDirect (U.S.): 20-30 jobs
  • Eidos (Square Enix – Japan): 250 jobs
  • Framestore (U.K.): 200 jobs
  • Keywords International (Ireland): 59 jobs
  • LINKBYNET (France): $8 million, 65 jobs
  • Ludia (FreemantleMedia – U.K.)
  • OVH.com (France): $127 million, 117 jobs

Source: Montréal International

What Ericsson Has to Say

“I find the Montréal region—conveniently located in northeastern North America—is particularly well suited to our needs. There is an entrepreneurial mindset here, a positive attitude, as well as a diverse population, which stimulates creativity and innovation—two essential components of our organizational culture.”

Paddy O’Leary, head of Ericsson’s Montréal site

Myriad Business Opportunities

Greater Montréal businesses regularly stand out on the international ICT scene. Notable achievements include launching Assassin’s Creed IV (Ubisoft), creating an immersive environment for Madonna or Bon Jovi (Moment Factory), developing a unique legislation management system or a new flight simulator, and more.

These innovations are important not only because of their success, but because they showcase the potential of some promising niches for any new players who want to set up in the region:

  • Digital arts and immersion
  • Data centres
  • Microelectronics
  • Optics/photonics
  • Aerospace-applied ICT
  • Finance-applied ICT
  • Health-applied ICT

What Ludia Has to Say

“Many of the top video games in the last few years were developed in Montréal, which enhances the region’s attractiveness among young technophiles. What’s more, this is a dynamic city and the cost of living is relatively low: this is a dream location for people who are just getting started.”

Alexandre Thabet,  president and co-founder of Ludia

4. Quality Talent and Training

With more than 93,000 highly qualified workers, the ICT job market is exceptionally dynamic: +7.5% between 2008 and 2013, despite the global economic slowdown.

Businesses in the industry can draw their workforce from the local labour pool. Here, they will find:

  •  A wide range of skills
Occupations by Number of Jobs,
Greater Montréal, 2012
Computer analysts and consultants  30,200
Interactive media programmers and developers  21,800
   Computer network technicians  10,300
   Installers and repairers of telecommunications equipment  7,000
   Designers and web developers  5,400
   Engineers and software designers  5,200
   Electrical and electronics engineers  4,900
   Technologists and technicians in electrical and electronics engineering  4,700
   Database analysts and data administrators  4,500
   Computer engineers  3,800

Source: Statistics Canada, 2013

  • Talented new workers: Each year, 4,000 students specializing in ICT graduate from programs adapted to the industry’s real needs, including cutting-edge telecom services, 3D animation and digital imaging, computer-assisted artistic creation, design and production. Ten institutions offer ICT-specialized programs.
  • Creative capital: Greater Montréal stands out for its creative talent, especially in the field of digital creation, with more than 50 games inspired by Hollywood productions.
  • A multilingual population: 54% of the population is bilingual and almost 20% is multilingual (three languages or more)—a key asset for businesses targeting international markets.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2014

5. Innovation and R&D Hub, Supported by a Culture of Collaboration

Be it for video games, software development or health- and finance-applied ICT, Greater Montréal is always a step ahead. This enviable position is the result of a culture of innovation that unites all sector stakeholders, businesses, laboratories, schools and universities.

In addition to sector giants, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Bell, CGI, IBM, Rogers, which invest millions of dollars in research locally, the scientific community revolves around world-renowned university facilities and specialized associations that focus on partnerships to advance knowledge.

Did you know?

Greater Montréal has the most research centres in Canada.

University and college research: More than 40 groups, laboratories, centres and chairs affiliated with

  • McGill University
  • Concordia University
  • Université de Montréal
  • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • HEC Montréal
  • École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
  • École Polytechnique
  • Collège Lionel-Groulx
  • CÉGEP André-Laurendeau
  • John Abbott College

Research organizations dedicated or directly related to ICT:

  • Alliance numérique
  • Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
  • Association de sécurité de l’information du Montréal Métropolitain (ASIMM)
  • Québec Association of ICT Freelancers (AQIII)
  • Québec Technology Association (AQT)
  • Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA)
  • Québec Film and Television Council (QFTC)
  • Consortium en innovation numérique du Québec (CINQ)
  • Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM)
  • PROMPT
  • Société des arts technologiques (SAT)
  • Réseau Action TI
  • TECHNOcompétences
  • Electronic Industry Group (RIE)
  • Québec Photonic Network
  • Canada’s Medical Technology Companies (MEDEC)

General research organizations largely solicited by ICT businesses:

  • Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM)
  • Centre facilitating research and innovation in organizations with information and communication technology (CEFRIO)
  • International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA)
  • Association pour le développement et la recherche de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ)

Did you know?

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Montréal has been Canada’s leader in university research investments since 1999.

6. Lowest Operating Costs in North America

Running an ICT business costs less in Greater Montréal than in other major North American cities. This holds true not only for salaries and benefits, but also for general expenses such as rent, electricity and professional services.

 Competitive Salaries Combined with Low Benefit Costs (in $US)

Montréal Toronto Chicago San Diego Seattle Boston San Francisco
Software design manager 100,622 105,649 129,472 134,796 138,978 143,425 152,625
Computer applications manager 93,815 98,853 118,248 122,660 126,635 131,065 139,220
Software developers 73,803 77,861 94,279 95,176 98,494 102,461 108,222
Computer programmers 63,653 67,378 79,413 79,548 82,980 86,060 90,922
Computer database analyst 67,194 71,059 83,928 84,263 87,663 91,021 96,145

Average annual base salaries ($US) for various ICT professions.
Currency exchange = CAN$ 1 = US$ 0.8843
Selection of seven large North American cities specializing in ICT, October 2014

Operating costs more than 14% lower than for other cities specializing in ICT

Total Operating Costs of an ICT Company
Average of Four Sub-Sectors (Montréal = 100)
Ten largest metropolitan areas in North America, 2014

Source: Competitive Alternatives KPMG, October 2014.

7. Made-to-Measure Financial Incentives

Between tax credits, government financial aid programs and available venture capital, ICT companies that choose to set up in Greater Montréal have access to several sources of very competitive financing.

R&D assistance, through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, which offers 15% tax credits allocated by the Government of Canada and 14% by the Government of Québec (refundable in Québec).

Scenario 1 ($):  Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program, 2014

Assumptions1:

  • Private, foreign-controlled company
  • 20 eligible employees at $50,000/year
  • 100% of their work is related to eligible activities
  • Subcontractors: $200,000
FEDERAL QUÉBEC TOTAL
SALARIES 1,000,000 1,000,000
REPLACEMENT AMOUNT (55%) 550,000
SUBCONTRACTORS2 160,000 100,000
QUÉBEC SR&ED CREDIT3 -154,000
1,556,000 1,100,000
FEDERAL CREDIT (15%) AND QUÉBEC CREDIT (14%) 233,400 154,000 387,400

Notes: 1. This model takes into consideration recent changes made to certain tax credits (2012 and 2014) and is thus valid as of fiscal 2014. 2. Only 80% of the amount paid to a subcontractor is eligible for a federal tax credit and 50% for a Québec tax credit. 3. For the purposes of calculating the combined rate of the credit, the tax credit from the government of Québec is applied against the federal tax credit.

Source: “Deloitte, Tax Incentive Programs in Québec – IT, June 2014,” Compilation: Montréal International, 2014

Assistance for business development, thanks to the Refundable Tax Credit for the Development of E-Business (CDAE), which can be combined with the SR&ED and covers 24% of eligible salaries up to $20,000 per year per job.

Scenario 2 ($): Combination of the provincial Refundable Tax credit for the Development of E-Business (CDAE) and the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program, 2014

Assumptions1:

  • Foreign-controlled private company
  • 20 eligible employees at $50,000/year
  • 100% of their work is related to activities eligible for the CDAE and the SR&ED tax credits
FEDERAL QUÉBEC TOTAL
SALARIES 1,000,000 1,000,000
REPLACEMENT AMOUNT (55%)2
550,000
QUEBEC CDAE CREDIT3 0
1,550,000 1,000,000
FEDERAL CREDIT (15%) AND QUÉBEC CREDIT (24%) 232,500 240,000 472,500

Notes: 1. This model takes into consideration recent changes made to certain tax credits (2012 and 2014) and is thus valid as of fiscal 2014. 2. Limited by other company expenditures. 3. The CDAE does not reduce the amount eligible for the federal SR&ED tax credit.

Source: Deloitte, “Québec eBusiness Development Tax Credit, June 2014,” Compilation: Montréal International, 2014

Assistance for multimedia production, thanks to the refundable tax credit for multimedia productions, which can be combined with the SR&ED and covers up to 30% of labour costs.

SCENARIO 3 ($): Combination of provincial refundable tax credit for multimedia productions (CTMM) and the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, 2014

Assumptions1:

  • Foreign-controlled private company
  • 20 eligible employees at $50,000$/year
  • 100% of their work is related to activities eligible for the tax credit for multimedia productions and the SR&ED tax credit
FEDERAL QUÉBEC TOTAL
SALARIES 1,000,000 1,000,000
REPLACEMENT AMOUNT (55%)2 550,000
QUÉBEC CTMM CREDIT3 0
1,550,000 1,000,000
FEDERAL CREDIT (15%) AND QUÉBEC CREDIT (30%) 232,500 300,000 532,500

Notes: 1. This model takes into consideration recent changes made to certain tax credits (2012 and 2014) and is thus valid as of fiscal 2014. 2. Limited by other company expenditures. 3. The CTMM does not reduce the amount eligible for the federal SR&ED tax credit.

Source: “Deloitte, Tax Incentive Programs in Québec – IT, June 2014,” Compilation: Montréal International, 2014

Assistance for foreign researchers and experts, with a tax exemption on taxable income in Québec for up to five years (exemption of 100% the first two years, 75% the third year, 50% the fourth year and 25% the fifth year).

Assistance for job creation and training, up to 25% of eligible costs to implement a training plan and 50% of costs to implement HR management services.

Assistance for major projects through the ESSOR fund: Contributions (refundable or not) and loan guarantees.

Venture capital available: From 2000 to 2010, Greater Montréal venture capital firms invested $2.4 billion in close to 1,800 ICT-related projects. And it continues: today, businesses in the sector have relatively easy access to venture capital for development projects of all stages and sizes.

Investments in Venture Capital in the ICT Sector
for Six Sub- Sectors, Greater Montréal, 2000-2010

Source: Thomson Reuters Canada, 2011

8. Generous Tax Framework for Businesses

All businesses in Greater Montréal enjoy one of the lowest corporate tax rates on the continent (26.90%). Furthermore, some of them can also benefit from an array of generous tax credits.

The tax burden here is lower by almost 80% (R&D companies) compared to other North American cities specializing in ICT.

Total Tax Burden Index, Average for R&D Sectors
(Average for U.S. cities = 100)
Selected North American Cities Specializing in ICT, 2014

Source: KPMG, 2014

 

9. Industrial Clusters That Mobilize Their Stakeholders Around Common Interests

Setting up in an environment brimming with ideas and talent is good—joining a community structured into a true industrial cluster is even better. A hub for the major ICT players, TechnoMontréal provides a forum where you can have your say and take part in discussing and acting on the major issues facing your industry.

TechnoMontréal is a not-for-profit organization established in 2007 to unite the players in the sector—public, private and institutional—around an ambitious vision of the future.

  • An essential mission: Unite and support all industry stakeholders around common goals and concerted action.
  • Clear objectives: Accelerate and maximize competitiveness, growth and industry expansion.
  • Strategic themes: Innovation, succession, performance and competitiveness, expansion and international scope.

What CGI Has to Say

“The Montréal region offers some definite advantages—beginning with highly competitive salaries and leasing costs as well as a top-notch technological infrastructure. We are also lucky enough to have a deep pool of skills, not just in ICT, but also in business management, administration, etc.”

Claude Marcoux, senior vice-president and general manager of CGI

10. Personalized, Confidential and No-Cost Support from Montréal International

For many IOs before you, setting up or expanding their operations in Greater Montréal proved to be a strategic decision. And a smart choice too—thanks in part to Montréal International, who guided and supported them BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the process.

  • MI: Helping you decide

Detailed information on the region’s industry clusters

Comparative data on the socioeconomic environment: taxation, operating costs, market access, labour, R&D

Help with finding business opportunities and key partners

Strategic, personalized and confidential advice for businesses setting up their operations in the area

  • MI: Helping you set up and integrate

Advice on available sources of financing: venture capital, subsidized loans

Expertise to help you take full advantage of tax and financial incentives

Preferential access to the Greater Montréal business community: private and public organizations; municipal, provincial and federal bodies; universities, training and research centres; financial networks

  • MI: Helping you succeed

Support to businesses looking to expand

Personalized and confidential international mobility services to help recruit strategic international workers

Access to our international networks: governments, universities, industry clusters


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