Montréal and Lyon are joining forces to give a boost to Life sciences and Health technologies companies

November 22, 2016

As part of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier, held this year in Lyon until November 23, Greater Montréal and the region of Lyon have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide enhanced support to Montréal and Lyon companies in the life sciences and health technologies (LSHT) industry so that they can gain larger share of the international market.

Montréal International and ADERLY—the equivalent Lyon agency (Invest in Lyon), the Centre québécois d’innovation en biotechnologie (CQIB – The Life Sciences Incubator in Québec) in the Biotech City, Montréal InVivo and the Lyonbiopole competitive cluster have agreed to join forces to provide companies seeking opportunities to expand abroad with full immersion in the local ecosystem, including support, a personalized course of action and temporary office space.

The aim is to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic that are interested in reciprocal markets with a structured short-term business accommodation offer that would allow them to explore the local ecosystem and connect with key players in the industry,” said Jean-Charles Foddis, Executive Director at ADERLY and International Director at CCI LYON METROPOLE Saint-Étienne Roanne. “The ecosystem driven by Lyonbiopole and the Greater Montréal cluster have similar economic assets. Moreover, their performance and areas of development in life sciences are quite alike. This partnership will allow us to explore the growth potential of our respective companies,” according to Florence Agostino-Etchetto, CEO of Lyonbiopole.

Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International, believes that life sciences and health technologies are a key sector in Greater Montréal. “Greater Montréal ranked sixth in LSHT among North American cities in terms of receiving the most foreign investments over the past few years. We hope to further enhance the region’s attractiveness with this agreement and better promote local business opportunities to Lyon companies,” said Mr. Bolduc. “The wealth of our ecosystem, the potential for innovation and the available qualified labour make Greater Montréal the ideal springboard for a North American launch,” added Christelle Fasano, Director, Business Development, LSHT, at Montréal International.

According to Jean-Marc Juteau, Co-Manager at CQIB and Director of the Biotech City, this agreement is perfectly in line with the CQIB’s mission, as in the past 21 years it has been incubating new businesses, many of which are foreign companies. “The CQIB can be used as soft landing for the LSHT corporate environment,” said Mr. Juteau. “The Biotech City, which is where the CQIB is located, is a fine example of an LSHT hub. This agreement has just confirmed the international standing of the Biotech City,” added André Hubert, Assistant Director, Laval’s Economic Development Service.

According to Frank Béraud, CEO of Montréal InVivo, this partnership will benefit the Greater Montréal life sciences and health technologies cluster in two ways. “Not only will it expand the size and influence of the cluster by attracting new players onto the Montréal field, but it is a significant first step towards the international expansion of our SMBs, a need expressed by our local businesses.”

The LSHT industry in Greater Montréal:

  • More than 40,000 jobs in over 600 organizations, accounting for 80% of LSHT jobs in Québec
  • Ranked 7th among top 20 North American cities in terms of concentration of LSHT jobs
  • 27,000 students in LSHT programs
  • Top city for research partnerships in Canada: $958 million invested between 2011 and 2015
  • Ranked 1st among North American cities for most competitive LSHT operating costs: 24% cost advantage

The LSHT industry in Lyon:

  • Nearly 60,000 jobs and 11,200 biotech and health facilities in Lyon (Acoss-Urssaf 31-12-2014, Insee-Clap 31-12-2013 and Insee-REE 2014)
  • Leading vaccine production centre in the world
  • More than 1 billion euros invested in vaccines and diagnoses since 2005
  • One of the highest concentration of university teaching hospitals in Europe
  • More than 1,000 clinical trials conducted each year at HCLs (Lyon public hospitals)
  • Lyonbiopole, leading health hub in France

About ADERLY/ Invest in Lyon (
ADERLY is the economic development agency in charge of prospecting and assisting incoming companies by offering them services suited to the needs of their investment project in the Lyon region. Since its creation in 1974, ADERLY has supported the set-up of more than 1,300 companies – including 60% foreign-capital firms – primarily in the strategic sectors of the region: life sciences, environmental and digital technologies.

About Lyonbiopôle (
As a biocluster, Lyonbiopole is the gateway for healthcare innovation in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. It aims to support the emergence and development of innovative technologies, products and services in 4 main strategic areas: human medicine, veterinary medicine, in vitro diagnostics, medical devices and medical technologies. Focused on infectious diseases since its creation in 2005, Lyonbiopole is now supporting ambitious projects and companies in other fields like cancer, nutrition, metabolic diseases and neurosciences. Lyonbiopole represented a community of 197 members: 4 world-class leaders as Lyonbiopole’s founders (Sanofi Pasteur, bioMérieux, Merial, BD) – 16 Research Centers including 3 Hospital University Centers and almost 176 SMEs. Lyonbiopole received in November 2014, the Gold label awarded by the “European Cluster Excellence Initiative”.

About Montréal International (
Established in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the City of Montréal. Its mission is to attract foreign investment, international organizations and skilled talent to Greater Montréal.

About the Centre québécois d’innovation en biotechnologie ( and the Biotech City (
CQIB is a business incubator specializing in life sciences and health technologies. Since 1995, the incubator has contributed to the start-up of 52 businesses employing almost 1,000 people. The Biotech City is the cluster of biotechnology and life sciences located in the City of Laval and including nearly 100 companies and institutes employing 5,000 people.

About Montréal InVivo (
Montréal InVivo is the brand name for the life sciences and health technologies (LSHT) cluster of the Montréal metropolitan area. The cluster comprises almost 600 organizations, including more than 150 research centers, 80 subsidiaries of world-class companies, and 40,000 people employed in the sector. A wellspring of great ideas, the cluster includes four universities and ranks first in Canada for the number of research centers. Montréal InVivo is a non-profit economic development organization dedicated to the creation of wealth. Its activities are supported by funding from the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (MESI), the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine reporting to the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), Canada Economic Development (CED) for Québec Regions and private and institutional sectors.

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