Innovation: A global renaissance!
Innovation, the process of introducing new ideas and models, is not new. What is currently emerging however is the rise of innovation districts, such as 22@Barcelona in Spain, Corridor Manchester in the United Kingdom, and Boston’s Innovation District in the United States. In Canada, innovation has emerged as a key strategic component in across public, private and plural sectors.
The study of these creative urban hubs demonstrates that communities with property development, industries and higher learning institutions do not suffice in creating an integrated ecosystem of innovation. Inspired by a vast international comparison, the Quartier de l'innovation (QI) aims to combine four pillars of a truly creative city - arts and culture, research and education, urban as well as industrial - to ensure the future economic, social and cultural prosperity of Montreal citizens and community stakeholders. The QI is an innovation district in Montreal, for Montreal!
McGill and ÉTS step up
Founded by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University, the Quartier de l'innovation (QI) – officially launched in May 2013 – is an innovation ecosystem in the heart of Montreal. This unique institutional alliance allows the QI to capitalize on the complementary strengths of its founding partners in research, education, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as with their respective local and international networks. Combining diverse and complementary academic resources, the QI offers multiple initiatives to its partners and community stakeholders.
The QI is located in the South-West of Montreal, a dynamic, diverse and historically rich area. It encompasses the neighborhoods of Pointe-St-Charles, St-Henri, Little-Burgundy and Griffintown – fertile ground for a transformational project like the QI. Once the cradle of the Industrial Revolution in Canada, the South-West of Montreal is a vibrant urban space where social economy initiatives and civil society organizations flourish. Today, it rests at the confluence of the city’s financial, entertainment, multimedia, technology, transportation, and international corridors. Students, artists, residents, public works, business incubators, and real-estate developers are already embracing the area’s potential. The sector counts upon a dynamic artistic community, the biggest concentration of IT & multimedia companies in Montreal and numerous NPOs that in turn render the QI a true hub of innovation in Montreal.