One step closer to the Quartier de l’innovation

The partnership between ÉTS and McGill receives generous support from the governments of Québec, Canada and the City of Montreal

Published: 14 May 2012

The partnership between ÉTS and McGill receives generous support from the governments of Québec, Canada and the City of Montreal

The Quartier de l’innovation (QI) is one step closer to reality today, with the announcement from the governments of Québec, Canada and the City of Montreal that they will invest equal amounts in pre-start-up costs for the project, for a total of $1,050,000. The announcement was made today by Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade; Marguerite Blais, Minister Responsible for Seniors and MNA for Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne; and Richard Deschamps, Vice-Chair of the City of Montréal Executive Committee.

Led by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University, the QI’s objective is to promote synergy between educational institutions and the business community in order to increase the potential for creativity and innovation, along with their practical applications in what might be called a “living laboratory”. The QI will be located close to downtown Montréal, in an area that includes Griffintown.

“We would like to thank the governments of Québec, Canada and the City of Montreal for their invaluable support,” said Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “By combining the complementary strengths of our two institutions with the remarkable spirit of creativity of Quebec small and medium enterprises, the QI will lead to practical training opportunities for our students and facilitate the application of our researchers’ discoveries. The QI we envision will help better position Quebec as an innovation leader on the international scene.”

“The Quartier de l’innovation that we are building will be a place where the work environment and the living environment come together. By integrating the four axes that are essential to a creative society – industry, training and innovation, urban, and socio-cultural – this will be a place to live, learn, work, and relax,” added Yves Beauchamp, Director General of ÉTS. The interconnections among these axes will form the foundation of the QI and foster the type of innovative spirit that we wish to encourage.”

In drawing on the respective strengths of ÉTS and McGill, the QI will be a model of strategic complementarity. ÉTS ranks first in Quebec and fourth in Canada in terms of the number of engineering undergraduate degrees awarded each year. Close to 75 per cent of its research and development funding, representing approximately $21 million, comes from research contracts with more than 200 companies. McGill University is ranked 17th in the world, and boasts one of the largest patent portfolios among Canadian universities. McGill receives close to $470 million in research funds annually.

The mission of the Quartier de l’innovation will extend beyond its role in industry, science and technology, to encompass urban, social and cultural innovation. The goal is to build the neighbourhood as much around the businesses it will attract as around the people who live there. The project is intended to create a quality living environment that is diversified and attractive to residents, local shops, cultural activities and modern public services.

For more information concerning the Quartier de l’innovation:


About ÉTS

École de technologie supérieure is one of the nine constituent institutions of the Université du Québec network. ÉTS trains engineers and researchers who are renowned for their practical, innovative approach, the development of new technologies, and the transfer of these technologies to industry. Nearly one out of four engineers in Québec is a graduate of ÉTS, which has 6,500 students, including more than 1,350 in graduate and doctoral programs. Specializing in applied training and research in engineering, ÉTS enjoys a unique partnership with business and industry. For more information, visit:

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Que., in 1821, McGill is Canada’s leading post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and more than 37,000 students, including 8,300 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, with more than 7,200 international students making up 20 per cent of the student body. For more information, visit:

Photo credit: Rémy Boily

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