McGill principal Bernard Shapiro, who is the current chair of the provinces association of university heads known as CREPUQ (the Conférence des recteurs et principaux des universités du Québec), is meeting this week with influential business and community leaders in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadephia to promote Quebec university expertise and opportunities. Focusing particularly on the tremendous advantages to Americans of familiarizing themselves with the teaching and research strengths of the provinces ten universities (Quebecs ten universities also include the Université du Québec system, which has 11 branches across the province), Principal Shapiro will describe the positive and productive links forged with the private sector and highlight key areas of collaboration between institutions, particularly at the graduate level. Dr Shapiro is travelling to the U.S. as the official representative of CREPUQ on a high-level trade mission led by Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard.
Examples of mutually beneficial university-industry relations in Quebec to be highlighted by Shapiro range from industrial chairs within university departments to university coop programs, technology transfer offices, and the recent creation of many spinoff companies. Total contract research for the province last year amounted to more than $587 million. To illustrate the cooperation flourishing between the provinces universities, the Americans will be told of the more than 54 interuniversity programs which include the renowned aerospace engineering masters program offered jointly by five Quebec universities and supported by some 15 different industrial partners, as well as joint doctoral programs in management, nursing, social work and oceanography, for example.