Québec International (QI) released the 2014 highlights from its annual report earlier this spring. In the coming weeks we will examine QI’s results and the kind of work our professionals perform as part of our six mandates. Discover the talents of our foreign investment experts.
According to the 2015-2016 American Cities of the Future rankings compiled by UK-based fDi Magazine, which is published by the Financial Times Group, Quebec City placed in the Top 10 in two categories (Business Friendliness and Best fDi Strategy). A total of 421 cities in the Americas were evaluated by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times, and divided into five groups based on population size. Quebec City is in the mid-sized cities group, which includes urban areas with populations of more than 200,000 inhabitants and metropolitan regions with more than 750,000 inhabitants.
Medicago, a major Canadian biotech company and an international leader in the development and production of plant-based vaccines and therapeutics, is proud to announce that Quebec City will be home to its new production complex. The $245 million project will create 200 new high-skilled jobs by 2019, adding to the team of 180 employees already working at Medicago’s Quebec City office and laboratories. The project is expected to generate more than $461 million in direct and indirect economic benefits over the next five years.
Recent foreign direct investments announced for Québec City show that the region is successfully holding its own in the face of international competition. This year alone, Medicago (Japan; vaccine production facility and R&D centre), Thales (France; joint research unit in urban science), OVH (France; R&D centre in digital services), Larian Studios (Belgium; video game studio), and Microsoft (United States; cloud services data centre) have already announced over $300 million in investments in Quebec’s capital city.
INO is pleased to announce that it has earned a Gold Canada Awards for Excellence under the Quality category. The prize will be officially presented on October 29, 2015, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, on the occasion of the Excellence Summit & Canada Awards for Excellence.
Discovery Air Technical Services Inc. ("DATS"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Air Inc., has been awarded a heavy maintenance contract by Morningstar Air Express Inc., of Edmonton Alberta, for one ATR-72-202 aircraft. The work will be carried-out at DATS' Heavy Maintenance facility at the Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City during the summer of 2015.
Larian Studios, the award-winning Belgian developer of hits like Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Dragon Commander, officially announced its plans to establish a studio in Quebec City. Larian Québec, a subsidiary of the acclaimed developer, will begin work on new games and take advantage of the talent and creativity that abound in Quebec City. The company is currently in hiring mode and aims to employ 40 people in Quebec City over the next three years.
Opsens Inc. ("Opsens" or the "Company") (TSXV: OPS) (OTCQX: OPSSF) announces that its common shares began trading under the ticker symbol "OPSSF" on the OTCQX marketplace in the United States, effective today. OTCQX, operated by OTC Markets Group Inc., offers the best informed and most efficient trading for established, global and growth companies. Opsens' shares will continue trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol "OPS."
Through close collaboration with Michael Baker International, Pavemetrics is proud to announce that the LCMS has officially passed NCAT’s rigorous longitudinal profiler certification program. Passing the NCAT certification validates Pavemetrics’ LCMS as an accurate and repeatable inertial profiler and as an acceptable alternative to older two-point profiler technology.
TSO3 Inc. (TSX: TOS), an innovator in sterilization technology for medical devices in healthcare settings, announced that the Company has signed its first commercial agreement with Getinge Infection Control in support of the launch of the STERIZONE® VP4 Sterilization System. The non-exclusive agreement covers multiple markets in which Getinge has significant market share, including North America and other selected markets. Efforts to launch the product will begin immediately.
Québec International and the City of Québec announced today the launch of the initial operations of Québec City's high-tech incubator/accelerator. Located in the heart of Québec City's Saint-Roch neighbourhood, Le CAMP is destined to become the new hub of Québec City's entrepreneurial hi-tech community. Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec City, and Carl Viel, CEO of Québec International, were present for the announcement.
Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis–Bellechasse and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announces that Les Scies Mercier Inc. has been granted financial assistance to acquire equipment to boost its productivity, and to carry out commercialization activities on the North American market.
Those cumbersome paper-based training manuals could soon become a relic on the factory floor if technology created by two Quebec-based entrepreneurs takes off. Alexandre Leclerc and Antoine Bisson founded Poka, a social platform for manufacturers to train staff using videos and other interactive content to be shared in real time through an iPad app. Poka claims its technology is helping to drive “the social industrial revolution.”
Servicing the best in online group travel, HotelPlanner.com and Meetings.com announces the compagny’s 204 top 50 group and meeting friendly hotels. In Canada, only 10 hotels received this award, two in the province of Québec but only one in Québec city : the Hilton Québec.
By March 31 the Québec City Convention Centre will have hosted 156 events, including a remarkable 17 international conferences. It all adds up to 155,000 room-nights at local hotels, with economic spinoffs from some 210,000 convention goers estimated at $101 million. Another 27 international conferences and meetings will have come and gone by December 31, 2016.
Debiopharm Diagnostics, part of Debiopharm Group™, is proud to be the lead investor in GenePOC, who are developing a highly innovative, low cost and quick MDx (Molecular Diagnostics) platform. Debiopharm Diagnostics led this investment round together with Emerillon Capital and will become the largest shareholder in GenePOC.
Opsens Inc. ("Opsens") (TSXV:OPS) is pleased to announce the first use of its Fractional Flow Reserve ("FFR") products in Europe by the "founding fathers" of FFR, namely Dr. Bernard De Bruyne at the Cardiovascular Center Aalst, Belgium and, shortly, by Professor Nico Pijls, at the Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven the Netherlands. The OptoWire and OptoMonitor are Opsens' products for FFR measurements to optimize the diagnosis and guide the therapy in patients with coronary heart disease.
Québec International announced today the launch of the CONEQT program with a view to securing the business corridor between Quebec City and Silicon Valley.
For the eighth consecutive year, Québec International (QI) has been named one of the Top Canadian Economic Development Groups in Canada’s Best Locations 2014, as announced in the current issue of US-based Site Selection magazine. This ranking pays tribute to the country's top 10 economic development agencies.
An investment in Inno-centre, which will support Quebec's innovative businesses, enabling them to grow, prosper and create jobs, was announced today by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology).
Québec City is a powerful draw for organizations seeking a truly stand-out destination for their events. This attraction has come to the fore in recent months, with the city landing nine international conferences in head-to-head competitions with other world cities.
4Degrees, the company behind the new high-technology and eco-friendly data center is proud to announce that Uptime Institute, the international reference in the data center field, awarded 4Degrees their coveted Tier III certification.
The Government of Quebec, Investissement Québec, Invest in Canada and Québec International are pleased to be associated with the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) professional forum that will be held in Quebec City. This is the first time that this event will be held outside of the United States. It will be a unique opportunity to showcase the assets of Canada, the province of Quebec and the Quebec City region to a select clientele of American investors. Nearly 400 participants are expected to attend this forum, which will be held from September 13 to 17 at the Quebec City Convention Centre.
Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust has signed a deal to buy a portfolio of 15 properties including shopping centres, office buildings and an industrial park in Quebec and Ontario from Ivanhoe Cambridge for $1.53 billion.
Following the announcement of an investment of $28 million at its Quebec City studio at Davos in January, Ubisoft confirmed today that it will be investing $4 million of this amount to equip new workspaces in the St-Roch district. This move will ensure the studio’s presence in the neighborhood for the next 14 years. At the same time, Ubisoft revealed that the Quebec studio is ramping up to be lead studio in the production of a future installment of Assassin’s Creed®, one of Ubisoft’s flagship brands and one of the most popular and best-selling video game franchises in the world.
In its 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search released last week, the analyst firm Gartner has positioned Coveo, a provider of search and relevance solutions, furthest along the completeness of vision axis in its Leader’s quadrant. Gartner’s report evaluates 17 providers of enterprise search solutions, each assessed based upon both their completeness of vision and ability to execute.
This morning, KPMG released the 2014 edition of Competitive Alternatives, its biennial study, which compares business location costs in 107 metropolitan regions in 10 countries. The Quebec City region scored well, with a 9.3% cost advantage relative to the US average. This is a net improvement since 2012, when this figure stood at 5.8%. The Quebec City region ranks sixth worldwide among the regions studied and ranks #1 among similarly-sized regions (500,000 to 2 million inhabitants). Among the 15 Canadian cities featured, only Moncton and Charlottetown edged out Quebec City. Quebec City now ranks third (up from sixth in 2012), outperforming Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Quebec International is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement in principle with BioWin, the healthcare competitiveness cluster based in Wallonia, Belgium. The agreement covers licensing rights under BioWin’s BioPharE program. For BioWin, this is the first time that rights have been licensed under this high-level program. As part of its role in the partnership, the Continuing Education Department at Sainte-Foy CEGEP will administer training activities during the implementation of the program, which is specifically geared towards life science entrepreneurs.
Immune Biosolutions took first place in the grand finale of the Devtech 50 entrepreneurial competition, which was held yesterday with approximately 100 participants. The jury was impressed by the company’s business project, which involves a unique platform for generating high-quality antibodies used as molecular detection, quantification and visualization tools. As a result, Immune Biosolutions wins the BDC Grand Prize, valued at $42,000 in cash and services.
Quebec International and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal are proud to unveil the names of the 23 companies that will be taking part in the second edition of Passeport PME (Passport SME). This 18-month training and assistance program is geared towards locally based small and medium-sized enterprises with the potential of breaking into foreign markets.
At the inaugural reception for the very first “virtual” recruiting mission involving Brazil, Quebec International issued a call for candidates aimed at recruiting bloggers of foreign origin currently living and working in Quebec City. The blog, set to be launched over the next few months, will feature entertaining anecdotal material based on the authors’ experiences in Quebec. The articles will be written in the bloggers’ native languages (Spanish, Portuguese, English and French) and will be geared towards individuals in their countries of origin considering a move to Quebec.
After taking part in the trade mission to Mexico from June 26 to 29 led by Québec Premier Pauline Marois, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International are pleased to confirm next spring’s Mexico Days in Québec, organized in cooperation with the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE). This announcement, made by Lorenzo Ysasi Martínez, the COMCE’s Director General and Director for North America, during the business luncheon “Mexico-Québec: A North American Alliance,” held in the Premier’s honour on June 27, came on the heels of a meeting in Mexico City between the COMCE, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International have jointly launched the call for applications for the second edition of SME Passport. This program provides tailor-made support to SMEs that show ambition and strong potential for growth for developing their activities internationally.
We have been reporting on the format of teh "Seeks Solution" conferences before. The idea is both simple and surprisingly effective: turn a scientific conference upside down: Skip the presentation of successful research and undertakings and focus, together, on what is really interesting for everybody: challenges yet unsolved.
This article offers an economic-development perspective on a new method for local companies to find innovative solutions to their most challenging business problems: local open innovation. Quebec International, the economic development agency for the Quebec City area, contributed to the development of the Seeking Solutions approach to local open innovation, which included the hosting of problem-solving conferences with local research centres, economic development actors, and companies. Looking back on our experiences and outcomes since 2010, this article shows how the development and introduction of this new approach to local open innovation has changed the rules of the game in the region.
Two initiatives aiming to support technology entrepreneurship were recently announced in Quebec City.
The French-American Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC, is very pleased to partner with Québec International and Montréal International for the organization of a two-day recruiting event on March 22nd. Mrs. Line Lagacé, Vice-president, Business Growth and Foreign Investment of Québec International and Mr. Louis Arseneault, Vice President, Talent Attraction, Promotion and Communications, Montréal International answer our questions! Interview in English and in French.
Anges Québec is pleased to announce $1M in financing granted to handyem, a Quebec company specializing in life science. The financing comes from 19 Anges Québec members and the Anges Québec Capital Fund. Of this amount, $680K is from Anges Québec members, including Stéphane Pilette, and $320K from the fund. An additional amount in excess of $700K comes from existing shareholders and new private investors, bringing the current round of financing to $1.7M.
Every fiscal quarter, we paint a portrait of the region's economic environment and analyze key economic indicators that help to assess regional performance as well as compare economic variables with those of seven other metropolitan areas in Canada: Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton et Vancouver. The analyses on the economy of the Québec City metropolitan region are based on statistical data published by recognized organizations.
Québec-based IT executives at multinational computer services giants attribute the success and expansion of their enterprises to being located in Québec. An increasingly bilingual and skilled work force, higher education resources, proximity to Europe and the U.S. Northeast and a business climate that encourages capital investment are some of the assets they identify as drivers of their ability to compete. More specifi cally, they compete successfully with other subsidiaries of their parent companies worldwide for capital investment, or they complement those subsidiaries as no other operation can, they maintain.
Quebec City has successfully completed the second round of the prestigious international contest organized by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) and has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities. The announcement was made in Honolulu, Hawaii by Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development for ICF. Last October, Quebec City was ranked among the Smart 21 Communities for the second year in a row. Nearly 400 applications from cities and regions around the world were evaluated.
Canada ranks No. 1 in our annual look at the Best Countries for Business. While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most. The $1.6 trillion economy is the ninth biggest in the world and grew 3.1% last year. It is expected to expand 2.4% in 2011, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.
FastTrac® is a top-tier training program for tech firm creation and start-ups. It also gives entrepreneurs access to the local ecosystem’s full range of resources, as well as to all high-level stakeholders. Quebec International is the first organization in Canada to receive FastTrac® Affiliate certification from the Kauffman Foundation. (information page in french only)
On October 22, Quebec City gained another international distinction when it was named one of the Top 21 most intelligent communities (Smart 21 Community 2011) by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York-based independent think tank dedicated to developing the digital economy. The announcement was made by Louis Zacharilla, one of the ICF’s founders, at a ceremony in Suwon, South Korea.
Quebec International (QI) and the Quebec City region are shining brightly again thanks to their placement in Site Selection magazine’s Canadian rankings. The Quebec City region placed third in the Top Canadian Metros. This category evaluates the economic performance of Canada’s metropolitan regions. The final result was calculated by compiling major investment projects. The Quebec City region was outpaced by Toronto and Hamilton.
During the ceremony, seven awards were presented, with a total value of nearly $90,000. XpertSea Solutions, a firm specializing in aquaculture, has won the $30,000 Devtech 50 grand prize ($15,000 in cash and $15,000 in services). The prize was bestowed by “Presenter” partner Essor Strategies.
Blog by John Parisella: National unemployment rates often overshadow the work of some communities in transforming their economic profiles. Cities like Raleigh NC have transformed their economy and others like Des Moines IA have significantly lowered their unemployment rates. Another below the radar screen example is Québec City, Canada.
Québec International's mission is to contribute to the economic development of the Québec City metropolitan region and enhance its international status. As a regional economic development agency, Québec International fosters growth and development, supports key business sectors and attracts talent and investment to the region. The agency is supported by public and private partners; particularly with the financial support from the Government of Québec (ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations, Emploi-Québec, Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale/National Capital office), Economic Development Canada and the Ville de Québec.