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Montréal Summit on Innovation: Over 380 participants reflect on climate change from the perspective of business opportunities for the city

Montréal, December 1, 2015 – The Quartier de l’innovation, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, and Concordia University have made a positive assessment of the fifth edition of the Montréal Summit on Innovation (MSI), which brought together over 380 participants at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on November 30. This year’s MSI was organized by Concordia University, in collaboration with the ÉTS and McGill University. Taking place alongside the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently underway in Paris, the MSI, established by the Quartier de l’innovation, was held this year on the theme Climate (of) Change: Cities, People and Prosperity.

“The fight against climate change is—and will be—the challenge facing humanity. There is no Plan B available. The arena of innovation therefore has a duty to respond with force in order to counter the progress of this great upheaval. This is where the success of a gathering like the Montréal Summit on Innovation becomes most important. We welcomed major stakeholders who inspired the business community and political representatives in attendance to take action. It was a success on both the economic and social levels. A perfect picture of what Montréal innovation is all about,” stated Damien Silès, Executive Director of the Quartier de l’innovation.

“Today’s presentations allowed us to discuss climate change not only from the standpoint of an urgency to take action, but also from that of the business opportunities that this represents for our community’s innovative and creative companies. This aspect of the debate is one that is raised less frequently. Yet, Montréal companies are in a good position to take advantage of the new economic dynamic resulting from efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt our cities to its effects. The Board of Trade is pleased to have been part of the MSI for a second year. It is by strengthening their ties to universities and researchers that our firms in the clean technology sector will be able to develop, market, and export the fruits of their expertise,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“Climate change affects us all. For generations to come, there will be no more pressing global challenge,” said Concordia University President Alan Shepard. “University researchers and their networks have a key role to play: to work with businesses, governments and NGOs to find solutions for our cities and our planet. With its Quartier de l’innovation partners, Concordia led the organization of this summit to help new and mature businesses innovate and adapt, to enhance Quebec’s already strong entrepreneurial culture, and to help us all think differently, adjust, and create — together.”

The 2015 MSI consisted of a day of presentations and discussions addressing a variety of topics, such as the impact of climate change on cities and, more particularly, on Montréal. The talks also focused on resulting business opportunities, on solutions based on technological and social innovation, and on issues relating to their financing. The conferences were followed with a trade fair in which twelve start-ups presented their products and services to participants. In the evening, the Board of Trade welcomed David Suzuki, co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, to its Bell International Leaders forum. Mr. Suzuki shared his vision of the world with over 1,100 people in attendance.

A study on Montréal’s green infrastructures

The David Suzuki Foundation took the opportunity to present a study on the role of green infrastructures, that is, natural environments, in reducing some of the effects of climate change in the Greater Montréal area. The model developed in the study is intended as a decision support tool for elected representatives, to help prioritize investments in natural environments according to their effect on reducing the impacts of climate change on cities. To read the study, click here.

The 2015 edition of the MSI was made possible with the support of the following partners: the Fonds de recherche du Québec (Nature et technologies, Santé, Société et culture) and TD Bank (Silver Partners); Communauto, Cycle Capital Management, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Future Earth, Génome Québec, Hydro-Québec, the Ville de Montréal, Teralys Capital, and Vivre en Ville (Bronze Partners).

About the Quartier de l’innovation (QI)

The Quartier de l’innovation, located in the heart of Montréal, is aimed at enhancing the city’s creative potential. It was launched in May 2013 by the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University, with Concordia University coming on board in 2015. The QI draws on the complementary resources of its founding institutions and many partners in research, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is located in the area bordered by René-Lévesque Blvd. in the north, the Lachine Canal in the south, McGill Street in the east and Atwater Avenue in the west. It is active in four areas: the education and research, social and cultural, industrial, and urban. For more information, see  


About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.


About Concordia University

Olympic gold medalists. Oscar winners. Satellite Designers. Concordia University has them all. Creative. Diverse. Concordia pushes boundaries by crossing disciplines. Acclaimed fields include aerospace, nanotechnology, journalism, psychology, genomics, cinema, studio arts, finance and sustainable business. Bold, urban energy. 46,000 students in Montreal, North America’s most exciting city. Leading research, top teaching, engaged community — transformative experiences through flexible, friendly service. Concordia defines the next-generation university.



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Antoine Leduc

Director of Communications

Quartier de l’innovation

Tel.: 514 396-8695
Twitter: @QIMontreal
Instagram: quartierinnovation_mtl

Guillaume Bérubé

Advisor, Media Relations

Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca


Nadia Kherif
Advisor, Media Relations
Concordia University
Tel.: 514 848-2424, ext. 4187
Cell: 514 262-0909

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