Higher Education, Vector of an Innovative Relaunch

The Strategic Forum on Higher Education, jointly developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, was held May 31, 2021, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

For the event, close to 400 participants and representatives of different levels of government, institutions of higher learning, and the business community gathered to reiterate the importance of ties between higher education and the business world for the economic development of Montréal and Quebec.  

"Higher education is a pillar of our economy, a sector unto itself." – Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

"The pandemic has underscored the importance of science. Montréal is a city of knowledge, and we will go further if we work together." – Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec, First Leader, Fonds de recherche du Québec

"Higher education is part of the economic relaunch, and together we can tackle tomorrow’s challenges." – Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education

"We have to develop a culture of continuing education, so that places of work become places of learning. This will require the requalification of labour and upgrading skills." – Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity

"One of Montréal’s strengths is that it has so many institutions of higher learning. This is important for our economy and international reputation." – Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal

Block 1 – Positioning higher education at the heart of the recovery: overview

Understanding the strengths and challenges of Montréal higher education ecosystem

"We need to create a natural synergy between businesses and colleges. We talk a lot about continuing education, but we should talk instead about continuous education." – Nathalie Vallée, Director General, Collège Ahuntsic, President of the Regroupement des cégeps de Montréal (RCM)

"Montréal universities operate cooperatively. We are working on a joint declaration to show our unconditional support for the relaunch and the cooperation that drives us for the common good." – Magda Fusaro, Rector, Université du Québec à Montréal

Block 2 – Leveraging talent

Creating a dynamic link between higher education and the labour market

"The quality of links and interactions will be crucial. Needs have to be known on both sides." – Pierre Cossette, Chair of the Board of Directors, Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI), Rector, Université de Sherbrooke

Applying best practices and winning strategies for collaboration between the education and business communities

"The best way to ensure your success is to have the right people around you. Our cooperation with the university network helped us ramp up our growth and gave us credibility as a small business." – Amanda Arciero, Co-founder and Vice-President, Airudi

Attracting and retaining knowledge and researchers in Montréal

"We need to stimulate international cooperation in research. We are courted in these programs. Quality comes from visibility, and that is how we can attract the best researchers." – Mohamed Cheriet, General Director, Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en opérationnalisation du développement durable (CIRODD) – ÉTS

Block 3 – Accelerating the research, innovation and commercialization continuum

Developing an entrepreneurial culture to spur the commercialization of innovation

"Everyone has to be engaged in innovation, and this requires training. Starting in high school, labour must be made aware of the importance of innovation." – Marie Gagné, CEO, Synchronex

Drawing on collaboration success stories

"Philanthropic cooperation enables us to apply new ideas, achieve our objectives faster, and light the way for other initiatives." – Isabelle Péan, CEO, Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique Montréal

Accelerating research and innovation

"This is a new world – we are facing enormous challenges as a society, and I’m not even talking about COVID-19. […] We have to be open to young people, who are building the future to lead us to a new place." – Luc Sirois, Québec’s Chief Innovation Officer, Conseil de l'innovation du Québec


About the Strategic Forum “Universities, CEGEPs, businesses: together for a strong, innovative, and socially responsible economy"

 The Forum “Universities, CEGEPs, businesses: together for a strong, innovative, and socially responsible economy" was jointly developed by the Chamber and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, in cooperation with IRICoR, Le Devoir, Montreal Gazette, Rio Tinto and Ubisoft and in partnership with Loto-Québec and the Palais des congrès de Montréal. The event is part of the Relaunch MTL metropolitan economic movement.

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