A Look at Canadian University-Industry Collaborations
Lasting collaborations are essential to succeed in the knowledge economy
Montréal, September 30, 20111 – On the occasion of the second edition of the Rendez-vous du Savoir, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, with the other partners in attendance, today revealed the results of the survey titled: A Look at Canadian University-Industry Collaborations. Intended as a logical continuation of the survey made public in 2010, this year’s edition conducted in partnership with Léger Marketing focused on the different types of relationships Quebec and Canadian businesses have with universities, as well as the advantages of these collaborations and the challenges encountered.
“The Board of Trade conducted this survey to see how university-industry collaborations in Quebec compare with those in the rest of Canada. The results show a goldmine of untapped potential with regards to creating R&D partnerships in Quebec,” stated Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
1. Nearly half of Quebec companies do not see the relevance of collaborating with universities
Nearly one out of two Quebec companies sees little or no merit in collaborating with universities. Only a third feels this way in the rest of Canada. Quebec companies must therefore realize that innovation is the key to survival and that a partnership with a research centre is very often the path to innovation.
2. Most Quebec companies view the university system merely as a talent incubator
Quebec companies that collaborate with universities do so mostly by offering internships (36%). Unlike their Canadian counterparts, they tend to see universities more as talent incubators than potential innovation partners.
3. Universities stand to gain by doing a better job promoting their ability to contribute to business success
Both Quebec companies and their Canadian counterparts (28%) agree that greater awareness of university collaboration opportunities could make a future partnership more likely or more effective. Another important point mentioned is better alignment of university activities with business objectives (35%).
4. Companies must try to diversify and increase their collaborations
Quebec companies should find inspiration in the experiences of their Canadian counterparts to develop diversified, effective and enriching partnerships.
“This year’s survey shows that unlike the rest of Canada, Quebec companies still view universities primarily as talent incubators. However, companies in the rest of Canada network more often than we do with universities. Our collective challenge is therefore to transpose this mutual respect and shared commitment into concrete high value-added development projects like our Canadian counterparts appear to be doing more regularly than us,” stated Léger Marketing president Jean-Marc Léger.
Rendez-vous du Savoir
The theme of this year’s Rendez-vous du Savoir to be held on October 5 and 6 at Palais des congrès de Montréal is How Universities Contribute to Business Development. The main purpose of the 2011 edition is to recognize the immense wealth created by Quebec universities and to acknowledge their important contribution to society on local, provincial and international levels. Last year, the Rendez-vous du Savoir attracted over 2,500 participants.
“To ensure our society continues to prosper, we must leverage our strengths: education, innovation and entrepreneurship. The way to do this is to pool the resources of our universities, businesses and regions. For Desjardins, participating in Rendez-vous du Savoir is an opportunity to do our part in this collective responsibility,” said Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and spokesperson of Rendez-vous du Savoir.
“Bringing together universities—the lifeblood of knowledge—and the business community gives us a unique opportunity to recognize the immense wealth generated by our universities and scientific institutions, which we must continue to tap into in order to boost our competitiveness and ensure our ongoing development,” added Dr. Pavel Hamet, Professor at Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine and spokesperson of Rendez-vous du Savoir.
Link to survey document: www.btmm.qc.ca/rdvs_sondage_2011
Rendez-vous du Savoir was initiated and organized by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ), Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal (CRÉ), The Montreal Council on Foreign Relations (MCFR), Montréal International, Tourisme Montréal and the Ville de Montréal. Desjardins Group is the presenting sponsor while Bell is the associate sponsor.
For more information: www.rendezvousdusavoir.com/eng
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
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Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, extension 4015
Karrel Cournoyer / Caroline Couillard
Morin Public Relations for Rendez-vous du Savoir
514 289-8688, extension 234 / 233
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