The Rendez-vous du Savoir:
Positive results for the first meeting of key players involved in intellectual, economic and social development in Québec
Montréal, November 9, 2010 – The partners of the Rendez-vous du Savoir are pleased with the results achieved by the first edition of the event held on October 20 and 21, 2010. They plan on making the Rendez-vous an annual event whose goal is to acknowledge the pivotal role played by universities in the intellectual, economic and social development of Québec, as well as that played by Montréal.
“The goals of the Rendez-vous du Savoir were to acknowledge the collective wealth created by universities, greet foreign students who have chosen to study in the Province of Québec and build additional bridges between universities and the business community. With this in mind, we have determined the types of partnership that would benefit both parties and examined a series of actions that could be further developed,” said Dr. Pavel Hamet, Senior Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and Canada Research Chair in Predictive Genomics, and co-spokesperson of the event.
“Exchange among participants helped to identify issues and opportunities aimed at promoting strategic cooperation based on training, education and research. To achieve this, businesses must better understand the added value universities can bring them in order to meet the labour market’s new challenges and remain competitive,” said Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of the Desjardins Group and co-spokesperson of the Rendez-vous du Savoir.
A survey conducted as part of the Rendez-vous du Savoir by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal, in association with Léger Marketing revealed the following:
- More than half (53%) of the businesses surveyed have cooperated with universities over the past three years. Cooperation involved internships (39%), collaborative research (9%) and donations to universities (9%).
- Most businesses (83%) that have cooperated with universities over the past three years plan to continue, while only 8% of businesses that have not cooperated plan to do so over the next few years.
Highlights of the Rendez-vous du Savoir
More than 1,200 persons attended the Rendez-vous du Savoir welcoming celebration in honour of the foreign students who chose to study in the Province of Québec. This major gathering, which was made possible by the Conférence des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal and Ville de Montréal marked, in a festive and instructive way, how important it is for Montréal to welcome students from around the world.
The business luncheon hosted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal brought together more than 350 delegates who attended lectures by a panel of university representatives and the business community. The discussions showed clearly the relevance of bringing businesses and universities closer together to make sure that graduates receive proper training and businesses achieve their best performance. The panel members emphasized the importance of better understanding the challenges faced by each party to maximize partnerships. They also recognized the relevance of holding a forum, such as the Rendez-vous du Savoir, which helps to build relationships, foster reflection and find appropriate solutions.
The lectures, held as part of a special segment of the Journées du Savoir of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Québec Universities (CREPUQ), were attended by some one hundred participants who watched presentations of eminent personalities from Québec universities. Five upcoming researchers, who have been chosen and honoured as star researchers, as part of the “Ça mérite d’être reconnu” competition, were given the opportunity to discuss their work and prove that university research in Québec is led by talented and passionate researchers.
The Recognition Award Gala at the Palais des congrès ended the event brilliantly. Mr. Paul Gérin-Lajoie, a pioneer in the field of education in Québec, delivered a heartfelt testimony to 18 Québec university representatives. The five star researchers were given a commemorative plaque. This year, the Palais des congrès celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ambassadors Club and paid special tribute to all those who have worked passionately to host international conventions in Montréal, and who have helped to promote the city’s reputation on the national and international scenes.
With the success of this first edition, the partners are already working on the second edition of the Rendez-vous du Savoir, scheduled for fall 2011. The Rendez-vous will once again acknowledge Québec universities, as well as foreign students and young researchers. The focus will be on cooperation between universities and businesses through exchange activities.
About the Rendez-vous du savoir
The Rendez-vous du Savoir (www.rendezvousdusavoir.com) is made possible by the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal, Conference of Rectors and Principals of Québec Universities, Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal (CRÉ), Montréal International and Ville de Montréal. The Desjardins Group is the sponsor and host of the event.
Lucie-Anne Fabien, APR, FCPRS
Ville de Montréal and Rendez-vous du Savoir