3 February 2022
Sherbrooke designated as an Innovation Zone: A result of the Sherbrooke community’s exemplary collaboration
PRESS RELEASE – The Québec government has officially designated Sherbrooke as one of the province’s first two “innovation zones.” Sherbrooke received this recognition for the theme of quantum science and quantum tech applications, which have been the focus of exemplary cooperation between six Sherbrooke organizations that are leaders in this field: the Ville de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke Innopole, the Université de Sherbrooke, the Cégep de Sherbrooke, Productique Québec, and the Centre de formation professionnelle 24-juin of the Centre de services scolaires de la Région-de-Sherbrooke.
>> Learn more about the Sherbrooke Innovation Zone
>> See the press release from the Gouvernement du Québec
In a project of this scope, all partners have an important role to play and are dependent on each other. An innovation zone consists of not only devising a strategy to develop knowledge and science but also creating communities and economic and social development.
The new entrepreneurship headquarters (HQ) located downtown will provide the momentum to create this innovation zone by serving as a focal point for economic development organizations and entrepreneurs. The well-being of Sherbrooke’s population and the quality of its living environment are a core part of this project, notably through the structural approach of the master plan for the innovation zone and the “Work-Live-Play” concept that it will develop.
Other projects in the works include a continuum of vocational, technical and university training to support businesses in their digital shift; rehabilitations to civil infrastructure; CEGEP-university collaborations in research and training; and more.
The official designation will come with a significant public and private investment that will generate jobs as well as high-value-added spin-offs:
- Scientific infrastructure.
- Research chairs.
- Internship placement program at the CEGEP level and for vocational training.
- Support for innovative projects at companies and organizations, in partnership with UdeS research teams.
- Tech projects for companies in the sector of quantum information technology, computing and communications.
- Interior layout and design of the HQ.
- The creation of Sherbrooke quantique, a non-profit organization (NPO) to help partners deploy the innovation zone.
These investments will be announced in the coming weeks. Many Canadian and international industrial partners, such as IBM, Bell, Pasqal, 1QBit, Eidos, CMC Microsystems, as well as very promising Québec and international quantum start-ups, are also preparing other installations that will be announced shortly.
One area of focus for the Sherbrooke innovation zone will be the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP) at the technical and university levels in key sectors to meet the human resources needs of businesses and organizations in all disciplines.
In terms of its integration with the urban landscape, the Sherbrooke innovation zone will have three connected poles: the downtown area, the innovative manufacturing area, and the Parc Innovation-ACELP at UdeS. Developing these three poles will promote inclusive communities and help build local wealth thanks to contributions to active transportation infrastructure, the renewal of the industrial fabric, and municipal investments already underway downtown. This development will also support entrepreneurship and growth in research partnerships, which are sources of innovation at organizations.
The leaders of the main partner organizations in Sherbrooke’s innovation ecosystem welcome the Quebec government’s designation of the Sherbrooke innovation zone. This status will accelerate their discussions with local, national and international private partners thanks to added credibility that will give them tremendous leverage in their efforts to develop a new sustainable economy.
“The innovation zone is a great opportunity for Sherbrooke! It will lead to quality jobs in a field of the future, and we want people to enjoy these jobs in dynamic and attractive communities.”
– Évelyne Beaudin, Mayor, Ville de Sherbrooke
“The vitality of the Université de Sherbrooke’s partnership research activities, and particularly at the Institut quantique, lets it actively engage with its partners to promote social, cultural and economic development. The innovation zone is an outstanding example of the spirit of cooperation that drives Sherbrooke’s stakeholders.”
– Pierre Cossette, Rector, Université de Sherbrooke
“The innovation zone will become an extremely powerful economic development tool, and its profile will help attract both emerging and established companies to a world-class environment. We will support them and help them get set up in Sherbrooke while supporting and scaling up growth and innovation opportunities for companies that are already part of the ecosystem.”
– Sylvain Durocher, Executive Director, Sherbrooke Innopole
“The innovation zone will generate increased interest in science and technology careers and help create a rich, stimulating and attractive ecosystem for both students and businesses. The Cégep de Sherbrooke will play an active role in this project through innovative training and research activities that support businesses and train a promising new generation that can tackle the human and technological challenges of our region.”
– Marie-France Bélanger, Executive Director, Cégep de Sherbrooke
“This innovation zone is an unmatched opportunity for companies niched in the quantum sciences as well as for those that strategically contribute to this supply chain. The integration of quantum tech applications will let local companies stand out thanks to the development of innovative services and products.”
– Sébastien Houle, Executive Director, Productique Québec
“We are very pleased to contribute to the development of the Sherbrooke quantique innovation zone and to provide our expertise to offer cutting-edge vocational education in the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors to train the next generation who can meet the needs of organizations and businesses.”
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– Christian Provencher, Executive Director, Centre de services scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke