Bureaux de Sherbrooke Innopole au Domaine Howard, Sherbrooke

3 May 2023

Sherbrooke Innopole’s 2022 Annual Report: Actions to Anchor Industrial and Technological Sectors in Recovery Despite Persisting Challenges

  • More than 700 direct interventions have been carried out with companies in the five key sectors for expected spinoffs of approximately $216.8 million and the creation or consolidation of 847 jobs in the medium term.
  • Financial commitments of over $1.6 million have generated private investments of $56.5 million.
  • Involvement in 233 growth-generating projects, including the quantum innovation zone and Sherbrooke’s first video game week.
  • Net gain of 348 jobs and $389 million invested in key sectors, despite a loss of 7 companies.

PRESS RELEASE – Today, Sherbrooke Innopole has published its 2022 annual activity report, which provides a positive assessment of the actions taken and its contribution to the development of a prosperous, equitable, and resilient local economy. The document also establishes a profile of the industrial and high-value-added services sectors.

To consult the 2022 Annual Activity Report (in French):

The Sherbrooke Innopole team performed a total of 714 interventions in 2022 with companies in its key sectors, namely Advanced Manufacturing, Information and Quantum Technologies, Cleantech, Life Sciences, and Micro-Nanotechnologies. The interventions completed during the year are expected to result in significant economic spinoffs in the medium term: investments of $216.8 million and the creation or consolidation of 847 jobs within companies. During this time, Sherbrooke Innopole initiated or collaborated on 233 growth-generating projects to produce a thriving environment for Sherbrooke businesses.

Sherbrooke Innopole has adapted its service offering to better meet the current needs of businesses, to support entrepreneurs in completing their projects, and also to ensure that Sherbrooke can offer a conducive and competitive business environment. Since 2010, the key sectors have experienced a net growth of 195 companies and over 9000 jobs, in addition to injecting $3.3 billion into the local economy. This represents a significant contribution to the economic development of the city of Sherbrooke,” stated Sylvain Durocher, Executive Director of Sherbrooke Innopole.

Some of Sherbrooke Innopole’s achievements in 2022

Thanks to its Sherbrooke International program, Sherbrooke Innopole has provided support to 12 companies in their expansion outside Québec. New initiatives in relation to major challenges in the field have also been deployed, including the Amorçage en entrepreneuriat technologique scholarship—whose first recipient was the start-up Désherbex—and the Premiers pas en cybersécurité program, which aims to support SMEs in efforts to secure their digital data.

Sherbrooke Innopole also organized the Colloque Économie circulaire in collaboration with its regional partners from the Synergie Estrie project. Some 200 participants attended the event. As part of the Projet de réemploi et de recyclage des meubles en Estrie, 400 pieces of furniture were diverted from the landfill.

Support initiatives for labour issues and efforts to boost the city’s attractiveness showed no signs of slowing in 2022, with four human resources co-development groups involving 32 companies and 13 recruitment events, including seven international recruitment missions and 17 activities aimed at retaining students and graduates through the Ma carrière à Sherbrooke initiative. Sherbrooke Innopole also contributed to the first student recruitment mission of the Cégep de Sherbrooke in France.

The approaches to attract value-added companies to the Sherbrooke ecosystem have been successful, leading to the establishment of five companies from outside the core sectors. The organization with its partners also coordinated the Sommet économique Sherbrooke-New Hampshire, a mission aimed at networking and creating new partnerships for our technology companies which included the participation of 47 entrepreneurs, researchers, and economic developers.

Sherbrooke Innopole also led and propelled a brand new community initiative with the objective of supporting the economic development in relation to video games and techno-creative arts, a rapidly expanding subsector of the Information and Quantum Technologies key sector: Sherbrooke’s first video games week. The event was such a success that the initiative was held once again in 2023.

It was also in 2022 that Sherbrooke Innopole and its partners celebrated the five years in operation for the multi-tenant science centre Espace LABz, which has had a 100% occupancy rate for the past two years. By the end of the year, the six tenant companies employed 85 professionals, generating annual spinoffs of about $13 million for the regional economy.

Two new strategic alliances have been forged during the year, with the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ) and the Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec – Estrie. Sherbrooke’s designation as an innovation zone specializing in quantum sciences and technological applications, the result of a major collaboration among the city’s driving forces of education, research, innovation, and business, is yet another highlight of 2022.

“The provincial government’s recognition reinforces Sherbrooke’s status among the major innovation hubs of Québec, and soon, the world. The Sherbrooke Quantum Innovation Zone will drive many business opportunities and the profile of investments within Sherbrooke companies has demonstrated the readiness to seize such opportunities, and that they adhere to the local innovation culture,” noted Alexandre Nault.

In total, the seven Sherbrooke Innopole funds have allocated more than $1.6 million to 12 seed, precommercialization, start-up, innovation, or growth projects, with spinoffs exceeding $56.5 million and 436 jobs created or consolidated. Each dollar invested thus generated $33.86 in investment in the community.

Portrait of the industrial and high-value-added sectors

The annual inventory conducted by Sherbrooke Innopole among businesses in the sectors served indicates a net creation of 348 jobs and investments in the order of $389 million across the five key sectors, despite the loss of seven businesses. The main findings of the survey can be found in the Portait économique 2022 section of the 2022 Annual Activity Report.

“This is a slight decline mainly affecting small businesses that are more exposed to high and persistent inflation, disruptions in supply and logistics chains, and challenges associated with the labour shortage. The total loss of the Centre de valorisation des aliments (CVA) can also explain some of the other unfortunate closures,” explained Alexandre Nault.

The five key thus consisted of 690 companies employing 22 157 people in 2022.

About Sherbrooke Innopole

Sherbrooke Innopole is the paramunicipal economic development organization for the industrial and high-value-added services sector. Its mission is to accelerate the development of companies from the five key sectors – Advanced Manufacturing, Information and Quantum Technologies, Cleantech, Life Sciences and Micro-Nanotechnologies – and ensure that Sherbrooke has an attractive and innovative business environment. It is mainly financed by the City of Sherbrooke through the Bureau de coordination du développement économique. 

Source: Sherbrooke Innopole

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