2 May 2015
Sherbrooke Innopole’s Annual Report – Net Gain of 13 Companies in Key Sectors in 2014
PRESS RELEASE – Sherbrooke Innopole released its 2014 annual report yesterday, painting a portrait of Sherbrooke’s economy. At the end of a year described by the economic development agency as “intense and tumultuous,” Sherbrooke’s industrial sector had very good results, including a net gain of 13 companies and 94 new jobs in key sectors.
These numbers are indicative of the positive results of the strategic plan that Sherbrooke Innopole implemented last year. For the past five years, the key sectors have recorded annual net gains in companies and jobs, with a total growth of 62 companies and 1895 jobs in Sherbrooke. “In addition, investments in the industrial sector since 2010 total more than $850 million,” stated outgoing Sherbrooke Innopole Board of Directors President, Marc Cantin. “This is clear proof that an economic development strategy based on key sectors works, and that the money of Sherbrooke residents is well-invested.”
Consult the full version of Sherbrooke Innopole’s 2014 annual report (in French) on sherbrooke-innopole.com or by clicking http://bit.ly/rapportannuelSI2014.
Pierre Tremblay, new president for the Board of Directors, Marc Cantin, outgoing President, and Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole
See photos of the press conference
The economic portrait presented in the annual report demonstrates the resilience of Sherbrooke’s economy, despite the repercussions of the economic crisis of recent years. “We can delight in the fact that not only are our population and property values continuing to grow, but our unemployment rate, for the sixth consecutive year, remains below the Québec average, at 7.2%,” pointed out Mr. Cantin.
Investments in the industrial / high-value-added services sector reached $148 566 000 in 2014, corresponding to 28% of all investments made in Sherbrooke. Of this sum, the amounts invested by companies in the key sectors represent close to $125 million, a 9.5% increase over 2013. “Better still, nearly a quarter of this amount was devoted to research and development,” eagerly noted Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “This is a clear signal that innovation and increased productivity remain a priority for our companies.”
Sherbrooke Innopole’s results
Sherbrooke Innopole’s dashboard and the results directly related to its team’s efforts are also presented in the report. Over the course of the past year, Sherbrooke Innopole’s professionals conducted 756 interventions with Sherbrooke companies, of which 178 had been completed as of December 31, 2014, contributing to investments of more than $24 million and the creation or consolidation of 856 jobs.
In terms of financing, 18 companies benefited from one or another of Sherbrooke Innopole’s funds, contributing to the creation of 112 jobs and the consolidation of another 206 jobs. Each dollar invested generated $9.87 in investment from the milieu, for a total of almost $9 million.
In addition, Sherbrooke Innopole spearheaded some 100 projects during the year, such as the Portes ouvertes sur l’industrie (industrial open house) event, the new incubator for innovative companies Espace-INC, the opening of Robert-Boyd Street, the extension of De Portland Boulevard, the project to construct a multi-tenant building devoted to the Life Sciences, and the ALERTE airport security centre. “The projects that we undertake are often complex and drawn out, but carrying them out provides our entrepreneurs with concrete solutions, which are assets contributing to our city’s current and future economic vitality,” explained Marc Cantin.
Mr. Cantin also underscored the significant impacts that recent budget cuts and Bill 28 have had on Sherbrooke Innopole. “We have had to make difficult decisions, among them, the elimination of several positions and a reduction in the number of our organization’s activities. The entire team was involved in a streamlining exercise and together reviewed its processes with the utmost rigour in order to maintain our level of services to entrepreneurs and to continue to play our central role in Sherbrooke’s economic development, despite reduced human and financial resources,” noted Mr. Cantin.
A new president for the Board of Directors
Marc Cantin thanked all of the stakeholders whose collaborative efforts have led to the excellent results of recent years. He also took advantage of his last intervention as president of Sherbrooke Innopole to highlight the importance that all economic, political, and social stakeholders maintain a shared, consistent vision of Sherbrooke’s economic development during this transition period.
After three full mandates on the organization’s Board of Directors, Mr. Cantin left his functions as president and Board member at Sherbrooke Innopole’s annual general meeting, which took place Tuesday evening. Pierre Tremblay, Vice-President – Financial Planning and North American Operations at BRP, was elected to the presidency. “I am very pleased to be involved in Sherbrooke’s economic development,” stated Mr. Tremblay. “After more than two years on Sherbrooke Innopole’s Board, I have become very familiar with the economic issues, and I am convinced that we have all of the ingredients to continue to construct an environment that facilitates the creation of new companies and new jobs.”
Suzie Talbot, President of DIEX Recherche, was elected vice-president, as was Réal Létourneau, Vice-President – Eastern Townships at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, who also retains the position of treasurer. Brigitte Campeau, Director General of La Cordée, was elected secretary for a fourth year.
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