The Heart of Innovation
By Anna Guy
For 30 years, Technoparc Montréal has fostered Montreal’s scientific and technological development community by housing high value life sciences, aerospace, ICT and cleantech businesses and research centres in a localized and specialized community. In addition to its Business Centre solutions for SME, Technoparc Montréal has developed two specialized sites: the Saint-Laurent Campus, home to 110 companies such as Bombardier, Neo Med, ABB, and Genetec, 7,000 workers, and the Éco-campus Hubert Reeves.
“Our mission has been to be the scientific research epicentre in Quebec, and Canada, by attracting world leaders in aerospace, health science, IT, Nanotec, cleantech, and emerging technologies,” Carl Baillargeon, Director of Communications and Marketing told Business Elite Canada.
“There is an advantage in having diverse industries in the Technoparc, and we work closely with our businesses to make sure we are able to meet their needs quickly, and to connect them with the right people for their specific endeavours.”
Technoparc Montreal was founded on—and succeeds because of—three levels of participation. “From the academic, political, and business communities, there is an incremental added promotion and support of the businesses in the Technoparc, at the heart of the life sciences industry and an innovative business community” says Baillargeon, of what has made Technoparc Montreal the leading community of its kind in the country.
Business in the Technoparc are head offices with a research component of at least 15 per cent of its employees, though most go above that. Seen as a “red hot” location for research, Technoparc Montreal has a well established and uncontested reputation for its primary role, that of a centralized research environment for mutual success of tight-knit businesses, and a turn-key option for domestic and foreign companies.
Eco-campus Hubert Reeves
A distinctive site located at the southern tip of the Technoparc, the Eco-campus Hubert Reeves is a conservation zone, with a multifunctional reception pavilion, and a public plaza, constructed with cutting-edge technologies that will serve as benchmarks for years to come.
“A unique site in all of North America, the Eco-campus was designed to welcome clean-tech research firms—a sector that we want to develop in Saint-Laurent. In fact, this type of company wants to locate in an environment where biodiversity is preserved… And that’s one of the main values of our own Administration! The agreement that has been signed with this first company confirms the vision of long-term development of our territory, and the Borough Council members and I are very proud of this,” said Saint-Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa at time of the campus unveiling.
Technoparc’s location is a critical advantage as well, located on the border of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, and as of 2020, the light rail transit system will directly link Technoparc to the airport, “a significant improvement of the quality of transportation, accessibility to the Technoparc and the direct link to the airport for business people,” says Baillargeon.
“The close proximity of the chosen location at the Technoparc to the Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and the future Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) – a rapid transit system – will allow our members, partners, and employees to easily access the Greater Montreal area, including downtown Montreal”, said Mr. Pierre Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations. “Being in close proximity to our current partners as well as other innovative companies will also further promote collaboration, which is a key element in fostering and maintaining an innovative environment”, he added
In 2015, Technoparc Montréal got international recognition with the establishment of Green Cross Biotherapeutics’ North American headquarters. Green Cross Corporation, the parent company in South Korea, is a multinational enterprise specialized in pharmaceutical and biotechnologies. Considered to be the largest investment in Canadian Biopharma in over a decade, this $400-million investment will introduce Canada’s only manufacturing facility of plasma-derived protein products, Intravenous Immunoglobulin and Albumin. The arrival of Green Cross Biotherapeutics further reinforces Technoparc Montréal’s ability to attract international companies. That same year, Technoparc Montréal also welcomed ABB, another major international tech company who established its Canadian headquarters on its Campus, midst of all other high value, innovative companies.
“Technoparc Montreal offered a number of attractive features for ABB,” says Dalia Rashid, Country Communications Manager, ABB Canada. “First and foremost, it is a hub for innovation, and innovation is at the heart of ABB. From an employee perspective, the information about the REM, which will connect from south shore to the airport of Montréal and passing through the Technoparc, was a significant feature as ABB believes in public transit and is a global technology leader in the supply of electrification of transport around the world. Furthermore, ABB is engaged in a partnership with Technoparc to create the first Quebec designed, manufactured and integrated last/first mile industrial electric shuttle with the REM and the Technoparc offers the perfect test bed for an industrial Living Lab.”
With an established reputation for research and innovation, Baillargeon says Technoparc Montreal has now set itself on answering the question ‘How can the work life balance for the people who work in the park be even better?’ The next chapter for Technoparc is enhancing the life/work balance and convenience of its residents.
“Around the company there are many commercial services such as bistros, cafeterias, coffee shops, a gym, daycare, car maintenance service, community gardens etc,” says Nadine Haddad of SolidXpert, a company located in Technoparc Montreal.
Haddad goes on to say the Technoparc team works hard in offering and hosting many social events allowing companies to get together and mingle. A food truck event is hosted every Thursday of the month during the summer season, electric car demos, BBQs, friendly competition between companies. “The quality of life at the Technoparc is undeniable. We enjoy the parks around the company. Most of our employees take long walks which reinforces a healthy and active living. Green spaces, jogging paths and biking trails offer a perfect setting to fill up the mind with positive energy.”