Montreal: The Next Tech Capital of the World?

2016-09-15

Montreal universities announce federally funded breakthrough investment of $213M for computer and brain research.

We don`t believe the doom-and-gloom stories about Montreal’s economic decline, especially the ones about the growth of high-tech enterprises where Quebec continues to be a national leader. And here’s further proof:

Montreal’s leading research institutions — Université de Montréal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal – have been awarded $213 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of international development: “From big data to brain health, the areas of research will pave the way for new discoveries and innovative practices. These major investments will help these institutions emerge as leaders in these fields and attract the most brilliant researchers here.”

In order to qualify for what is being called the most important investment in research in the history of Montreal, the winning universities had to show they were among the top five per cent in the world in the high-tech fields eligible for the funding. And they did just that. Said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier: “This is like winning the gold medal in the Olympics.”

So this is not simply a story about academic and research excellence. It’s a story about jobs, an expanded Montreal tax base and, perhaps most important, the recognition that our city continues to be a powerful magnet for high-tech investment opportunities.