ÉTS-McGill partnership to build on complementary strengths

By Julie Fortier

McGill is partnering with the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in the development of the Quartier de l’innovation, an innovation hub designed to bring together high-calibre researchers and creative entrepreneurs.

The project was unveiled on March 30, by Principal Heather Munroe-Blum and Prof. Yves Beauchamp, Director-General of ÉTS, at the strategic forum on major projects for Montreal held by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“Post-secondary institutions play a crucial role in the innovation chain through research and development, training the next generation of skilled and innovation-oriented workers, linking with industries to support their R&D needs, as well as through our extensive networks of industrial and international partners,” said Munroe-Blum.

“By creating a world-class interuniversity network in applied sciences and advanced commercial technology we will optimize the strategic partnership between McGill and ÉTS and support the competitiveness of Quebec businesses,” added Beauchamp.

The Quartier de l’innovation will be located near Montreal’s downtown and a 20-minute walk from the McGill campus in an area bordered roughly by Guy, McGill, St-Jacques and Wellington streets. It will include office space for start-up companies and student residences, among other things. One objective of this unique model is to complete the innovation chain by enhancing the synergy between researchers and industry.

The universities’ respective strengths make them ideal partners. ÉTS is a leader in the translation of know-how to the market and close connections to industry. McGill attracts world-renowned researchers and students from over 150 countries and has an international network unlike any other university in Quebec.

“The Quartier de l’innovation will allow us to leverage the whole education spectrum from CEGEP level to post-graduate level and provide a continuum that will benefit the translation of knowledge into marketable applications,” said Munroe-Blum.

Implementation of the project will begin in early 2012.