Montréal is an innovative leader in the pharmaceutical sector

published on November 4, 2021
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Montréal is noted internationally for its unparalleled creativity and unique feeling of joie de vivre (joy of living). The interplay of these characteristics permeates both cultural and business sectors and leads to an overall culture of innovation. So, it’s no surprise that the city leads in trendsetting fields like neuroscience, oncology, cardiology, and artificial intelligence.

Montréal is also a cornerstone city in the pharmaceutical sector — and here’s why.

A vibrant backdrop of research and investment

Over 715 organizations actively employ more than 56,000 industry professionals and researchers in the life sciences and healthcare technology (LSHT) sector in the province of Québec. Montréal alone employs over 32,000 professionals. An international centre of learning, the city’s higher education systems produce thousands of graduates in health-related studies annually.

- More than 50, 000 university students (80% in Greater Montréal)

- More than 16,000 graduates (80% in Greater Montréal)

- More than CA$1 billion in funding yearly dedicated to university research

Montréal’s spirit of creativity and innovation is one worth investing in. Billions of dollars have been invested in research hubs and mega hospitals like McGill University’s MUHC, the Université de Montréal’s CHUM, and the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital of Pediatrics.

And we’re affordable. The province of Québec (where Montréal is located), has a 24% cost advantage over the average of other North American jurisdictions. This bodes well for attracting foreign direct investment.

A home base of pharmaceutical development

Montréal holds the largest concentration of major pharmaceutical company headquarters in Canada, with approximately 50 national and international biotechnology companies calling the city home. The thriving local startup scene is also booming with over 100 new medical technology-related companies taking advantage of both the infrastructure and skilled workers headquartered in the city.

Montréal is one of the few places in the world where every phase of creation of a new drug can take place. From the earliest steps in research to medicine production to product launch and marketing, Montréal’s pharmaceutical sector does it all. We are, quite literally, a city that is helping the world heal.

Montréal InVivo fosters innovation and interaction

Besides placing first in Canada for the highest number of research centres and monetary investment in university research, Montréal is also home to the Montréal InVivo, an LSHT cluster of local companies and organizations. Over 600 organizations — including 150 research operations and 80 subsidiaries of foreign companies — are linked through the cluster, fostering creativity and collaboration that helps push development ever further.

AIDS 2022

Earlier this year, the International AIDS Society announced that the 24th International AIDS Conference (known informally as “AIDS 2022”) will take place in Montréal from July 29 through August 2, 2022, with pre-conference events taking place July 27-28. Montréal’s convention centre, the iconic Palais des congrès de Montréal, played an instrumental role in securing the event and will play host to the thousands of attendees.

The conference will follow a modern hybrid model, one that combines in-person and virtual components to ensure accessibility for all who wish to attend. Attendees will include HIV scientists, health researchers, policy makers, community support workers, and activists.

Notably, this will be the second time that Montréal has hosted the prominent conference. In June of 1989, over 10,000 attendees gathered in the city for the 5th International AIDS Conference.


Read this next: Montréal to host AIDS 2022

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