Quartier de l’Innovation: a neighbourhood with solutions
In simple terms, Montréal’s Quartier de l’Innovation (QI) is an innovation ecosystem in the heart of the city. It’s a creative grouping of schools, private start-ups, and established businesses, pulled together to address the new realities of innovation challenges occurring on a worldwide scale. But with modern, localized solutions.
HOW DID THIS PROJECT BEGIN?
The idea for the Quartier de l’innovation (QI) was born in 2009 under the leadership of the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University. Now, Concordia University and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) have joined the movement and have added their unique perspective to the vision.
The aim was (and is) to create a showcase of innovation in Montréal. It does this by capitalizing on the complementarities in research, training, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as national and interregional networks of its members. Think of the QI as a “living laboratory.”
WHAT DOES THIS ECOSYSTEM ACTUALLY DO?
We’re glad you asked. Many significant initiatives have come into existence in the Quartier de l’Innovation since it was founded. The QI was a major part of the Montréal Summit on Innovation (MSI), which brings together experts from four corners of the globe every year in order to explore innovation-related themes. They’ve created an urban art walk, and subsequently united artists, retailers, companies, and the general public. The Quartier de l’Innovation (in collaboration with a few other partners) organizes five “Mashup” events per year. These meetings bring together select start-ups and SMEs to try to come up with solutions to complex situations submitted by large companies or organizations. Furthermore, they’ve brought free Wi-Fi to the neighbourhood. (The list goes on, but you get the idea.)
WHERE EXACTLY IS THIS NEIGHBORHOOD?
The Quartier de l’Innovation stretches from McGill street to Atwater avenue, and from René-Levesque boulevard to the Lachine Canal. Home to more than 400 businesses and 250 start-ups, the QI is Montréal’s highest concentration of emerging entrepreneurs.
If your team is looking to innovate, it might be the perfect neighborhood to hold your next event!