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Organizations mobilize to acknowledge the pivotal role of universities in the development of Québec

News release

First edition of the Rendez-vous du Savoir
Organizations mobilize to acknowledge the pivotal role
 of universities in the development of Québec

Montréal, September 21, 2010 – The first edition of the Rendez-vous du Savoir will be held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on October 20 and 21, 2010. “This event aims to highlight the collective wealth generated by the academic community. This will be an opportunity to build additional bridges between universities and the business community, as well as strengthen ties between local and foreign students and Québec,” said Dr. Pavel Hamet, co-spokesperson for the event and renowned international researcher.

The Rendez-vous du Savoir is organized by the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Conference of Rectors and Principals of Québec Universities (CREPUQ), Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal, Montréal International and Ville de Montréal.  

The partners are pleased to acknowledge the participation of the Desjardins Group as the sponsor and host of the event.

“According to a study conducted in 2008 by Desjardins, the challenges posed by a declining labour force require higher productivity levels, if we are to maintain our standard of living, entitlements and collective wealth. Universities play a major role in increasing productivity,” said Monique F. Leroux, co-spokesperson for the Rendez-vous du Savoir and Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.

The program features four highlight events and is available at The Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal and Ville de Montréal invite new foreign students studying in the Province of Québec to attend a lively and informative welcoming celebration on October 20 at 5:30 p.m. On October 21 at noon, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal will hold a conference lunch featuring a distinguished lecturer who will discuss the contribution of universities to economic development. Then at 2 p.m., the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Québec Universities (CREPUQ) will invite guests to attend free lectures by key figures representing Québec universities. The two-day event will end with the 2010 Recognition Award Gala, hosted by the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Each year, this prestigious event honours efforts of Ambassadors who promote Montréal and the Province of Québec as choice destinations for hosting major events. This year’s Gala is part of the Rendez-vous du Savoir, where universities and five new “star-researchers” will receive special honours. 

Gather. Recognize. Influence.
Organizers of this first edition wished to create awareness among the business world and the community of the universities’ involvement and their pivotal role in economic, intellectual and social development.

“Montréal ranks first among Canadian university cities for the number of local and foreign students as well as research budget levels. The mission of Rendez-vous du Savoir is to highlight this reality as well as the influential role played by establishments of higher learning in building a thriving and innovative city. Montréal chose to highlight knowledge, creativity and innovation to ensure its prosperity and make itself known throughout the world. This first Rendez-vous du Savoir will mark the beginning of a new tradition celebrating our researchers, creative minds and foreign students,” said Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montréal.

“The Rendez-vous du Savoir is an opportunity to bring the business and academic communities closer together. Montréal ranks fifth in North America for the number of jobs in the field of high technology. This reflects the fact that our wealth is dependent upon cooperation between universities and the business community,” said Michel Leblanc, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“Welcoming and keeping foreign students here is a major challenge for both Québec and Montréal. Their presence here, as part of a highly qualified workforce, is responsible for direct economic spin-offs, which benefit the city as well as the province. Their cultural background also adds to our community’s rich social and cultural fabric,” said Manon Barbe, President of the CRÉ de Montréal.

International events featured in Montréal highlight the value and reputation of Québec knowledge. Over the past years, approximately half of all events held at the Palais des congrès involved pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical sciences. “Montréal is a major university centre that is home to a number of research institutes and a preferred city for prestigious events. In 2009, Montréal was chosen by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) as the No.1 destination in North America for holding international associative events. These events are responsible for significant intellectual and economic spin-offs for Montréal as well as the Province of Québec,” said Marc Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

To emphasize our reputation as a city of knowledge, the six partner organizations will acknowledge the exceptional achievements of five new “star-researchers”. The community will be introduced to these new rising stars involved in the field of research through a visibility campaign with recognition as a theme. “This campaign will emphasize the talent of these emerging Québec researchers as well as highlight the vitality of research in Québec. The Rendez-vous du Savoir takes on significant importance for academic institutions as it brings together key players from various backgrounds that support universities and recognize their contribution to economic, social and cultural development in Québec,” said Daniel Zizian, CREPUQ President and Director General.

“Greater Montréal can rely on a talented and qualified workforce, which is an asset when it comes to attracting, maintaining and helping businesses and international organizations develop. Montréal International acknowledges the mission of educational institutions, professors and researchers who are directly involved in the growth and international visibility of the Greater Montréal area and Québec,” said Jacques St-Laurent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montréal International.


Lucie-Anne Fabien
Ville de Montréal and Rendez-vous du Savoir
514 868-1125



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