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Report of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council: The Board of Trade issues a call for action to promote innovation


Report of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council:
The Board of Trade issues a call for action to promote innovation

Montréal, May 21, 2009 – During a presentation of the principal findings of the State of the nation 2008 report by Canada's Science, Technology, and Innovation Council, Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, issued a call for Canada-wide action to promote innovation and competitiveness.

In the presence of more than a hundred members of the business community, Leblanc and three members of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council – Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University; Guy Rouleau, M.D., Ph. D., holder of the Canada research chair in genetics of the nervous system, and Université de Montréal professor; and Éric Bergeron, President and CEO of Optosecurity Inc. – described the state of innovation in Canada.

“Our metropolitan area is resolutely oriented toward the knowledge and innovation economy. We have set in place effective tools to support research and development; we expect much from technology transfer; we encourage our companies to adopt the latest innovations as quickly as possible; and we are working to strengthen our capacities at the commercialization stage. Yet the Council's report is clear: we must do more,” observed Leblanc.

“Competition in terms of innovation and the economy is global, and our performance in the area of innovation must be competitive at the international level. We are concerned about the average performance of Canada observed by the Council. Its report stresses the need to adopt a coherent, well-funded strategy at every level of the public and private sectors. We have an obligation to raise our sights,” continued Leblanc.

“For this reason, we are proud to help disseminate the report's conclusions and spread the word that we must grasp the urgency of the situation and work more coherently to improve our performance in the area of innovation. Companies, universities, and governments all have a responsibility to work together to enhance Canada's competitiveness. Considering the quality of the researchers and institutions of higher education in our metropolis, there can be no doubt that we have the talent to rise to this challenge. It's up to us to convince decision makers to devote the necessary resources to take full advantage of our enormous potential,” concluded Leblanc.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.


Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015

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