Official Launch of TechnoMontréal - The industry mobilizes to speed up development of Greater Montréal's Information and Communications Technology industry



    MONTREAL, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 300 key players in Greater
Montréal's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector met today
for the official launch of TechnoMontréal, uniting the industry around a
cluster initiative in the pursuit of common objectives and joint action to
accelerate its growth.
    "This initiative is the result of a major mobilization of business
people, teaching institutions, associations and the public sector. The Cluster
will support companies in the ICT sector, as they increase their ability to
innovate and be competitive, and will strengthen the position of Greater
Montréal among the world leaders in this field," said the chairman of the
Board of TechnoMontréal and President and CEO of Wavesat, Mr. Michel Guay.
    The launch was attended by Mr. Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic
Development, Innovation and Export Trade of Québec, Mr. Gérald Tremblay, Mayor
of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, and
Mr. Jean-Jacques Bourgeault, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Montréal
International. The government representatives took the opportunity to announce
a total annual contribution of $600,000 to TechnoMontréal as part of a
three-year agreement. "We would like to thank our public partners and Montréal
International, which have supported the ICT Cluster since its beginnings and
which helped bring to life our initiatives," Guay said.
    The President and CEO of TechnoMontréal, Lyne Bouchard, underlined the
importance of networking among businesses for the growth of the industry and
the economic development of Québec. "Successful regions of the world have
adopted similar strategies, and have quickly developed effective partnerships
among players in the sector and cultivated strong economic leadership."
    "The ICT industry of Greater Montréal has all the attributes it needs to
stand out on the international stage, including a critical mass of companies
and quality researchers. We need to put strategies in place to further promote
our industry, our accomplishments and our success, and derive benefit from
partnerships with scientific and academic milieus, and with sectoral
associations," Bouchard added.

    Efforts to generate action

    By 2010, the Cluster plans to create 15,000 to 25,000 ICT-related jobs,
increase exports in the order of 30%, and increase the number of people who
work in private and university R&D by 25%.
    To achieve these objectives, a number of projects are already under way,
several of which are intended to make businesses more competitive by
increasing private funding and generating greater interest among young people
in the wide range of careers available in ICT, and through coherent government
strategies to support the industry. Other projects are meant to promote
innovation, such as creating closer ties between businesses and researchers,
and implementing centres of excellence. TechnoMontréal will also be involved
in implementing strategies and programs specific to the ICT industry to target
foreign markets, including a partnership project with UNESCO, the Canadian
Council on Africa, and the Right Honourable Joe Clark, 16th Prime Minister of
Canada and former minister of Foreign Affairs, now a professor in
public-private partnerships at McGill's Centre of Developing-Area Studies.
    "The challenges we face require that all players work together to improve
our competitiveness and facilitate our access to potential markets.
TechnoMontréal exists to encourage this joint effort," Bouchard said.
    Sector companies now have access to a new portal, www.technomontreal.com,
which is the gateway to a wealth of stakeholders and resources.

    The ICT Cluster of Greater Montréal

    The Information and Communications Technology Cluster of Greater Montréal
represents 2,700 companies and close to 110,000 jobs. It contributes to the
prosperity of the Montréal region, with exports totalling over $4 billion in
2004. For more information: www.technomontreal.com.

    About the Cluster secretariat

    The mission of the ICT Cluster secretariat is to contribute to the
economic development of the ICT sector of Greater Montréal and to increase its
international status. This initiative is financed by the Government of Canada,
the Government of Québec and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. The
secretariat also benefits from the support of Montréal International.




For further information:

For further information: Céline Clément, Communications Advisor,
Montréal International, (514) 987-9390, Cell: (514) 892-4030,
celine.clement@montrealinternational.com


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