- Canada's competitive position remains an important issue -
MONTREAL, Sept. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The International Institute of
Telecommunications (IIT) released the results of a SECOR study today that
shows that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is one of
the pillars of the Canadian economy, but that the underfunding of recent years
has undermined Canada's competitive position relative to other countries such
as Finland, Ireland and South Korea.
The study also illustrates the important role played by IIT and IIT-R in
supporting the start-up and accelerating the growth of new companies in the
ICT sector, as well as providing hands-on and specialized training and
bringing Canadian expertise to the international marketplace.
"The SECOR study shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ICT sector
must invest more if Canada wants to be an international leader," said
Louis Brunel, president and chief executive officer of IIT.
In addition, comments from IIT members and the SECOR study results
confirm that IIT and IIT-R, although relatively young, have had a huge impact
on the ICT sector and the local economy.
"With more than $7 million in economic benefits for Québec and the very
many examples of commercial success among our members, IIT is even more
motivated to pursue its efforts to obtain adquate funding from the Canadian
government," Mr. Brunel said.
Here are some of the key findings of the study:
Significant growth, but lags behind international leaders
- Although the ICT sector has grown significantly in Canada (6.5%, from
1990 to 2002), the pace has been much slower than world leaders, such
as Ireland, which, with a growth rate of 13.5%, is growing twice as
fast as Canada.
ICT: one of the pillars of the Canadian economy - but invests less than
- Despite the slowdown of the early 2000s, ICT is one of the pillars of
our economy, representing 6% of Canada's GDP. The ICT sector has also
grown 8% annually since 1997, a much faster pace than the Canadian GDP
over the same period.
- Close to 50% of private investment in R&D in Canada goes to the ICT
sector. But, in relation to the GDP, Canada invests much less (0.52%)
than countries like Finland (1.65%), Korea (1.30%), Sweden (1.05%),
Japan (.84%) and the United States (0.56%).
- Canadian public investments (5.7%), rank only 8th worldwide.
IIT and IIT-R play a vital role
The SME members consulted by SECOR said that it would have been much more
difficult to take the lead over their competitors in international markets if
they had not had access to the IIT and IIT-R inrastructures and the support of
its researchers and experts.
"With access to specific wireless networks to test technologies under
real conditions, we were able to do in one year what the competition did in
three years," said Guy Chevrette, president of iMetrik. "Without IIT, we would
have had to find other labs in the world, a more costly and time-consuming
Thanks to IIT, the engineers at OZ were able to develop and test their
technologies on a network that does not exist commercially in Canada. "Without
IIT, our people would have had to go to our client's office in Plattsburg to
do the same work," said Jean Régnier, chief technology officer for OZ.
"Regular access to IIT's facilities was critical at the start of the company.
IIT offered material and technical resources that were not accessible to us
otherwise and the scientific expertise of IIT - particularly in artificial
intelligence - allowed our engineering team solve specific problems and
improve our applications."
The president of TelcoBridges, Gaétan Campeau, also said that IIT had
made it possible for his company to speed up product development and respond
more effectively to client expectations. "The 3G network at IIT is the only
tool for testing 3G in North America. Without it, our people would have had to
go to Singapore."
The SECOR study also points out that IIT has helped attract major
international events to Montreal, not to mention leading researchers and
The organization Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), for example, which regroups
approximately 400 wireless network operators and user or network equipment
suppliers, chose IIT as its permanent test centre in the Americas after
discovering how the IIT network could benefit its members. To date, IIT has
hosted three OMA TestFests, generating more than $1.14 million in economic
benefits for the Montreal area. The next TestFest is scheduled for
About the IIT and the IIT-R:
The International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT) and IIT-Research
(IIT-R) make up one of Canada's top industrial centres with respect to
telecommunications and information technology. These two entities, distinct
while located in the same facility in Montreal, have a common goal, which is
to play a major role in the development of the telecommunications/ICT
industry. With over 70 members, they have assembled the industry's main
players: large organizations, SMEs, venture capital companies and
universities. Focusing on the basic needs of the industry, IIT and IIT-R offer
a variety of complementary services designed to meet them. As a training
centre for the industry, providing state-of-the-art consulting services in
telecommunications/ICTs, IIT also offers essential support to innovative SMEs
by helping them with the critical steps involving marketing and funding.
IIT-R, on the other hand, is an industrial research consortium focusing on
wire-based and wireless telecommunications pre-competitive research. As such,
it is called upon to play a major Research and Development (R&D) role, for
both large organizations and SMEs. Visit the IIT's Web site at
www.iitelecom.com for more information.
For further information:
For further information: Alain Bourget, Alain Bourget Communications
Inc., (514) 994-1816, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org