Health sciences are more vital than ever — and Montréal is delivering in big ways
While the life science and health technologies sector has grown immensely over the past decade, 2020 was a watershed year. As COVID-19 spread, the world witnessed the tremendous power of research and development in tackling the greatest health threats facing us.
Montréal, a life and health sciences powerhouse, has been at the forefront of overcoming these challenges. The region is home to a critical mass of life sciences businesses, top-notch universities, cutting-edge research infrastructure and a diverse talent pool that’s driving the sector forward.
Leading the way in life and health sciences
Montréal is one of the largest life science and health technology hubs in North America — and for good reason.
The sector is fueled by a strong research ecosystem. There are over 12,000 researchers and professionals in the city in many life sciences areas, ranging from cancer to cardiology. Additionally, Montréal has some 300 public and para-public research centres, including the CHUM Research Centre, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the Research Centre of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital, Montréal Neurological Institute-Hospital and the Montréal Heart Institute. Given this expertise, it should come as no surprise that the city is first in Canada for R&D investment and research centres in life sciences.
On top of this, Montréal is home to 600 life sciences organizations, which include many big names like Merck Canada, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Canada. One reason why the city is so appealing to companies is because of its economic benefits: Montréal offers the most competitive operating costs among the 20 largest cities in Canada and the United States.
Another element that makes Montréal’s life and health sciences sector stand out is its strong collaborative environment. This dynamic ecosystem is supported by Montréal InVivo, a non-profit that exists to strengthen and develop the local sector in Montréal and across the province of Québec.
The life sciences and health technologies sector is tightly knit in Montréal. We are champions of having very different players — including the private sector, research institutes and government — work together to attain common goals and ultimately, improve lives.
Frank Béraud, chief executive officer of Montréal Invivo
A focus on collaboration
The life sciences and health technologies sector in Montréal has been more important than ever over the past year and a half as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the critical role of therapeutics and treatments in rendering the virus much less dangerous, companies and research institutions across the city rallied together and showed incredible ingenuity in their efforts to find new solutions to the virus.
Memorable business events
Home to many top minds and renowned companies, the bustling city has become a sought-after destination for global organizations in the life sciences and health technologies sector. When companies meet in Montréal, they can tap into the city’s massive knowledge base for guest speakers and explore Canadian treatments, therapies and technologies powering the future of healthcare during conferences, symposia, B2B exchanges, lab tours and more.
Contemporary and cosmopolitan, Montréal is also filled with enriching activities and experiences for attendees to enjoy in between meetings and sessions. Delegates can indulge in the city’s vibrant culinary scene and nightlife, take in the city at museums and performing art centres and experience the energy of the many festivals that are hosted in the city each year.
As a result of these advantages, for the fourth consecutive year, Montréal was the top-ranked city in the Americas for the number of international events hosted in 2020, according to the International Meetings Statistics Report released by the Union of International Associations.
A place to meet
By augmenting speakers’ series with technology experts, and enriching programming with localized tours and creative off-site venues, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenue and inspire future generations.
“We call that 'meeting with purpose’,” says Mylène Gagnon, vice president of sales and convention services at Tourisme Montréal, pointing out that Montréal is poised to show off its booming life sciences sector and the visionary leaders who are creating a brighter future.
For a fourth consecutive year—and despite the pandemic—Montréal is the top-ranked city in the Americas for the number of international events hosted in 2020, according to the International Meetings Statistics Report, released recently by the Union of International Associations (UIA). Montréal came ahead of DC, NYC, Pistacaway and Chicago.
Connected to the world
The newly revamped Montréal-Trudeau airport offers direct flights to over 150 global destinations, plus the city is less than a three-hour plane ride to major American cities like New York, Washington, Chicago and Atlanta. Montréal’s vibrant downtown is home to the ultra-modern and state-of-the-art Palais des congrès Convention Centre, which is within walking distance of 16,000 hotel rooms.
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