Technoparc Montréal’s mission is to offer real estate environments and solutions that facilitate technological innovation, collaboration and success. As they enter their 30th year, their impressive growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon; Technoparc continues to fulfill its mission of driving the economic development of Montreal and Quebec.
Technoparc Montréal fosters the city’s scientific and technological development by encouraging high value life sciences, aerospace, ICT, cleantech businesses and research sciences to establish offices in Montreal. In addition to its Business Centre solutions for SME, Technoparc Montréal promotes two specialized sites: the Saint-Laurent Campus, which is home to 90 companies that employ 6300 workers, and the Éco-campus Hubert Reeves.
Established in 1987 as a non-profit organization, the Centre d’Initiative Technologique de Montréal, or CITech, set to create the most ambitious economic development project in Montreal: Technoparc Saint-Laurent, a $2.3 million centre destined to become one of the world’s leading research centres.
The organization relies on the skills of their innovative team to implement world-class projects all over Montreal. Building on their success, Technoparc Montreal quickly became a trailblazing facility that made huge investments into major infrastructure projects, putting the city on the map when it came to technological pursuits. In 2014, Technoparc Montreal’s real estate activities broke records.
Technoparc is located in the second largest employment zone in Quebec and provides a great resource of specifically trained employees for the area. Technoparc is also home to some well-known names; Bombardier alone occupies three large buildings on site. The location of where the companies are located is methodical and well planned, which attracts companies of a similar nature to be grouped together. “Technoparc is very specific and branded,” says Carl Baillargeon, Director, Communications and Marketing. “Being a scientific park, a minimum of 15% of a company’s employees have to be dedicated to research to be a good fit amidst all of the other high value, innovative companies that are now doing business in the heart of Montreal’s Technoparc.”
“The beauty of Technoparc is that we have several industries that are present on the site and of these industries, aerospace is a large component which accounts for 53% of all jobs. Information Technology (IT) makes up about 28%, health sciences are about 14% and diverse services occupy the rest,” says Baillargeon.
There is major expansion taking place at Technoparc with a $400 million investment into new installations for three large companies that will create about thousand more jobs on the site. ABB, a world leader in power and automation technologies chose to establish its Canadian headquarters at the Technoparc. The wide-scale project will take up 300,000 square feet on Technoparc Montreal’s Saint-Laurent Campus and is set for completion in May 2017.
Another significant development is the construction of the North American headquarters for South Korea’s Green Cross Biotherapeutics. The project, whose infrastructures include a research centre and a blood plasma fractionation facility, is one of Quebec’s largest life science investment deals in 15 years. “The arrival of ABB and Green Cross Biotherapeutics Inc. enhances the status of Montreal and Quebec as a leader in the health sector and once again attests to Technoparc Montréal’s capacity to attract international businesses,” says Baillargeon.
Recently this past September, Technoparc Montreal welcomed the new data center for the company 4Degrés. Representing an investment of more than $40 million, the data centre is a 43,000 sq ft building with an available load of 16 megawatts. It will serve to meet the ever-growing data processing and management needs of today’s businesses.
“In our E-logistic zone, on the western side of Technoparc, there are some larger facilities that can accommodate shipping,” says Baillargeon. “We are looking now at targeting more companies in e-commerce to get them into the E- logistics industry.” One of the key players in this shift is the fast growing Montreal-based company Ssense, which stocks hundreds of luxury brands. The company is moving in all of their staff and installations to Technoparc’s logistic area.
Technoparc reflects a community dynamic. “We are focused on creating a quality of life; we are very specific in the positioning that we have as being a suburban scientific park, as we are not downtown,” says Baillargeon. “We offer services that would typically be in the core of downtown like a daycare, drycleaner, banking, restaurants and bistros that are open to the public. We even bring in food trucks; all typical services people would do during their lunch hour.”
Bike paths weave throughout the Technoparc and connect to other parts in the West Island of Montreal. “We have a green approach to things and are encouraging the use of electric transportation and are looking at the concept of having charging stations on site,” says Baillargeon. CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is adding a station into the Technoparc electric train project before it reaches the airport.
For those commuting to the Technoparc, the drive can sometimes be a long one. The project will offer an integrated, efficient and reliable service for commuters and encourages the use of electric public transportation. “The recent announcement of the proposed Réseau Électrique Métropolitain) by the CDPQ Infra, for the planned station reinforces the strategic location of the site and will thereby facilitate the access to the site via transportation means other than the car. This is beneficial for Technoparc and also the City of Montreal for potential investors that want to move into the area.
“We are doing a great project at our Eco-campus Hubert Reeves site by bringing research companies that specialize in clean tech and recyclable resources,” says Baillargeon. The eco-campus Hubert Reeves will be integrated between two sections of marshes that are inhabitated by specific bird species and borders the International airport. “We want to maintain that environment; we have levies and walkways in the area,” says Baillargeon. “We will create a conservation area not just for the city but for the whole province as well.”
The buildings that are being built are geared towards being recognized as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), targeting investors and companies to come in who specialize in clean tech or nano tech or environmental technologies. “We’re probably ten years ahead of what’s being done in industrial parks in North America,” says Baillargeon. “Many companies in Europe implement that eco-sustainable development with bringing nature into the industrial parks, which is a very beneficial approach for both the environment and employees.”
Every spring, Technoparc hosts the Fundica Roadshow, an event for start-up companies looking to start their business adventure. While the event is not open to the general public, it is after a thorough selection process, the select companies present their business plan to a jury. The winner can then go to Silicon Valley and make a pitch to potential investors to raise their profile on an international scope.
The executive team at Technoparc places a great focus on communication and sharing information through their social media platforms. “While we’re a small team, we all wear many different hats that reflect how proud we are of the Technoparc organization,” says Baillargeon. “We came up with the hashtag #iamtechno or #jesuistechno to promote our community to the high tech world.”
Technoparc Montréal is fully behind the City’s commitment to increase strategic partnerships and alliances with a view to building bridges between businesses and to increasing innovation and creativity in Montreal. Their vision and constant innovation has solidified their position in being recognized as a world-class centre of excellence in technological, IT and scientific research.