Innovation District

ID: Strategic development initiated by ÉTS and McGill University

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CA Canada
Web http://www.quartierinnovationmontreal.com/
Maturity

In development

About the project Edit

Innovation District (ID) is a creative innovation platform dedicated to the needs of Montreal’s innovation ecosystem while attracting innovation players. Located in the heart of Montreal’s historic industrial sector currently in the midst of being revitalized, ID will be more than a place of meetings, information exchanges and networking. ID will integrate the four essential components of a creative society: industrial, training and innovation, urban, as well as social and cultural. It is this interconnection between the various components that will make up ID and develop the innovative spirit that we hope for.

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

ID’s vision is driven by a large international benchmarking. The experiences, successes and failures of other innovative districts allowed us to define the four components. ID’s special feature has been the balanced planning of the components since the project launch. The model is unique in the world and allows real connections to be created between the players in all disciplines.

Moreover, this 25-year strategic collaboration between McGill University and l’École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) – an English and a French academic institution – makes the project itself creative and unique.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

ID’s success rests on our ability to ensure a balance of social and functional that helps bring together arts and culture on the one hand, and technology and innovation on the other. The sector is well-represented with creators and idea people who must contribute to developing a district focused on the community’s needs and become an attractive destination for Montrealers, creators, tourists and visitors.

We hope that citizens become active participants in innovation and that new ways of doing things come out of our social practices. Balance in development – particularly through the integration of culture, artists, artist workshops, affordable low income and family housing – is encouraged.

In addition, ID promotes a revitalization of the district according to best practices in sustainable development, notably in its support of green spaces, public transport and the concept of smart cities.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

ID aims to attract innovative companies that want to establish connections with universities and the community in order to provide a stimulating living environment for its employees. It focuses equally on attracting a young, dynamic, family-oriented, active and cosmopolitan population through its vision of sustainable development and integrated living environment.

With more than $2.5 million currently in place and $6 billion more over the next 10 years, more than 12,000 housing units, as well as commercial and office space, will be built in the sector.

Although geographically concentrated around the ÉTS campus, ID sees its sphere of influence extend beyond the greater Montreal region and create the missing links between the various players in innovation.

All this with the daring goal of improving the situation of entrepreneurship and innovation in Quebec and in Canada.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

The rapid revitalization of the former industrial zone located two minutes from downtown made the ÉTS and McGill University question Montreal’s innovation needs and the way ID was being promoted. The international trend to create innovative districts, combined with Quebec’s need for entrepreneurship and innovation, was the catalyst for the two academic institutions to join forces and set up Montreal’s Innovation District. A 25-year strategic partnership agreement connects the two institutions and confirms ID’s long-term vision.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The business model is currently being defined in the context of the year prior to ID’s launch. However, we have already know that it will focus around the support and leadership activities in the district, that it should provide sustainable services and promote the cost sharing among the recipients of the district’s success.


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