The Canadian province of Québec is considered the gateway to North America. It provides access to over 1.4 billion consumers, including the major Northeastern U.S. market. Québec is also a stakeholder in trade agreements signed by Canada, including:

  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Canada–Korea Free Trade Agreement
  • The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the E.U.
  • The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement

Québec has a lot to offer:

  • A highly qualified and diversified workforce
  • Renowned private and public research facilities
  • Specialized research and transfer centers
  • Leading higher education institutions geared towards research
  • A flourishing startup ecosystem
  • Successful and fast-growing SMEs

Between 2017 and 2022, the government of Québec will invest over $5.4 billion in research and innovation. These investments will be used to:

  • Develop the talent and skills of current and future generations of workers
  • Boost the province’s research and innovation capabilities
  • Speed up the transfer and commercialization of innovation

Québec has developed its innovation ecosystem to build a strong and creative economy able adapt to the ebb and flow of the world economy. Québec continues to innovate to increase productivity and tackle major societal challenges, including:

  • Adapting to changing demographics
  • Fighting climate change
  • Staying on top of emerging technologies

Québec is bursting wIth talent, ideas, and creativity. Video

A Few Highlights

  • As a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), Québec has a research and development (R&D) spending rate of 2.21%, the highest in Canada (the Canadian average is 1.7%).
  • Québec has the highest number of people working in R&D in Canada with 65,000 employees, or a rate of 9.9 per 1,000 workers.
  • Québec produces 1% of the world’s scientific publications—a considerable feat for a region with only 0.1% of the world’s population. What’s more, 44% of its publications are produced together with international partners.
  • Three Québec universities rank among the top 300 in the world: McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Université Laval (source: Shanghai 2018 rankings).
  • Québec has funds to support research, training, and knowledge mobilization, in addition to the funds provided by the Canadian government for these purposes.
  • Québec’s tax system is one of the most advantageous in the world when it comes to providing SMEs with R&D assistance. Researchers and foreign experts also enjoy tax holidays for their R&D work.

Québec’s Strengths

Information and communication technologies

Many subsidiaries of multinationals are located in Québec, including IBM, Ericsson, SAP, and Ciena. The province is also home to various research and innovation organizations such as the National Optics Institute (INO) and the Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM). Québec excels in many areas of expertise, including software publishing, information systems, microelectronics, video games, animation, and special effects. As a hub of expertise in visual effects and one of the largest producers of virtual reality content in the world, Québec enjoys a comprehensive digital research, production, and creation environment. Subsidiaries of major studios such as Square Enix, Ubisoft, Warner, and Audiokinetic are located in Québec. The province ranks third in the world in video game development, surpassed only by California and Japan.

Artificial intelligence

Québec, and more specifically Montréal, has become a hub for artificial intelligence (AI). It is known as an environment where researchers, startups, and key industry stakeholders can connect and work together. Over 300 researchers and PhD students in AI-related fields work together at Institut québécois d’intelligence artificielle (MILA), the largest concentration of deep learning researchers in the world. Québec has built a thriving, stable, and efficient environment for AI research and business.  IT giants such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Samsung have chosen to open labs in Montréal. The Government of Québec also supports SCALE.AI, the Canadian AI-powered supply chains supercluster dedicated to boosting industrial productivity.


Québec’s green technology industry, which is resolutely innovative and geared towards the international market, is known for its expertise in the fields of renewable energy production, water treatment, waste management, and consulting. As the effects of climate change are increasingly being felt around the world, Québec is focusing on sustainable development and is doing everything it can to make environmental protection a driver of economic growth. Québec has become a model for lasting prosperity and intends to live up to its reputation. Nearly half of Québec’s energy needs are met through hydropower, a clean and renewable source of energy.

Life sciences

Québec’s life sciences sector is booming. In the past five years, several private industrial projects worth over a billion dollars have been completed. Companies thrive in Québec’s business environment, which is why a number of multinationals, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Medtronic, have subsidiaries there. Québec is the largest research hub in Canada and has the largest and most well-funded pool of university researchers in the country. It is home to world-class life sciences research centers working in oncology, genomics, precision medicine, cell therapy, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurosciences, mental health, infectiology, rare diseases, and aging.


The Québec aerospace industry is supported by a highly skilled and diversified workforce. Québec has nine educational institutions that offer aerospace specializations and have state-of-the-art facilities to train workers. In 2018, the sector employed 42,100 people in Québec and posted sales of over $15.3 billion. Montréal has five prime contractors: Airbus, Bombardier, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and CAE. Several international organizations in the field have also established headquarters in Montréal, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations. Companies in this sector have worked on several collaborative R&D projects, including the greener aircraft mobilizing project (SA2GE) and the AÉRO21 strategic mobilizing project.

Québec: open to the world

Québec companies have traditionally been open to the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, where many investments and collaborations have taken place in recent years in the aeronautics, innovation and information technology sectors. As such, in February 2019, Bombardier announced the quadrupling of its maintenance centre at Seletar Aerospace Park, while in April 2018 Hydro-Québec partnered with NanoBio Lab to create a joint laboratory focusing on future electric batteries at Biopolis in Singapore, and in November 2018, the artificial intelligence company Element AI signed collaboration agreements with GIC, SGInnovate and the Singapore Management University (SMU). Economic relations between Québec and Southeast Asia are expected to grow in the coming years, as indicated by the recent opening of a Québec governmental representation in Singapore. Indeed, the Quebec Government Office in Singapore has a mandate to facilitate links between Québec and the economies of ASEAN countries.

 This article is provided by the Government of Québec.