|Rob van Gijzel|
The best description I have ever heard about ICF as an ideas-driving think tank for enabling Digital Age policy for cities and towns was from Rob van Gijzel, the former mayor of Eindhoven, The Netherlands and the ICF Foundation’s first chairman. He called us, “The method of transformational decision making for cities.”
And we are. Or at least “a method” for this. We are also a group that inspired communities to believe that, yes, they can.
The world has cooperated with the ICF vision. Thanks to broadband and satellite telecommunications the world became flat. Like the sound of a rail train’s whistle, people heard something familiar and it allowed them to rethink the proposition of the small and the midsized city especially. It dawned on them that “the middle of nowhere” was no longer their domain. They had places with a history and assets that could be transformed.
These cities and towns have begun to determine the course of the global economy because of how they have moved from using smart technology to become Intelligent places. This year’s Smart21 is laden with them, from Vietnam to Ohio to India.Read more
America’s government – representing 21% of its mighty economy – was shut down as those of us living here celebrated the arrival of the New Year. Nearly 800,000 federal employees were put out of work, including the transportation security agency tasked with ensuring that our flights to Quebec City to announce the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities on February 11th will take off – I hate to use the word – without a bang!
Ronald Regan’s infamous, unfortunate political dictum, spoken on a January day in 1981 was not only put to the test, it was proved resoundingly wrong, but in a way that gnaws at you the way in which a platitudinous claim can reveal a nugget does. He got something right by forcing us to again rethink the virtues of government.
“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem.”
Ahhh, but of which government was “The Gipper” speaking?Read more
Sehl Mellouli is a professor at the department of Information Systems at Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada since June 2005. He obtained his Phd in Computer Science from Université Laval in 2005. He has an MBA in Management Information Systems from Université Laval. He is also an engineer in computer science from the Ecole Nationale des Sciences Informatiques, Tunis, Tunisia.
QUEBEC CITY — Canadian biotech firm Medicago recently announced it has broken ground on a new commercial vaccine production facility in Quebec City.
The factory will come into operation in the winter of 2021 and the first doses of vaccines from the new plant are expected for the 2023 influenza season, said a Sept. 18 release.Read more
Quebec City soars above the rest of Canada in an internet speed test — with Montreal trailing behind at 14th.
Tech website PCMag used data from its online speed test to gather just under 12,000 results between September 2017 and June 5, 2018 to figure out which city has the fastest internet speed in Canada.
According to the results, Quebec City leads the pack with an average of over three times the speed in Gatineau, the runner up. Toronto and Ottawa placed sixth and eighth, respectively, and Montreal didn’t even make the top 10, landing at 14th place.Read more
To put it simply, at least for someone coming from Silicon Valley like myself, Quebec's Tech Week (Semaine Numérique in French), which is currently underway in the capital city of the French-Canadian province, is the South by Southwest (SXSW) of the North.
Despite below-freezing temperatures, over 25,000 people from around the globe are expected to attend the third edition of the 10-days long festival for the opportunity to network and learn about new technologies (artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT, robotic, blockchain, cryptocurrencies...).Read more
Desjardins Group's innovative Desjardins Capital SME fund will support the growth of SMEs across Quebec
QUÉBEC CITY, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - "We've listened to our clients who want to diversify their investment portfolios. We've also listened to business leaders in Quebec who are looking for patient investors to ensure sustainability and ownership transfers, while protecting Quebec businesses," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "To meet these needs, two of our managers, Desjardins Private Wealth Management and Desjardins Capital, have joined forces to create the Desjardins Capital SME fund. Both partners are committed to an initial capitalization of at least $100 million/year. The new fund, which will be managed by Desjardins Capital, is just what our SMEs are asking for."Read more
Through concerted collaboration executed in a spirit of co-opetition, over the last three years 11 Canadian cities have executed seven joint Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) missions with the Federal government to 12 countries. These missions have resulted in 1,706 B2B meetings, 855 leads and 59 company visits. At an event last month hosted by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and attended by representatives of Chambers of Commerce and municipal economic development leaders from Canada's largest cities, attendees learned more about how to improve these numbers and accelerate leads to investment success.Read more
The first decade of the 21st Century was a good one in Quebec City. Home to the Quebec provincial government as well as thriving technology, research and creative sectors, the city region achieved one of the highest GDP growth rates in Canada (+24%) while unemployment fell from 9% in 2000 to 4.9% in 2013 and 73,000 jobs were created. Economic success was the product of business-government-university collaboration that stretched back into the Nineties, including a 1997 high-tech business summit leading to creation of a downtown tech district, a 1998 economic diversification strategy, and the birth, in 2003, of a regional economic development agency. Progress received a push forward from the 2002 amalgamation of 12 municipalities into an expanded City. Today, seven industries – including life sciences, ICT, value-added materials, transportation equipment, financial services, energy and tourism – generate 44% of the region’s $325bn in GDP.
Building a Skilled Labor Force
In the century’s second decade, Quebec City is challenged to head off growing labor shortages in these fields and to boost the rate of commercialization of the innovations emerging from public and private R&D spending. It has also targeted the digital divide that affects almost one in five residents. To build its skilled labor force, Quebec City and financial partners are investing over $4 million in such initiatives as “It’s Cool to Stay in School,” which encourages students to finish high school and explore science and technology careers. Young people are exposed to companies, workshops, internships and mentoring to motivate their involvement in the digital economy. The Quebec International agency provides online marketing to potential immigrants and programs that facilitate their application for residency and integration into the economy.
City government supports technology entrepreneurship with scholarship programs, a public-private crowdfunding initiative, and innovation events that involve startups and organizations in tackling business and public-sector problems. The city is also the recipient of a Smarter Cities Challenge grant from IBM that aims to reduce the “digital divide population” by 4% through 2016. Meanwhile, the nonprofit ZAP Quebec continues to expand a city-wide set of 500 WiFi hotspots that complement the 98% broadband availability provided by the private sector. With this range of programs, Quebec City hopes to ensure that its story of growth continues into the next decade.
In the News
Read the latest updates about Quebec City.
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Quebec City was featured in the Intelligent Community Forum book Seizing Our Destiny.
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