Quebec Innovation Research and Investment Strategy

Marie-Ève Labranche

The Quebec Innovation Research and Investment Strategy 2022-2027 (SQRI2) will connect various players involved in the innovation cycle, and synergies will be encouraged by concern for effectiveness and efficiency. Manufacturers and Exporters of Québec (MEQ) note the ambitious indicators set by the Strategy. Furthermore, it welcomes the importance of the SQRI2 to focus on sustainable development and hopes that companies will be well supported in this regard.

“The manufacturing sector accounts for nearly one dollar in two of innovation spending in Quebec,” said Véronique Proulx, President and CEO of MEQ. “Manufacturers can thus contribute more to stimulating innovation, maintaining or even increasing their research and development (R&D) activities, and thus being more competitive internationally. To have a real impact and ensure that Québec is well positioned, we must be able to give them the necessary means and place them at the heart of the SQRI2.”

The importance of the two areas of reflection that the Quebec Innovation Council will be piloting, namely the optimization of the Quebec R&D support model, will be consistent with the review conducted by the federal government, as well as the use of intervention models and new forms of financial assistance for R&D.

MEQ is in favour of improving R&D incentives but asks that manufacturers be consulted on this subject so that the changes that will be made do not miss their target and are truly competitive in attracting R&D projects to Québec. MEQ, therefore, wishes to participate in the work actively and offers its full collaboration to the Innovation Council and the government on this subject.

“Quebec companies must be competitive in innovation support and R&D incentives with their international competitors and even with their foreign subsidiaries located in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere,” added Proulx. “They must be given the necessary means to attract new projects to Quebec. At the same time, the United States and several European countries are very aggressive in their R&D policies to stand out and attract major investments that can even lead to the commercialization phase.”

MEQ is asking, among other things, for an improvement in R&D tax credits, whose refundable nature must be preserved to support businesses in their investments in innovation.

“The manufacturing sector is a must in terms of innovation and R&D. Our companies will make the world go round,” concluded Proulx. “Our businesses will move the needle to close the productivity gap between Quebec and Ontario. The growth rate of labour productivity in the Quebec manufacturing sector has increased more rapidly than in Ontario and the rest of Canada. We must continue in this direction by emphasizing the importance of manufacturing innovation for our economy.”

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