The Palais des congrès de Montréal and the Fonds de recherche du Québec put the Ambassadors’ experience forward during a forum on promoting Québec research titled Rayonnement de la recherche au Québec: stratégies, enjeux et impacts. The event Quirion brought together nearly 50 heads of research centres in Québec as well as Ambassadors of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
The forum kicked off with a presentation by Luc Charbonneau, Palais Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, on the subject of Montréal’s and the Palais’ branding as a world class destination and convention centre. He was followed by Rémi Quirion, Québec’s Chief Scientist, who talked about the priorities and challenges that drive his leadership of the Fonds de recherche du Québec, and about how important it is for Québec researchers and research centres to carve themselves international reputations. Afterwards, a panel of experts tackled the strategies, issues and impacts associated with attracting and hosting international scientific conventions, with each panel member sharing their experience and involvement with a specialized convention. The panel members were:
- Gaston Chevalier, retired professor from UQAM’s Biology Department and Emeritus Ambassador of the Palais;
- Pavel Hamet, full professor at Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine, chief of Gene Medicine and head of the Ecogenomics Platform for Complex Diseases at the CHUM, and President of the Palais Ambassadors Club;
- Maryse Lassonde, scientific director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s nature and technology fund;
- Louis-Philippe Lefebvre, National Research Council Canada team leader and Executive Ambassador of the Palais;
- Hany Moustapha, full professor of Mechanical Engineering, senior research fellow at Pratt & Whitney, executive chairholder of the NSERC-P&WC Industrial Research Chair on Propulsion System Integration and Optimization, and Vice-President of the Palais Ambassadors Club.
The forum, hosted by Yannick Villedieu, found among things that:
- Organizing a convention enables the researchers involved to elevate their standing among their international peers.
- Actively taking part in hosting a convention can pay dividends reputation-wise, for both the researchers and their field.
- Universities and their vice-principals of research should encourage professors and researchers to get involved in hosting and organizing international conventions in Montréal.
- The new/next generation of researchers constitutes one of the priority elements of the knowledge development and sharing process.
- Because the Palais des congrès is a Québec government corporation, researchers organizing an international convention can draw from their vast expertise and resources.
- Collaborative ties between the Palais, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, and the research centres and networks associated with the funds must be maintained and strengthened further.
The Palais des congrès de Montréal and the Fonds de recherche du Québec are pleased with the successful outcome of the forum and the quality of the exchanges it yielded, which is why they are planning a second edition for 2016.