Life sciences: Huge intellectual and economic benefits for Montréal

Press releases | 2016-10-12

In 2015-2016, the Palais des congrès de Montréal hosted 24 national and international events linked to the life sciences, one of the city’s most thriving activity sectors. These conventions, meetings, exhibitions, which bring in over $70 M in tourism revenues, drew nearly 41,000 convention-goers and participants to Montréal, who booked 45,000 room nights in hotels across the city.

“Montréal hosts more international events1 than any other city in the Americas, and the health sciences are no stranger to this enviable position we enjoy worldwide. The city and the Palais work closely hand-in-hand to bring major conventions to Montréal, events that help create a wealth of knowledge scientists from here and abroad can share,” indicated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The life sciences account for 37% of the events we host at the Palais, and we have every intention of continuing to promote this key sector of our city’s economy,” he added.


In the opening quarters of 2016-2017, 12 life-science-related events have already attracted more than 23,000 business tourists to Montréal and generated nearly $42 M in tourism revenues. These included the International Congress on Personalized Health Care, a global first, jointly developed in Montréal by Daniel Bouthillier, Appointed Ambassador of the Palais and Executive Director of the Regroupement en soins de santé personnalisés au Québec, and Dr. Pavel Hamet, President of the Palais Ambassadors Club, Chief of Gene Medicine at the CHUM research centre, and Holder of the Canada Research Chair in Predictive Genomics. Said Dr. Hamet: “Hosting an international convention is an opportunity for Montréal’s expertise in the various branches of the life sciences to shine through activities that are rich in scientific content and for fellow scientists from all over the world to partake in an exchange of knowledge and information.”

The life sciences represent $5.6 B of Québec’s GDP. The Greater Montréal Area ranks 7th in North America among major metropolitan areas for concentration of jobs in the life sciences. “Montréal accounts for 80% of the province’s jobs, which means it is home to numerous leading-edge companies ranging from small businesses to multinationals. By attracting foreign experts and businesses to Montréal, scientific conventions contribute to developing the life sciences industry and promoting it worldwide, namely by amplifying the number of opportunities these experts and businesses have to meet and work together,” mentioned Frank Béraud, CEO of Montréal InVivo.

In November 2015, the Palais des congrès de Montréal and Montréal Invivo formed a partnership intended to bring even more health care and life science events to Montréal, and the Palais. The partnership has not only translated into more initiatives aimed at attracting new major events, but has also been influential in optimizing the tourism and intellectual benefits resulting from them.

The Palais des congrès de Montréal has also partnered with the Fonds de recherche du Québec to promote the role Québec researchers and scientists can play in securing and organizing international events for Montréal. In order to brand Montréal as a prime host city for large-scale scientific conventions, the partners work together to encourage researchers to become actively involved in the process of organizing events that are international in scope.

About Montréal InVivo
Montréal InVivo is Greater Montréal’s economic development agency dedicated to the life sciences and health technology. Its membership spans nearly 600 organizations, including 150+ research centres, 80 world-class corporate affiliates, and more than 40,000 people working in the sector. A fosterer of innovative ideas, it represents four universities and is Number One in Canada for number of research centres. Montréal InVivo is a non-profit organization focused on creating economic and intellectual wealth for the LSHT community.

1 Union of International Associations