Investments of $ 223 million were made in 2018 in businesses in key sectors of Sherbrooke, a record that beats that of $ 210 million recorded in 2017. Also, despite the shortage of manpower, a “phenomenal” Employment was created at 1128, almost double the number of jobs created the previous year.
This is according to the annual report of Sherbrooke Innopole unveiled Wednesday at City Hall.
“In this unique climate of consultation that is taking root in the region, there is a highlight of 2018, which augurs well for the future. For example, the glaring inadequacy of the workforce does not divide us, on the contrary, it unites us and motivates us to find innovative solutions “, underlines the president of Sherbrooke Innopole, Alexandre Nault, specifying in particular that certain companies with the activities seasonal workers make agreements to exchange their employees.
According to Sherbrooke Innopole’s annual inventory of businesses in Sherbrooke’s industrial and tertiary-motor sector, the five key sectors account for 19,931 jobs in 664 companies. This is a net gain of 11 companies and 1128 jobs.
“We are talking about a 6% jump in jobs, registered mainly in the key sectors Manufacturing and Advanced Manufacturing (816) and Clean Technologies (315). It’s phenomenal in a context of scarcity of manpower! It demonstrates the ingenuity and determination of Sherbrooke entrepreneurs to stay on top of growth, “says Nault.
On the other hand, two-thirds of the companies in the key industries – 407 out of 664 – invested more than $ 223 million in optimization, innovation and expansion projects. “This is a new summit, which reflects the dynamism and vision of our entrepreneurs, who help make Sherbrooke a truly prosperous city,” said Mr. Nault.
70% of these investments are related to innovation and productivity, ie 30% in Research and Development and 40% in Machineries and Equipment. “This is a proportion that has been maintained for almost a decade, says the agency’s executive director, Josée Fortin. In 2018, however, we see an increase in the percentage of investments in R & D in all key sectors. This means that companies rely more on the development of new products, processes and services to stand out and accelerate their growth. Hat! ”
Five major strategic orientations
“Thanks to this in-depth exercise, our actions are more than ever connected to the needs of the community,” says Sherbrooke Innopole’s Executive Director, Josée Fortin. The approach has also guided us in the integration of a customer relationship management software, commonly known as CRM, and is also reflected in our brand new adaptive website, where our service offering, refined and better explained, is put in place. forward with entrepreneurs wishing to start, prosper and invest in Sherbrooke. ”
Concretely in 2018, the Sherbrooke Innopole team initiated or collaborated on 186 structuring projects to develop a growth-generating environment for Sherbrooke businesses, 163 of which were completed during the year.
In terms of financing, more than $ 1.2 million was invested in 15 start-up, pre-commercialization, innovation or growth projects for Sherbrooke businesses through one of the six investment funds. Sherbrooke Innopole, for spin-offs exceeding $ 67 million and more than 450 jobs created or consolidated. Each dollar invested generated $ 54.94 in the middle investment in 2018, compared to $ 56.11 in 2017.
Sherbrooke Innopole’s localization service has also worked on the sale of six industrial sites, as well as 60 relocation or implementation projects – 15 of which were completed in 2018, for investments expected from the order $ 32.6 million and 459 jobs created or maintained. “The expansion of the regional industrial park initiated in 2016, combined with the favorable economic climate and the energetic desire for growth of our entrepreneurs, has significantly favored the retention and implementation of innovative businesses in Sherbrooke; We must continue along this path, including the development of a new industrial park, in consultation with the City’s experts, “said Josée Fortin.
In the same vein, barely a year after it opened in November 2017, the Espace LABz scientific multi-occupant has an occupancy rate of 84%. “This is another example of a hosting infrastructure that demonstrates its relevance, and for which we must show vision. That’s why Phase 2 will soon be on the drawing board, “said Ms. Fortin.
Sherbrooke Innopole has also helped to increase the visibility and attractiveness of Sherbrooke and its businesses through its website. More than 600 news, blogs, events and job postings have been published. Similarly, the organization made 2185 publications on 12 social media accounts reaching more than 21,700 subscribers, including the Flash INNOV newsletter.
The Mayor of Sherbrooke was present and pleased with the results published in the annual report. “I want to thank the Sherbrooke entrepreneurs. They are the artisans of economic vitality. Thank you for continuing to believe that we can be the most prosperous city in Quebec, “said Steve Lussier.