2016 Montreal, Canada

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Montréal, Canada. Nominated as a Knowledge-Metropolis. Montréal has a rich industrial history, like other major cities in developed countries. However, it has experienced profound changes in recent decades as these industries have gradually been shifted to countries that offer cheaper labour. Montréal, as well as other major urban centres, invested increasingly in leading-edge sectors that are driven by innovative, knowledge-based activities. It possesses a concentration of high-knowledge industry segments and professions, a strong number of high-technology fields and a significant core of creators in arts and culture fields. It also possesses a series of knowledge assets and networks of expertise, such as universities, research centres and numerous institutions and laboratories devoted to creativity and innovation. A number of investments have been made recently in the Montréal university community. For example, the University of Montréal as well as the Engineering School will operate soon in a new building. This structure will foster interaction of expertise and enhance Montréal’s potential as a key centre for research into next-generation products and services. In terms of innovation capability, Montréal ranks number one in Canada, for number of scientific publications as well as number of university professors. This high concentration of knowledge-based activity in Montréal, combined with the climate which is conducive to the production and dissemination of new ideas, generates also a strong culture of creativity and innovation. Moreover, it possesses an employment base capable of attracting and retaining knowledge workers and fostering strong dynamics of innovation. The existence of universities, high-tech industries and cultural institutions from different disciplines, the synergy between them as well as the overall quality of life, position Montréal as one of the successful KCs. This is also the finding of the Montréal’s Knowledge City Advisory Committee. However, according to the report of the same Committee, Montréal should leverage its knowledge assets and focus on a series of priority actions and strategies in order to strengthen its status globally, as a successful KC.