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Government announcement
5 February 2018

Over $32M for the creation of regional innovation hubs

Je suis heureux d'annoncer la création de 18 pôles regionaux d'innovation en compagnie du premier ministre Philippe Couillard et mes collègues de la Mauricie au DigiHub de Shawinigan. Favorisons l'entrepreneuriat en région!

Posted by Stéphane Billette on Monday, February 5, 2018

Over $32M for the creation of regional innovation hubs

Shawinigan, Québec, February 5, 2018 —The Government of Quebec will invest over $32 million to support the creation and implementation of 18 regional innovation hubs and a national network as part of the upcoming 2017-2022 government entrepreneurship action plan, which will be announced shortly. The mission of implementing the national network of regional innovation hubs is entrusted to DigiHub in Shawinigan.

The regional innovation hubs will establish areas of convergence that will encourage entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Their mission will be to stimulate collaboration and dialogue between different socioeconomic players. They will equally help guide current or future entrepreneurs towards specialized support services and help them seize business opportunities in concert with existing regional partners. The Government of Quebec will dedicate a maximum of $400,000 per year for each regional hub for a total investment of $28.8 million over the period of four years. A call for proposals opens today. We invite socioeconomic organizations from various regions to coordinate with each other and submit their proposals from now until April 30, 2018.

The network of regional innovation hubs will receive $1 million in the first year and $750,000 per year in the following three years. Its function will be to encourage dialogue between regional hubs, to support them in their implementation and to create alliances and collaborations between them.


When I tour the province, I am often asked about what needs to be done to attract young people, stimulate business creation, diversify the economy and create high-quality jobs. The answer is simple. We must encourage and allow innovation to prosper throughout Quebec by enabling the emergence of a new model of regional development that is not government-led. We want all regions to have an even more profound innovation mindset, according to their respective realities, specialities, leaders and choices. Since 2014, Quebec has been thriving and our regions have had a new wind in their sails. Today, we’re taking advantage of this momentum to build a new Quebec that sees and does things differently.

– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec

Entrepreneurship is a priority for the Government of Quebec and is one of the cornerstones of its vision for economic development, like innovative manufacturing and exportation. With today’s announcement, we are proposing a new approach to encourage entrepreneurship and support the attraction and retention of young people throughout all regions. The regional innovation hubs will foster the sharing of ideas and will stimulate collaboration within regional entrepreneurship ecosystems by fostering dialogue between existing actors.

– Stéphane Billette, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development

I’m proud to see that the innovation hubs announced today were largely inspired by Shawinigan’s DigiHub. Our region’s organization is an innovative model in entrepreneurship and digital development. During the economic crisis, it helped Shawinigan get back on its feet. Today, our mobilization around entrepreneurship makes us an example of collaboration and innovation.

– Julie Boulet, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Laviolette 

Key facts:

  • The regional innovation hubs will be located throughout the 17 regions of Quebec and the Îles de la Madeleine.
  • The regional innovation hubs will collaborate with several partners, notably with entrepreneur support organizations, accelerators and incubators, businesses, startups, niches and centres of excellence, universities and CEGEPs, college centres for technology transfer, members of QuébecInnove and governmental partners.
  • In order to encourage dialogue and creativity, the regional innovation hubs will make shared workspaces available to entrepreneurs and will give them access to already existing research infrastructures, networking events and other relevant activities.
  • Digital technology will play a central role in communications and in the introduction of different players to the regional innovation hubs.