French cloud computing giant OVH will invest $32.9 million to set up a R&D laboratory in Québec, allowing for the creation of 150 jobs. “We’re very pleased to be reinforcing our position in Québec,” said OVH Co-founder and Deputy CEO Henryk Klaba at a press conference. “This new expansion will highlight Québec’s expertise and drive innovation of our products and services for the benefit of all our international clients.”
The new R&D centre, to be headed by Pierre Leroux, will be located in Québec City and have a workforce of roughly 50 employees. It will develop new data and website hosting applications.
OVH will also hire 100 highly qualified workers, mainly for its North American head office in Montréal, which is set to triple its surface area. With that expansion, OVH expects to have some 240 employees in Québec by 2018.
“OVH is extending its reach worldwide,” said Yves Grimard, Investissement Québec’s Director for Europe and the Middle East. “The fact that it has chosen to establish its North American R&D centre here shows that Québec is a strategic location for the multinational, as well as for the data hosting industry as a whole.”
As Much Talent as Silicon Valley
In 2013, OVH inaugurated the world’s largest data hosting centre in Beauharnois with support from Investissement Québec. For OVH, Québec has all the talent it needs to continue its North American growth. “The quality and creativity of Québec’s workforce are undeniable advantages,” said Grimard. “Mr. Klaba doesn’t hesitate to compare Québec to Silicon Valley, thanks to its wealth of talent and innovative spirit.”
Québec also has the advantage of being close to the United States while reaping the benefits of less-restrictive legislation. In recent years, many companies have set up data centres in Québec because of its ideal location, including 4Degrees in Québec City, Urbacon in Montréal, and IBM in Drummondville.
A Helping Hand from Investissement Québec
In fall 2014, OVH asked for Investissement Québec’s help with its expansion plans. “Company executives were considering several North American cities for their new R&D centre,” said Laurence Monari, Director of Business Development at Investissement Québec. “We showed them what assistance we could provide if they chose Québec.” OVH received a non-refundable $274,000 contribution from the provincial government and $117,300 from Québec City.
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