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July 19, 2021

Québec, a world-class tech hub

Photo of an employee sitting in front of a computer screen


Québec’s IT sector in Québec, by the numbers1


  • IT professionals and nearly 10,000 tech companies
  • 2nd biggest tech hub in Canada, accounting for 23% of jobs
  • World leader in a variety of high value-added sectors, including AI and video games, visual effects, cybersecurity and technology architecture
  • 18 universities and 140 colleges across Québec offering IT programs
  • Nearly 25,000 university students enrolled in IT programs
  • Canadian R&D leader (in % GDP), with over $9.7B in annual R&D spending by businesses and universities
  • Some of the lowest IT industry operating costs in Canada and the U.S. with a 29% cost advantage
  • Competitive incentives: up to 43% of the value of eligible wages and expenses, depending on the sub-sector


1 Canadian Bureau for International Education, “Facts and Figures», 2020; Statistics Canada, special compilation based on data from Labour Force Survey, 2019; Mila, 2020; Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, 2021; Canada Research Chairs, 2020; fDi Benchmark, 2020.


Several World-Renowned Companies, such as:


Logos of world-renowned companies


A Strong Ecosystem Fostering Innovation2


  • 1,400+ chairs, research laboratory and centres
  • Over 100+ incubators and accelerators across Québec
  • Access to an extensive network of investors to propel tech companies and startups
  • Many innovative startups thriving in Québec ecosystem


2 Canada Research Chairs, 2020; Research InfoSource, 2019; Statistics Canada, Table 27-10-0359-01, 2016, and Table 27-10-0273-01, 2017; Info Entrepreneurs, Directory of collaborative workspaces and directory of accelerators and incubators, 2020; Bonjour Startup Montréal, “Montréal’s Startup Ecosystem Portrait”, 2020; Bonjour Startup Montréal, “Montréal’s Startup Ecosystem Portrait”, 2020


Public Investment Fuel Innovation and Adoption of Technologies3


  • $2.3B Modernizing Government of Canada’s digital services (2018–24)
  • $1.2B Government of Québec’s digital transformation strategy (2019–29)
  • $895M Public investment in AI since 2016, such as: Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Québec AI cluster, Scale AI supercluster, etc.
  • $400M Investment in 5G network over 5 years: Canada’s private-public ENCQOR partnership to reach its technological potential (2019)
  • $200M Digital transformation of companies: Digital Economy Action Plan (2016–21)
  • $500M Over 5 years to fight cybercrime and to create the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, followed by $110M annually (2018)4


3 TechnoMontréal, “Livre blanc des technologies du Québec”, 2019; Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor, “Stratégie de transformation numérique gouvernementale 2019-2023”, 2019; Department of Finance Canada, Budget 2018; Government of Québec, “Digital Economy Action Plan”, 2016–2017.


4 Invest in Canada, 2021; Department of Finance Canada, 2018; Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor, “Stratégie de transformation numérique gouvernementale 2019–2023”, 2019.


About Investissement Québec International


Investissement Québec plays an active role in Québec’s economic development. It supports business creation and growth with advisory services, investments and customized financial solutions. It also provides technological support to spur performance and innovation. Through Investissement Québec International, it assists Québec-based and international companies with their globalization projects and prospects for talent and foreign investment for Québec.