The Québec City region, a well-kept secret of the AI ecosystem on the national and international scenes

The Québec City region, with all its assets in artificial intelligence (AI), is making a name for itself in the national and international ecosystems. This is the main finding of a report entitled “Portrait of the artificial intelligence ecosystem of the greater Québec City region,” published jointly this Thursday by Laval University and Québec International.

According to the portrait, more than a hundred researchers are involved in various projects related to artificial intelligence at Laval University and other research institutions in the region. In the private sector, more than a hundred Québec City companies are now integrating AI technologies into their products or services.

On the whole, the Capitale-Nationale region’s assets can be summed up by the proximity and sharing of available resources in a spirit of “co-opetition.”

The region enjoys quick, easy access to research expertise and highly qualified professionals. For example, at Laval University, the establishment of a number of cutting-edge research units in recent years, such as the Big Data Research Centre (BDRC) and, more recently, the Institute Intelligence and Data (IID), have enabled training students and AI professionals who can support organizations in the implementation of technologies and their digital transformation. Many companies specializing in AI based in the region were directly spawned from this expertise in much the same way that the optics-photonics sector thirty years ago did with the creation of the National Optics Institute.

The support of continuing professional development programs and the availability of specialized programs in the region’s various college and university institutions have undoubtedly played a key role in this business success.

A high-impact niche dedicated to real-world data

AI innovation can be found in a broad spectrum of “real-world” data expertise, both on the research side and in industry: management, consulting, insurance and financial services, smart cities, entertainment, manufacturing, and health and safety. The region’s ecosystem covers all aspects of AI, spanning telecommunications systems, methods of data processing and analysis, and ethical and societal issues. Its transdisciplinary impact is also bolstered by the culture of collaboration and exchange firmly rooted in both academia and the university community.

The portrait shows that the Québec City region has all the ingredients to play a major role in this sector of the future in complementarity with the Montréal AI cluster.

To read the portrait


Sophie D’Amours, rector, Université Laval

“This portrait, which was jointly produced by the teams from our Institute Intelligence and Data and Québec International, underscores the richness of the ecosystem linked to artificial intelligence and data valorization in the greater Québec City region. Thanks to all the research teams and companies working synergistically, along with a long-standing expertise in responsible AI real-world applications, our region has the major assets to carve out its rightful place in Canada and abroad.”


Christian Gagné, director, IID, Université Laval

“The portrait presented today illustrates that artificial intelligence is undoubtedly one of the great strengths of the Québec City region. The synergy and dynamism of the duo formed there by the scientific and corporate world create a prime place for developing ethical, concrete projects transforming organizations through the digital.”


Carl Viel, president and CEO, Québec international

“More than a hundred companies in the region develop or use AI technology solutions in their day-to-day operations. Technologies that open up new business opportunities for companies, and in the wake of the digital transformation, apply to a multitude of industries. With COVEO, Canada’s largest technology leader in artificial intelligence business solutions, and all of the companies that foster the prosperity and vitality of the area’s economy, the region’s expertise and know-how shine both here and outside Quebec, helping to boost innovation on a national and global scale.”


  • Complete AI ecosystem from research to market
  • Real-world AI expertise across a wide variety of industries
  • Expertise in machine learning that is positioned in complementarity with Montréal’s AI cluster, which is more focused on deep learning
  • More than a hundred researchers currently working on more than fifty active AI projects
  • More than a hundred companies that use AI-based technologies
  • Regional actors involved in the overall strategy for sustainable, ethical AI

Watch the press conference associated with the Portrait's launch

About Laval University

Driven by a spirit of innovation and the pursuit of excellence, Laval University is among Canada’s leading research universities, ranking 8th with $356 million allocated to research last year. The university has 3,730 professors, lecturers, and other teaching and research staff. They share their knowledge with more than 43,000 students, 25% of whom are enrolled in graduate studies. Laval University, the oldest Francophone university in North America, has trained more than 300,000 people, who participate, each in their own way, in societal advancement.

About Québec International

Québec International contributes to the economic development of the Québec City metropolitan area and its international reach. As a regional economic development agency, Québec International promotes business growth, supports sectors of strength, and draws talent and investment to the region.

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