Feature

Québec City Welcomes a Surge of Live Life Science Events

With a combination of top-notch scientists, world-class research centres, innovative industries, and a thriving business ecosystem, Québec City, the province’s capital, is proving to be a hotbed of talent and resources—particularly in the booming life sciences and health technologies sector.

In the next three years alone, through 2025, the Québec City Convention Centre has 24 national and international conferences focused around life sciences slated, including the 2022 ISV International Society of Vaccines Annual Congress and 2022 American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) Annual Meeting. 

With a total of 11,000 delegates anticipated to attend, and CAD $21.2 million in estimated economic spin-offs for the city, Québec City is offering associations a wealth of expertise in everything from biopharmaceutics and diagnostics to health-related medical technologies and natural products, as well as fundamental research, patient treatment, and the prevention and early detection of diseases. Homegrown research centres and groups include Québec VITAE, which helps foster the growth and development of Québec City’s life sciences and health technology (LSHT) ecosystem; CHU de Québec–Université Laval Research Centre, which excels in areas like oncology, particularly in early-stage clinical research; and the Québec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre (CRIUCPQ), which specializes in cardiopulmonary diseases and the treatment of obesity-related disorders. 

In June, the Québec City Convention Centre will host the four-day International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK) biennial conference, a bid won by two professors and researchers from Université Laval, who are also members of Québec City’s Ambassadors’ Club. An estimated 500 to 700 experts and graduated students are expected to attend the in-person event, which centres around the importance of electrophysiology and kinesiology. “It was time for ISEK to come to Québec City,” explains co-organizer Jean-Sébastien Roy. “During the 2018 event in Dublin, organizers expressed a desire to hold the 2022 event in North America, as the 2020 conference was supposed to be held in Japan, prior to the pandemic, which forced organizers to host a virtual congress.”

Québec City ambassador Dr. Élodie Boisselier, along with Dr. Marc-André Fortin, a researcher on regenerative medicine and associate professor at Université Laval’s Department of Mining, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, meanwhile, are organizing the 9th edition of GOLD 2022. Taking place at the convention centre in July, the event is anticipated to bring 500 researchers from the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The conference, which takes place every three years and was last held in 2018 in Paris, will focus on how the science of gold has become a highly multidisciplinary field, especially in the sectors of material sciences, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and therapeutics. As Dr. Boisselier puts it: Québec City is home to a vibrant life sciences ecosystem that brings together educational institutions as well as the public and private sector. It was a great opportunity that the event came back to the Americas. Also, Canada is the fifth largest producer of gold in the world, with Ontario and Québec making up for more than 75% of mined gold production.”

In addition to the progress and research taking place in the life sciences sector, the city is undergoing major infrastructure renovations, with landmarks like Hilton Québec, the second-largest hotel in the city, recently completing its largest investment since opening nearly 40 years ago. Just 30 minutes from the convention centre, at the foot of the Québec City’s Mont-Saint-Anne ski resort, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Mont Sainte-Anne, Resort and Convention Centeris also fresh off a renovation that incorporates the latest cutting-edge technologies.

As Pierre-Michel Bouchard, president and CEO of the Québec City Convention Centre, adds: “We are very pleased to see the strength of the life sciences sector and its positive impact on hosting conventions and events. The results are encouraging for post-pandemic events and the future.”

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