On April 11, the Ghislain Dufour Business Forum hosted Luc Sirois, Quebec's Chief Innovation Officer since December 2020. Mr. Sirois heads the Innovation Council, a non-profit organization mandated by the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, to boost development and innovation in Quebec businesses. A graduate of McGill and Harvard universities, Mr. Sirois is not only an accomplished scientist, but also a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with both small and large companies in the digital technology and health sectors.
Mr. Sirois spoke candidly about the consequences of a lack of innovation in business. The result is a lack of productivity, which in turn affects the wealth produced per hour worked. And in this respect, Quebec is not at its best among the world's great communities. Another argument in favour of innovation is that innovative companies have weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than those that stick to the status quo.
Luc Sirois warned Forum participants against the temptation to focus on one big innovation project. Instead, he argued that the culture of innovation should incorporate risk management, the right to fail, and a portfolio management approach to smaller projects to plant many seeds, knowing that some initiatives will not grow.
Our speaker gave several examples of projects carried out by innovative companies, illustrating how they have taken advantage of the resources and knowledge available in Quebec to develop products and approaches that solve problems faced by Quebecers, and even to start new innovative companies.