Laval, Lyon seal deal

(Left to right) Nathalie Laurent, Aderly; Jean-Charles Foddis, Aderly; Frédéric Bove, Centre Jacques Cartier; André Hubert, Laval Economic Development, Florence Agostino-Etchetto, Lyonbiopôle; Frank Béraud, Montréal In Vivo; and Marie-Astrid Bietrix, Métropole de Lyon.

Laval’s biotech business incubator inked an agreement recently aimed at giving thriving local life sciences firms transatlantic reach.

Mayor Marc Demers told The Suburban in June that the deal was in the offing, just before leading a Laval delegation to San Francisco for a major biotech confab.

“It’s a ray of sunshine,” he said at the time. “Biotech attracts investment and, in practical terms, creates jobs in the field for Laval residents—it already accounts for some 5,000 highly paid jobs in research and health science. In addition, each job in those fields indirectly creates another 2-5 jobs here.”

Under the agreement, the Centre québécois d’innovation en biotechnologie (CQIB) will team up with Lyon’s economic development arm Aderly, Lyonbiopôle and various local players. They will stimulate biotech businesses with international market research and give them a local presence as well as personalized support and temporary office space, the city said in a statement.

It’s a great opportunity for both cities,” smiled Deputy Mayor David De Cotis. “We want to open our doors to Quebec companies, Canadian companies, North American companies as well as overseas firms.”

More international pacts are to come, De Cotis, who heads Laval’s economic development efforts, predicted in an interview.

“This is the first of many such cooperative agreements to come,” he hinted. “It is a stepping stone to collaborating with other cities. There are other agreements in the offing. It’s an important first step that sends an unequivocal message that Laval is a city that’s serious about business. It highlights Laval’s economic strength, its sound finances and its solid economic future.

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