Montreal brings chemistry to life science events


life science events

Advances in medical technology drive need for more multidisciplinary events

Last summer, hundreds of professionals headed to Montreal for the world’s first International Congress on Personalized Health Care. A crowd of researchers and academics, economists and ethicists gathered at the Palais des congrès de Montréal to address key issues and updates facing the health and medical technology field.

“We are at the dawn of a new era of medicine that will redefine healthcare management,” said Congress President, Dr. Pavel Hamet, who is also the chief of gene medicine at the city’s CHUM research centre. He points to recent breakthroughs in molecular biology, genomics and data management, and new approaches that focus on a person’s genetic makeup in its relationship to the environment.

With these advancements come ethical, legal and financial concerns are inevitable, and the need for multidisciplinary events has never been greater. Montreal is a chemistry of more than 600 pharmaceutical and health organizations and a prime location for creating events that cater to this field.

life science

In 2016-2017, the Palais des congrès de Montréal welcomed 47,000 delegates to 30 life science events, including 12 conventions. The economic spinoffs were monumental, totaling $67.5 million. The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, World Biomaterial Congress and International Dental Days were just three of the conventions that took place at the Palais des congress de Montreal during the last year. The centre hosts numerous events, and about 40 per cent of the annual list of conventions comes from the life science sector.

Delegates come from all over the globe because of Montreal’s brain power. The city is a living laboratory of top-notch students and investors, and home to two of the world’s top 100 universities. Close to 12,000 researchers and professionals are shaping the future in 300 public and parapublic research centres, while nearby, companies are creating blockbuster drugs to treat everything from cancer and HIV to cholesterol and neurological diseases.

Three alliances creating more opportunity for the sector include Montréal Invivo, Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). Each organization is strategically aligned with the Ambassador’s Club at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. The agreements foster closer cooperation between the scientific community and the Palais des congrès de Montréal in order to bring more major conferences to the city – events that will generate both intellectual wealth and tourism revenue that will benefit the entire community.

In fact, Montréal is the top city in the Americas for international meetings for the fifth straight year, according to the International Meetings Statistics Report, published by the Union of International Associations.

“By joining forces to bring these conferences to Montréal, our universities, the leaders of the health sciences sector, tourism team Montréal and the Palais des congrès make it possible for Montréal to maintain its role as a leading host of large-scale scientific gatherings,” stated Raymond Larivée, president and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

life science

One example is IRSST, one the world’s largest occupational health and safety research centres. Its pool of researchers and professionals from various disciplines, such as ergonomics and industrial hygiene, add cache to events in the field.

Researchers also get grants to secure and organize major scientific conventions. The Prix Relève is one awards competition that the Ambassadors Club and the Fonds de recherche du Québec set up last year.

“It is important for researchers to get involved in organizing international scientific conferences,” points out Rémi Quirion, Québec’s Chief Scientist. “Those who’ve done it know that although it demands a lot of time, the benefits to their research career is invaluable.”

The synergy between all these forces in the field is alive in Montreal. They offer delegates an opportunity to network with top influencers and mentors, within a convention centre located in the heart of a city named Intelligent Community of the Year in 2016 by the Intelligent Community Forum. Planners have up-to-date services to choose from, such as Wi-Fi that supports 20,000 simultaneous connections, mobile apps, digital displays and an e-commerce portal, which are up to par with today’s tech expectations.

Conference centres have no choice but to meet the demands of a sector that expects so much from itself.

Thousands of these professionals are expected to meet in Montreal over the next few years. Recently, the International Pharmaceutical Federation announced that the Palais des congrès will host the 7th FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress in 2020.

Who knows what inventions this growing field will unveil in the future.

To learn more about the life sciences industry in Montreal or speak with local experts regarding your next event, please visit


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