At this time of year, we usually take stock of the past months and look back at the key moments. I seriously asked myself if this is what I really wanted to do this time around. Many simply want to move past 2020. Quickly turn the page. To them, the new year cannot come soon enough. I understand this perfectly. But I also feel that the crisis situation that has affected all of us has given us with golden opportunities to learn and to accomplish, particularly in our sector. As the first vaccine doses are set to be administered to the Québec population in a matter of days, we cannot help but observe that the members of our ecosystem have largely mobilized in response to the pandemic. I also include the various levels of government that have also shown innovation in making a vaccination possible in record time. This is a very important step, but the fight against this pandemic will be over when – and only when – we have one or more effective treatments for those infected despite the vaccination campaign. In my opinion, mobilization of stakeholders is the main accomplishment of which the sector can be proud this year.

This was one of the points that was also raised at the Strategic Forum on Life Sciences and Health Technology, organized on November 16. The action plan put forward directly challenges the cluster on one of the critical issues in the sector, namely the issue of talent and expertise in the discipline of data science. Specifically, how are we going to be able to effect a change of culture in our companies to encourage them to adhere to initiatives to requalify or upgrade the skills of their employees? Without this evolution, many companies in the sector could miss the boat of digitization, of megadata, of artificial intelligence. This would be all the more damaging since the ability to leverage these technologies will be crucial in positioning the sector as one of the drivers of post-pandemic Québec’s economic recovery.

With the holiday season approaching and looking very different from what we are used to, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best. Let’s be grateful for what we have and generous with our time. Let’s be attentive to those around us, near and far. And let’s not forget to reach out to those who will be alone this time of the year.

Happy Holidays!