Two days after the announcement of the provincial plan to ease the lockdown and partially relaunch economic activity in Quebec, we had a virtual meeting organized with Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation. Just the fact that the Minister dedicated an hour of his time to more than fifty companies and organizations from the life sciences and health technologies sector attests to the importance he attaches to our sector. He said, among other things, that he was very impressed by the mobilization of our companies and organizations during the pandemic and he reiterated the importance of innovation to revitalize Quebec and shared his optimism for 2021.

The life sciences sector is currently in the spotlight and for good reason this time. Media coverage has been very positive for the sector in mainstream media and no longer only in the business media. This renewed appreciation of the impacts of our companies and research organizations on the province’s health and economic security is a major win for life sciences. I hope we will be able to build on this momentum after the crisis.

As we prepare for life after crisis, I am working with several others from the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal to try to define what it takes to get our economy back on track and how life sciences will contribute to this recovery and to our subsequent economy recovery. In addition to this exercise, I cannot help but think about the valuable lessons we have learned during the crisis and about what we will be collectively left with from this experience. Lockdown will have made us reflect on our lifestyle habits. The job market as we know it will inevitably be shaped to adapt to remote working, which has proven to be very useful in many situations. One of the things that struck me most is the impact on our environment. We have all seen these images that demonstrate an impressive decrease in pollution in just a few weeks of more or less complete stoppage of economic activity and transportation. I think this is the first time we can clearly see that it is possible to win this battle, that it isn’t an inevitable phenomenon to which our hands are tied. Quite the contrary. Each of us can hope to see major gains for the environment in our lifetime if we all work together. I find that very motivating. What about you?


Frank Béraud