The “Réseau des centres d’expertise industrielle” launches the Virage PME program

November 14, 2022

Quebec City, November 14, 2022 – The Réseau des centres d’expertise industrielle (RCEI) is proud to announce the launch of its Virage PME program: helping small and midsize companies go digital. The initiative will support 1,000 Quebec companies to accelerate their digital transformation. The three-year program aims to democratize the principles and technologies of Industry 4.0 to boost the productivity of the province’s manufacturers. The RCEI’s project managers will work to smooth the digital transformation process and will be on hand to help companies obtain the financing they need.

This project, worth over $11,400,000, is made possible by contributions from the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie (MEIE), Investissement Québec, Desjardins, the Computer Research Institute of Montreal and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. For its part, Siemens donated equipment and technical expertise.

The drive for digital transformation – Offensive de transformation numérique: an important lever for manufacturers

The RCEI and its partners, sharing a vision of a strong manufacturing industry,  are determined to make the network’s services accessible to companies. To this end, the MEIE has agreed to release funds from the Offensive de transformation numérique (OTN) to help manufacturers with personalized support tailored to their needs. This strategic initiative is an important lever for manufacturers: its concrete measures provide them with the tools to face current challenges, whether it be staffing shortages or an increasingly competitive global market. Moreover, the partnerships announced today confirm economic players’ confidence in the RCEI.

“The digital transformation of the manufacturing sector is a real opportunity for economic development throughout Quebec. Similarly to the Réseau des centres d’expertise industrielle with its Virage PME program, our government is committed to transforming Quebec companies to help them move forward. That’s what we’re doing through the OTN: we’re helping SMEs to take this digitalization step successfully.” – Lionel Carmant, Minister responsible for social services 

“The industrial world is changing rapidly, and digitization is the key to keeping pace with innovation. Siemens is proud to be a partner in the Réseau des centres d’expertise industrielle, because we know it will be a vital resource for Quebec companies and will help them stay competitive in global manufacturing.” – Joris Myny, Senior Vice President, Siemens Canada 

“Companies lack the time and resources to implement innovation and technological transformation projects. Investissement Québec-CRIQ and all the other players in the ecosystem have a crucial role in facilitating companies’ path to transformation. The Virage PME program is a perfect example of this. Teams from Investissement Québec-CRIQ, in collaboration with our partners, will support companies as they take up the challenge of digital transformation. This technological support, coupled with the envelope made available by the RCEI, is the key to boosting business productivity. We’re delighted to play our part.” – Lyne Dubois, Vice President, Investissement Québec-CRIQ

“Digital transformation is fundamental to the long-term survival of manufacturing companies. Rest assured that Desjardins has made it its mission to accompany them on this path. Good planning is the starting point for effectively spreading the investments needed over time to maintain and increase competitiveness. Our aim with this partnership is to pool our strengths to ensure that the technological shift of SMEs is a success.” – Jean-Yves Bourgeois, Executive Vice-President, Desjardins Business Services Group

“Thanks to the Virage PME program, Québec International (QI) and the Quebec City IEC (Industrial Expertise Centre) will be able to intensify their actions to facilitate the digital transformation of businesses. This mobilization of economic development players is in line with the needs expressed by companies who are well aware of the importance of undertaking or accelerating the digital shift.” – Carl Viel, President and CEO, Quebec International

About the RCEI

The RCEI is made up of four industrial expertise centres spread across Quebec: in Drummondville, the Centre national intégré du manufacturier intelligent (CNIMI), powered by Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and Cégep de Drummondville; in Quebec City, the Quebec City Industrial Expertise Centre, powered by Québec international; in Montreal, the Montreal Industrial Expertise Centre, powered by Excellence industrielle Saint-Laurent; and in Longueuil, Digifab QG, powered by Développement économique de l’agglomération de Longueuil (DEL). To request support, please contact them.


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