MONTREAL, June 22, 2018 – As part of the ENCQOR 5G initiative, two new 5G innovation hubs will be launched this fall, at École de technologie supérieure’s (ÉTS) Centech in Montreal and at Thales Canada’s Research and Technology centre and the Urban Science Joint Research Unit (UMRsu), located in Quebec City’s Metro High Tech Park. Once operational this fall, these hubs will provide 5G resources and infrastructure, laying the groundwork for the first fifth-generation wireless, pre-commercial testbed in Canada.

ENCQOR is a transformational $400-million partnership that brings together five global digital technology leaders (Ericsson, Ciena Canada Inc., Thales Canada, IBM Canada and CGI), supported in Quebec by CEFRIO and Prompt, and in Ontario by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This partnership is made possible in part by funding from the Canadian government and the provincial governments of Quebec and Ontario.

Over the next four years, ENCQOR will establish the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G wireless communication technologies – the next generation of digital communication and the key to unlocking the massive potential of smart cities, smart grid, e-health, e-education, connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand entertainment and media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.

« Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race. To prepare for the future, we must be bold, visionary and decisive. That’s why our government is investing in 5G technology. This investment in next-generation wireless technology will help make Canada a global innovation leader and secure thousands of jobs » says the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Government of Canada.

« The rapid pace and complexity of the change stemming from the digital age is compelling us to be proactive and take concrete action, such as establishing innovation hubs, which unquestionably provide a valuable opportunity for SMEs seeking to take advantage of the considerable potential of 5G technologies to accelerate their innovation projects and maximize the results. The ENCQOR project will bolster Québec’s competitiveness in the global economy and considerably benefit Québec companies in the information and communications technologies sector and the research and education sectors », noted MNA for D’Arcy-McGee and Chair of the Caucus of Montréal David Birnbaum.

« The ENCQOR initiative falls within the scope of the objectives of Québec’s Digital Strategy in order, by way of an example, to carry out world-class research and development and marketing projects geared to mobilizing and catalysing innovation and building robust, dynamic, attractive technological sectors. This partnership with the federal and Ontario governments to create a Canadian 5G superhighway is encouraging Québec to take a major step in its digital transformation. Above all, against a backdrop of market globalization, the establishment of innovative hubs will afford Québec firms a competitive advantage through their access to efficient 5G in addition to supporting the development of next generation digital technologies », noted Deputy Premier of Québec, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy Dominique Anglade.

This initiative will develop a world-class collaborative platform for accelerating the transition to game-changing 5G technology in Quebec and across Canada by bringing together a wide network of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry, government, researchers and academia in both provinces to collaborate on the creation and commercialization of new and disruptive products, processes, and services.


Two hubs in Quebec to open this fall

Both Montreal and Quebec City hubs will provide exclusive 5G infrastructure and resources, supporting SMEs and academia, allowing pre-commercial development, testing and demonstration of the newest products and services in a collaborative environment that promotes innovation.

Financial resources will also be provided to SMEs in Quebec through ENCQOR’s innovation and adoption programs which will be launched in the fall and led by CEFRIO and Prompt.

The hubs will be open to all innovation communities in the province of Quebec and represent a major opportunity for SMEs looking to capitalize on the vast potential of high-speed communication technologies, in order to accelerate innovation. Expertise will be available in these hubs, looking to maximize a given project’s potential and multiply its results.

In advance of the fall launch of the hubs and financial programs, SMEs and organizations interested in 5G innovation are invited to connect via the ENCQOR Quebec website, located at


Quick facts

  • ENCQOR is establishing the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G wireless communication technologies – the key to accelerating the transition to game-changing 5G technology.
  • ENCQOR’s cutting-edge platforms located in Montreal and Quebec City will leverage 5G to empower entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop and export a new wave of creative products and services in areas such as smart cities, e-health, connected and autonomous vehicles, fintech, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT) and others.
  • This project will establish a world-class collaborative platform in Quebec, Ontario and Canada for Information and Communications Technology and digital technology research, innovation, and application demonstration, involving multiple partners from various fields and areas of expertise, coming together on a unique open innovation research infrastructure in which 5G, cloud computing and big data are the dominant technologies of interest.
  • Both Montreal and Quebec City innovation hubs to be opened in the fall of 2018 will be inclusive, open to all Quebec-based SMEs and organizations interested in 5G, its integration and its adoption. Through the hubs, SMEs will have access to cutting-edge 5G infrastructure and will be accompanied by experienced resources, for their experimentation, innovation or adoption projects.
  • Financing programs and adoption projects related to 5G innovation will also be launched in the province of Quebec by fall 2018, led by Prompt and CEFRIO.


Quotes – ENCQOR and innovation hub partners

  • « Extending the ENCQOR 5G partnership into the province of Quebec will accelerate the adoption of this next-generation technology throughout Canada. The introduction of 5G will revolutionize connectivity and create economic opportunities for consumers, businesses and governments. Ericsson is proud to be part of this innovative program to place Canada at the forefront of 5G. »
    Graham Osborne, Head of Ericsson Canada
  • « The ENCQOR project represents a significant step in the evolution and commercialization of 5G. We look forward to working with our ENCQOR partners, the Canadian federal government, Quebec provincial government, Ontario provincial government and other local organizations through our 5G innovation hubs, to drive forward this next generation of mobile networks. Ciena’s expertise in packet, optical, professional services, and software technologies plays a key role in creating more adaptive networks helping to accelerate the adoption and successful commercialization of 5G. »
    Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Ciena
  • « From a safer commute to smarter cities, this partnership reflects Thales’ continued commitment to innovation in four key domains – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, supporting the creation of new, Canadian 5G solutions to make life better and keep us safer. Thales Canada is proud to host ENQCOR’s innovation hub at our Thales Research and Technology centre in Quebec City where we are focused on designing high technology solutions for our customers. We look forward to working with SMEs and organizations in their development and adoption of 5G projects together with our ENCQOR partners. »
    Mark Halinaty, President and CEO, Thales Canada
  • « Our development initiatives in silicon photonics packaging in our Bromont, Quebec plant are an integral part of IBM’s continued innovation. We view the support through the ENCQOR consortium as an important way to transform industries through the assembly of key components in high bandwidth networks. We look forward to working with our ENCQOR partners, as well as the organizations and SMEs involved in the Quebec innovation hubs, to collaborate together to create the essential components that will be at the heart of 5G networks. »
    Louis Labelle, Director-in-Chief of Bromont Plant, IBM Canada
  • « At CGI, we understand that partnership is essential to driving innovation for our clients, and this project is a great example of partnership in action. Through this initiative, and most notably through the Quebec City and Montreal innovation hubs, we have an opportunity to develop innovative solutions that will be leveraged worldwide to accelerate and execute enterprise-wide digital strategies at scale. CGI is excited to collaborate with our partners on this pioneering work. »
    Michael Godin, Senior Vice-President, CGI
  • « ÉTS is proud to be part of the ENCQOR partnership and of hosting one of its 5G innovation hubs in Québec. The research conducted by our professors as well as the acceleration and propulsion programs of the Centech arehelping technology-based companies take their place in tomorrow’s economy. The inclusion of an aspect linked to 5G communications and initiatives related to experimentation, innovation and adoption of very high-speed networks can only broaden the creative spirit of our innovation ecosystem. »
    Pierre Dumouchel, Director General, ÉTS


CEFRIO is a research and innovation organization that supports public and private organizations as they transform their processes and business practices through the appropriation and use of digital technologies. CEFRIO is a member of QuébecInnove and has a mandate from the Government of Quebec to contribute to the advancement of Quebec society through digital technology. It conducts research, experiments and surveys, and raises awareness of the uses for digital technologies in every aspect of society. Its work relies on the contributions of its experienced team, a network of over 90 researchers as well as the commitment of more than 280 members. CEFRIO’s primary financial partner is Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation.

About Prompt
Prompt is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the creation of partnerships and the setting up of R & D projects between companies and the institutional research community (universities, CCTT and public research centers). The projects financed cover all ICT sub-sectors and cover both software and hardware development as well as the development of components, networks and applications. Prompt provides for grant financing of up to 40% of the total value of a research partnership project. It’s often possible to match Prompt financing with a federal public grant (e.g. NSERC, MITACS). In these cases, grant financing may cover up to 80% of the project’s total value.


Source: ENCQOR

Media Contact :
Guillaume Ducharme, Vice-President, Communications and Corporate Affairs, CEFRIO
418 523-3745 #243 |