After more than 18 months of work and despite the pandemic, the Quebec Consortium for Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity (CQTNC) officially came into being on February 8, 2021. This new innovation hub, made up of four Canadian companies in partnership with the Region Grand Est in France is historic. It sets the stage for relationships of trust and collaboration in a global context of digital transformation.
To better understand the scope of such an association, Olivier Perrin, president of Becoming Elsewhere and special advisor in innovation and international partnerships at In-Sec-M, answers our questions.
In-Sec-M: What led to this agreement?
OP: Two main objectives. The first was to help the Grand Est region, the second industrial region in France, to transform itself. It has 5.5 million inhabitants and five cities the size of Gatineau. The second objective was to create an organization to attract rare external skills and thus bring together partners, from complementary fields, in order to create new expertise. The CQTNC is an ambitious initiative to gradually attract global skills to a region which is not in a leading position but which wishes to meet the conditions to become one.
Already, the sum of the four leaders (Mantle, Edilex, PM Scada Cyber Defense et Drakkar Digital) is equivalent to 3,500 employees, in various sectors such as digital transformation, block chain, legal tech and cybersecurity. We develop hybrid skills, combining European and North American mentalities. Thus, we will be able to develop hybrid skills, combining European and North American mentalities. Especially since the attacks are globalized and complex.
In-Sec-M: The idea of such an economic interest group germinated a long time ago…
OP: The creation of the Consortium is a collective adventure, a human adventure. You have to dare to work over long periods of time. I left France 15 years ago. In this space-time, there has been an extraordinary political alignment in this region and an understanding, here in Quebec, of new ways of seeking international markets. Despite COVID, we have won our bet.
Concretely, the last 18 months have made it possible to take the time to design this Consortium. Now that the protocol is signed, we are starting to launch the operationalization, from legal creations in France to the first meetings of the ecosystem. Then, we will move forward with our real dual objective, which is to build a sufficiently comprehensive and innovative offer to help local businesses in their transformation, and to create jobs.
In-Sec-M: What are the upcoming projects?
OP: There is a lot to do! This is just the beginning. We will humbly take the next steps to demonstrate our positive intentions and our willingness to be sustainable. This cluster around the web of trust, health technologies and cybersecurity in the Grand Est region could eventually become a cousin of the In-Sec-M cluster.
We want to discuss best practices and locally develop know-how that can attract European partners, including border countries such as Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Finally, we also want to help young and old alike to develop their potential and earn a decent salary, with or without a diploma, thanks to these new jobs.
We have to change mentalities and stop thinking that if we are not a leader today, we can never be. Why not build the steps to become one day? Gatineau has succeeded in positioning itself as a leader in the field of cybersecurity and digital transformation in Quebec. In-Sec-M attests to this and distinguishes itself by working for an ecosystem of trust.
To read more : Gatineau : a leader in the field of cyber security