International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT)

International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT)

September 06, 2007 12:30 ET

SECOR Study Shows IIT Plays Key Role in Development of ICT Industry

Canada's competitive position remains an important issue

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2007) - The International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT) released the results of a SECOR study today that shows that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is one of the pillars of the Canadian economy, but that the underfunding of recent years has undermined Canada's competitive position relative to other countries such as Finland, Ireland and South Korea.

The study also illustrates the important role played by IIT and IIT-R in supporting the start-up and accelerating the growth of new companies in the ICT sector, as well as providing hands-on and specialized training and bringing Canadian expertise to the international marketplace.

"The SECOR study shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ICT sector must invest more if Canada wants to be an international leader," said Louis Brunel, president and chief executive officer of IIT.

In addition, comments from IIT members and the SECOR study results confirm that IIT and IIT-R, although relatively young, have had a huge impact on the ICT sector and the local economy.

"With more than $7 million in economic benefits for Quebec and the very many examples of commercial success among our members, IIT is even more motivated to pursue its efforts to obtain adequate funding from the Canadian government," Mr. Brunel said.

Here are some of the key findings of the study:

Significant growth, but lags behind international leaders

- Although the ICT sector has grown significantly in Canada (6.5%, from 1990 to 2002), the pace has been much slower than world leaders, such as Ireland, which, with a growth rate of 13.5%, is growing twice as fast as Canada.

ICT: one of the pillars of the Canadian economy - but invests less than competitors

- Despite the slowdown of the early 2000s, ICT is one of the pillars of our economy, representing 6% of Canada's GDP. The ICT sector has also grown 8% annually since 1997, a much faster pace than the Canadian GDP over the same period.

- Close to 50% of private investment in R&D in Canada goes to the ICT sector. But, in relation to the GDP, Canada invests much less (0.52%) than countries like Finland (1.65%), Korea (1.30%), Sweden (1.05%), Japan (.84%) and the United States (0.56%).

- Canadian public investments (5.7%), rank only 8th worldwide.

IIT and IIT-R play a vital role

The SME members consulted by SECOR said that it would have been much more difficult to take the lead over their competitors in international markets if they had not had access to the IIT and IIT-R inrastructures and the support of its researchers and experts.

"With access to specific wireless networks to test technologies under real conditions, we were able to do in one year what the competition did in three years," said Guy Chevrette, president of iMetrik. "Without IIT, we would have had to find other labs in the world, a more costly and time-consuming process."

Thanks to IIT, the engineers at OZ were able to develop and test their technologies on a network that does not exist commercially in Canada. "Without IIT, our people would have had to go to our client's office in Plattsburg to do the same work," said Jean Regnier, chief technology officer for OZ. "Regular access to IIT's facilities was critical at the start of the company. IIT offered material and technical resources that were not accessible to us otherwise and the scientific expertise of IIT - particularly in artificial intelligence - allowed our engineering team solve specific problems and improve our applications."

The president of TelcoBridges, Gaetan Campeau, also said that IIT had made it possible for his company to speed up product development and respond more effectively to client expectations. "The 3G network at IIT is the only tool for testing 3G in North America. Without it, our people would have had to go to Singapore."

The SECOR study also points out that IIT has helped attract major international events to Montreal, not to mention leading researchers and engineers.

The organization Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), for example, which regroups approximately 400 wireless network operators and user or network equipment suppliers, chose IIT as its permanent test centre in the Americas after discovering how the IIT network could benefit its members. To date, IIT has hosted three OMA TestFests, generating more than $1.14 million in economic benefits for the Montreal area. The next TestFest is scheduled for January 2008.

About the IIT and the IIT-R:

The International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT) and IIT-Research (IIT-R) make up one of Canada's top industrial centres with respect to telecommunications and information technology. These two entities, distinct while located in the same facility in Montreal, have a common goal, which is to play a major role in the development of the telecommunications/ICT industry. With over 70 members, they have assembled the industry's main players: large organizations, SMEs, venture capital companies and universities. Focusing on the basic needs of the industry, IIT and IIT-R offer a variety of complementary services designed to meet them. As a training centre for the industry, providing state-of-the-art consulting services in telecommunications/ICTs, IIT also offers essential support to innovative SMEs by helping them with the critical steps involving marketing and funding. IIT-R, on the other hand, is an industrial research consortium focusing on wire-based and wireless telecommunications pre-competitive research. As such, it is called upon to play a major Research and Development (R&D) role, for both large organizations and SMEs. Visit the IIT's Web site at www.iitelecom.com for more information.

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