Advanced manufacturing is shaping the future of industrial production. As a key driver of Canada’s economy, this transformative sector is a top priority in Montréal, which is already a globally recognized hub for artificial intelligence and engineering. Currently, our strengths include collaborative robotics, smart factories, 3D printing, smart textiles and advanced materials, though we have promising research and development happening in many other fields.

Growth and innovation are the only constants in Montréal’s Industry 4.0 ecosystem. The city’s 3,240 manufacturing firms, which employ 120,000 people, are on the fast-track to transformation thanks to special programs offered by Investissement Québec and Québec’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. A new Center for Industrial Expertise is also being created to strengthen knowledge transfer and collaboration between academia and manufacturers. Through these initiatives, and with support from technology cluster TechnoMontréal, local businesses are future-proofing their operations with connected machines, autonomous equipment and data-driven optimization.

Industry, research and thought leadership

Excellence, creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration define Montréal’s advanced manufacturing sector. These principles drive local industry leaders, such as 3DRPD, Esterline Technologies Corporation, Héroux-Devtek, PyroGenesis Canada, Worximity, Adfast and ABB. They also underpin the 36 engineering programs offered in six of the city’s universities, creating a large pool of experts in fields such as electrical engineering, electronics, computer science, software, automation and robotics.

At Polytechnique Montréal’s Robotics Laboratory, Professor Lionel Birglen is developing self-adaptive mechanical hands to grasp objects without using electronic sensors or controllers. Possible applications include manufacturing, surgery and prosthetics. Meanwhile, École de technologie supérieure is fostering startups like Mecademic, which makes compact, high-precision, user-friendly robots for industrial applications.

Research centres and chairs

  • Canada Research Chair in Fabricating Microsystems and Advanced Materials – Polytechnique Montréal
  • MIAM – Institute for Advanced Materials at McGill University
  • Research Chair on Engineering of Processes, Materials, and Structures for Additive Manufacturing - École de technologie supérieure (ETS)
  • Gina Cody Chair in Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing – Concordia University
  • Réseau Québec-3D initiative at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)
  • Innovation 4.0 Hub and Siemens Research Chair – École de technologie supérieure
  • Canada Research Chair in Nanoscale Electronics – McGill University
  • RLLAB – Reasoning and Learning Lab at McGill University
  • IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • CRIM – Computer Research Institute of Montreal
  • IVADO – Institute for Data Valorization
  • MILA – The Montréal Institute of Learning Algorithms
  • SERC – Software Engineering Research Center – Concordia University
  • CORO – Control and Robotics Laboratory at École de technologie supérieure
  • Centre for Intelligent Machines - McGill University

Past and upcoming events

  • Montreal Manufacturing Technology Show (MMTS/STFM), May 2020 (Delegates: 3,000)
  • International Final of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO), November 2020 (Delegates: 2,000)
  • IEEE ICC 2021: IEEE International Conference on Communications, June 2021 
  • 2021 ICCV – International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2021
  • Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo, November 2020 (Delegates: 3,000)
  • Fab Lab Conference 2020, Fab Lab Foundation (Visitors: 10,000)