We promote entrepreneurship. Doing your graduate studies at INRS allows you to discover and explore your entrepreneurial side and start your own company thanks to our many ties with businesses and practice settings.
INRS faculty ensure that the new generation of scientists graduating from INRS have the skills and tools to carry out their projects, make a living from their work, and keep on innovating. Many of our students and graduates have commercialized applications and technologies developed during their studies or founded companies to put their expertise to work for the benefit of society. Here are some examples of start-ups that were established within our walls.
Arpent: urban studies and land-use planning
In 2016, Arpent (Actualisation responsable, pérenne et novatrice du territoire) received a grant from Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s program for the creation of three jobs to support the start-up and ensure its viability. Founding member Samuel Descôteaux Fréchette holds a Master’s in Urban Studies. The start-up is still active and assists municipalities, regional county municipalities, real estate developers, organizations, and citizen groups with development projects and planning initiatives.
Founded on the basis of an INRS technology transfer, Axis Photonique develops and builds scientific instruments for the study of ultrafast physical and chemical processes. Based in Varennes, the company was created by Christian-Yves Côté (PhD in Energy and Materials, 1996). See his testimonial.
CleanNature: artificial intelligence for a cleaner environment
Three water science graduates—Anne Carabin, Patricia Gomez, and Claudie Ratté-Fortin—have created an intelligent online tool to reduce road salt use with a view to preventing the contamination of nearby freshwater sources. The app, called GuIA, won 2nd prize at the 2019 AquaHacking Challenge.
Geolearn: connecting geoscience research and the mining industry
Geolearn provides artificial intelligence services in the Earth sciences, particularly for the oil, mining, and environmental industries. Founders Martin Blouin, Lorenzo Perozzi, and Antoine Caté honed their skills as PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers. The start-up has an office at the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre in Quebec City.
Geosapiens launches a flood management tool
The E-nundation platform developed by Geosapiens, a start-up founded by INRS researchers, is the first decision support tool of its kind to help municipalities, residents, insurance companies, and other professionals anticipate and mitigate flood risks. Awarded 1st prize at the 2018 AquaHacking Challenge, E-nundation is the result of ten years of research at INRS. Doctoral student Hachem Agili, co-founder and CEO of Geosapiens, received the Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award in recognition of his start-up’s continued success.
Inova Source, a start-up specializing in green chemistry
In 2015, Guillaume Brault, a PhD in biology, co-founded Inova Source, a start-up specialized in producing, extracting, and processing microalgae by-products into Omega-3-rich oils (90%) and other high value-added nutraceutical compounds. The company uses state-of-the-art extraction and enzymatic processing methods that Brault and his partner Viviane Bélair developed during their studies.