Sectors of Activity

The targeted priority sectors of activities:

  • Agri-food processing facilities and specialized agricultural production;
  • Specialized metal processing;
  • Environmental technologies;
  • Technologic services or value-added;
  • Tourism.

Agri-food Processing

  • In the Estrie region, there are more than 200 agri-food processing facilities which represent more than 2000 jobs
  • 12% of these facilities are located within the Les Sources RCM Sources
  • Meat and poultry processing is a major activity in the RCM, with 23% of the facilities devoted to it.

The RCM has several assets:

  • Key activities location in the RCM: HACCP slaughtering, processing by Viandes Sélectionnées des Cantons (raised without growth hormones, product traceability, etc.)
  • Large industrial sites available at very low prices less than a third of those charges in neighbouring municipalities
  • Grande capacité d’approvisionnement et de traitement de l’eau
  • Vast water supply and treatment capacity
  • Opportunities for synergies given the high local and regional agricultural production levels
  • Access to a qualified work force and leading-edge expertise in the surrounding area :
Agri-food processing RCM : % of facilities Estrie : % of facilities
Meat and poultry 23 % 18 %
Maple products 13 % 21 %
Dairy products 13 % 11 %
Honey products 13 % 4 %
Prepared meals 13 % 3 %
Fruits and vegetables 9 % 12 %
Others 16 % 31 %

Specialized metal processing

  • There are more than 6700 jobs in the metal processing sector in the Estrie region.
  • The manufacture of transportation equipment is one of the region’s flagship sub-sectors, with a number of major companies supplying orders, like BRP Recreational Products, Waterville TG, and Jyco Sealing Technologies Corporation.
  • In the MRC des Sources, there are already about 20 metal processing companies, several of which are experiencing strong growth and exporting their products.

The area has several assets for businesses in the sector :

  • Large industrial sites available at very low prices, less than a third of those charged in neighbouring municipalities
  • Abundance of low-cost energy resources: High-voltage power lines and natural gas
  • A concentration of companies with diverse expertise often acting in a synergetic manner
  • Machining, manufacturing, welding, and repair of metal parts, electromechanical subcontracting
  • Specialized products and services, e.g.: semi-trailer conveyer (ABS Remorques), carbide blades for snow removal (Usinage Pro 24), dry paint for metal (Concept PROMET), industrial ventilation products (Ateliers Beauchemin)
  • Businesses in this sector can rely on two associations that support networking and the sector’s development and promote their interests to government decision makers :
    • Réseau de transformation métallique du Québec (metal processing network or RTMQ)
    • Pôle d’excellence québécois en transport terrestre (Quebec centre of excellence in land transportation)
    • The Centre de métallurgie du Québec located in Trois-Rivières brings its expertise to the industry in terms of new metal processes and the optimization of products
    • The Centre Mécanium located in Saint-Georges supports businesses developing innovations in industrial mechanics
    • The Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle located in Sorel-Tracy, which focuses on technological transfer in industrial ecology

Metal processing Estrie : % of jobs
Manufacture of transportation equipment 45 %
Manufacture of machines 32 %
Manufacture of metal products 23 %

Environmental technologies

Environmental technologies is a promising sector in which the Des Sources RCM hopes to support development. With three companies already established and several projects currently being studied, a real sense of vitality has been injected into the RCM with respect to this sector.

  • Synergies facilitated by the current industrial fabric, thanks to the region’s environmental bio-industry cluster Bio-industries environmentales de l’Estrie, which includes :
    • 8 specialized research centres or groups
    • About 20 companies that use biotechnologies, bioprocesses, or biomass to reduce or eliminate impacts on the environment
    • Flagship companies: Enerkem, Exp, Nova Envirocom, Bio-terre Systems
  • A major research ally : The Institut National de Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Centre Eau Terre Environnement
    • Research program in decontamination and waste reclamation focused on the development of environmental technologies
    • Recognized expertise in the treatment and reclaiming of residual material and sites contaminated with toxic metals
  • Qualified work force thanks to a number of specialized training programs offered nearby :
    • Engineering and environment programs at the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières
    • Technical training in mineral technology (applied geology, mining, mineral processing) and industrial ecology

Technology services or with value-added

Information and communications technologies is a promising sector whose importance the Des Sources region recognizes and in which it hopes to support development.

  • Assets for the establishment of a data centre:
  • Large sites at unbeatable prices
  • Two abundant, reliable, and economical energy sources: Hydro-electricity (with a 10-year discount for heavy users) and natural gas
  • A favourable climate and sources of fresh water to cool servers
  • Fibre optics already in place in the area
  • Leading-edge expertise nearby :
  • University research and training programs in Computer Science and Information Management at :
    • Université de Sherbrooke (undergraduate to PhD levels)
    • Bishop’s (undergraduate and master’s levels)
    • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (undergraduate and master’s levels)
    • Centre de productique intégrée du Québec (CCTT in Sherbrooke), which offers expertise in networking, management software packages, and programing in particular
    • 15 technical training programs offered in the region reflect the next generation’s interest in this activity sector

Tourism

In terms of tourism, the development of the RCM scheme recognizes two host hubs (Danville and St-Camille), recreational and tourism sites (Burbank Pond, Trois-Lacs area, Mont-Ham, towns of Danville and St-Camille) and the concentrated resort area (Lake Saint-Georges).

The tourism industry has 65 companies and tourism stakeholders in the territory of Des Sources, of which 25 are accommodation facilities and three restaurants. It employs about 150 people, a number that fluctuates considerably during the summer.

About offered accommodation no new construction has been carried out since the 1990. The main challenge is the development of a product call major tourist nights generator which could build a secondary offer of tourism products and services (lodging, gas stations, shops, etc.). The draft Regional Mont-Ham Park was designated to be the leading project.

The tourism businesses offering entertainment and leisure are eligible to the extent that it is a major project aimed at the development of facilities and attractions for cultural, scientific, recreational and outdoor or otherwise, offered to tourists on a regular basis and have potential for growth.

In addition, eligible companies in the tourist accommodation sector which project has an important recreational tourism investment proportion, justifying the move or embellishing the stay on site, with the exception of the cottages and campgrounds.