What is a Niche of Excellence?
A Niche of Excellence is defined as a set of companies from the same region engaged in interrelated economic activities. With its specific expertise, this cluster aims to stand out competitively from other regions and on international markets.
The ACCORD Program
The ACCORD program was launched by the Québec Cabinet in April 2002. A priority for government action to develop the economy of Québec's regions, this program:
- is based on the gathering and mobilization of the business community
- builds on regional strengths and the pursuit of excellence in Québec's key sectors
- focuses on the development of industrial alliances and networks between participants from the same economic sector
Objectives of the ACCORD Program
Position the regions of Québec as poles of specific industrial expertise recognized in America and around the world by developing niches of excellence with the potential of becoming the region's brand image
Increase productivity and promote employment through innovation and export
Contributeto the emergence of economic structuring projects in the regions of Québec
Promote the creation of intra- and inter-regional industrial networks
The Benefits for Business
The ACCORD program was launched by the Québec Cabinet in April 2002. A priority for government action to develop the economy of Québec's regions, this program aims to:
- Gather and mobilize the business community
- Encourage networking and partnerships between companies in the Niche of Excellence for:
- market development
- research and innovation
- Maximize the benefits related to the brand image of the Niche of Excellence conveyed in Québec and abroad
- Facilitate access to expertise, support services and strategic information
- Bring together research and technological development communities
- Provide access to a skilled workforce through training or development programs, external labour attraction projects, etc
The Support Program for the Development of Strategic Sectors and Niches of Excellence aims to provide financial support for the implementation of projects or activities in these sectors and poles of excellence.
The Fund's intervention is complementary to other sources of financing:
- Private companies
- Regional organizations
- Federal government
The CED is the host organization of the ACCORD Niche of Excellence, whose head office is physically located on the CED's premises. The niche committee is accountable to the CED, but can also work independently with respect to the selection and management of projects. It overviews the implementation of projects and ensures they are in line with the development of the niche and the sector. The committee is also responsible for executing the action plan.
Objective of the organizational structure
Giving the control levers of the niche to the community of interests through the niche committee creates a structure that promotes the niche’s development and influence while ensuring the growth of the CED and its position as a catalyst for the industry in Québec. It also solidifies its connection to the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region and helps Québec's RPAS industry reach its full potential.