Naturallia is returning in 2017 for its 5th edition! This year again, the forum represents a unique and essential opportunity for networking and growth for those businesses in Quebec, Canada and elsewhere which are involved in the natural resource field. We believe that this fifth edition will bring together 200 to 300 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and organizations from Canada, but also from some 15 other countries.
Below are the targeted activity sectors :
The mining and service
Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean (SLSJ) has had one operating a mine for more than 40 years – Niobec, which produces ferroniobium concentrate at its St-Honoré plant. Interestingly, the SLSJ region is on the outskirts of Quebec’s North Shore and northern regions, where operational mines and developing mining projects abound. This is why SLSJ and surrounding areas were able to develop and maintain a variety of OEMs and businesses related to the mining industry.
Mining represents a major economic impact on the region, with annual expenditures reaching more than $297.2 million, some 2,680 jobs, and the close to 500 suppliers of goods and services. Also, many economists predict that the coming years should see the mining industry give birth to several specific profiles, particularly in northern Quebec, as part of the provincial government’s Plan Nord. The Plan Nord secretariat, based in the region, aim to facilitate and support all projects.
and smart energy sector
Across the globe, demand for smart energy is experiencing growth. With many governments deciding to turn to clean and alternative energy which translates into multiple opportunities. For many parts of the world, the production of renewable energy, hydroelectric or wind power, is a potential alternative to fossil fuels.
In Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, our companies possess enviable expertise in this area. The region and its outskirts have more than 50 dams and hydroelectric generating facilities, including two mini power plants. Also, the SLSJ territory has part of the largest windmill park in Canada with its 175 wind turbines.
product & wood sectors
The forest industry is among the only economic sectors operating in all regions of Quebec. Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean is a strategic activity area with a strong specialized work force within a cluster of factories. Furthermore, in its 2015-16 budget, the Government of Quebec anticipated reinvestments of $230 million so that the main forest sector stakeholders, in all regions, would be better equipped to take advantage of the resulting business opportunities.
It should also be remembered that the theme of the 2016 convention of the Association forestière du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean (AFSL) was: ‘Forests and Wood – Carbon Traps. This stresses – with considerable relevance – that the forest industry has a key role to play in the fight against climate change and its related business opportunities, much like the energy industry has with the forest biomass and biofuels. Not to mention that the huge potential of “fiber chemistry” and bio-carbons has yet to be tapped..
Advanced technologies represent a huge sector. In Quebec, this represents several billion dollars in annual shipments. Whether dealing with steel products or value-added telecommunications material, electronic products or aircraft material, the strength and diversity of this sector is undeniable, as is its influence on the three other sectors linked to Naturallia 2017: the forest, mining and sustainable energy sectors.
In Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, several companies and organisations have developed services or products that are unique in the world. In addition to our OEMs, which are distinctive internationally, the region is home to an organisation that operates a school specific to its domain – the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Centre of Excellence, located in the City of Alma.