ARCHIVED - Regional knowledge-based economy: CIDIF in Northern New Brunswick

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Centre international de développement de l'inforoute en francais (CIDIF)

August 02, 2007— Fredericton, New Brunswick

Within a globalised economy, the knowledge-based economy is one of the more promising economic sectors for allowing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from commercial opportunities.

The Centre international de développement de l'inforoute en francais (CIDIF) is a New-Brunswick non-profit research and development organisation devoted to "globalizing" and "sourcing" software and Internet applications. Its mission is to provide specialized tools and services to make the use of software and the Internet transparent to users from different cultures and languages. CIDIF also plays a key role in the northwest region of the province for the development of the knowledge-based economy with other regional organisations.

CIDIF and NRC-IRAP worked together on a significant project. Jean Léger, of Edmundston, and Johannes Larson, of Miramichi were the NRC-IRAP team members involved in assisting CIDIF with this project. NRC-IRAP's involvement, encouragement and financial support were instrumental in creating SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS.

CIDIF is the lead in the SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS network. They provide personnel to coordinate the SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS project. Furthermore, CIDIF has developed a way of doing business that allows SMEs to work together in order to have access to sectors of the market that they would not be able to access independently. As Roger Gervais, President and CEO of CIDIF notes, "It would have been impossible to develop this project without NRC-IRAP's help."

This new ICT business network, SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS, has become an excellent means through which these ICT companies in the north-western region of the province exchange and collaborate, whereas before, they would have almost instinctively attempted to establish relations with companies outside of the region.

A number of these very small companies have limited financial and human resources which constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to many of them. SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS is focused on overcoming these problems.

Results that say a lot...

This initiative has lead not only to changes in terms of business opportunities, but mainly to changes in perception amongst members of the network. In fact, projects would not have resulted without this change in perception.

There has been a notable impact of the network: over the last three years, numerous small contracts in the areas of website creation, international website standards analysis and graphic design have led to various collaborations between network members. The network has enabled members to become better acquainted with one another and to develop an interest in collaborating through their own initiatives. This new "mode of operation" was made possible by this project.

The growing confidence and the satisfaction level of the various clients have allowed the CIDIF itself to benefit from this project. In fact, membership in the Solutionstech+® business network has allowed it to share its own expertise. How? They identifed a major project, wrote the proposal and won a contract from Heritage Canada for a project known as Knock on Wood worth approximately $400,000. Several members of Solutionstech+®, as well as other business people from the region, took part in this major innovative project. Its success has strengthened CIDIF's will to complete other similar projects. In short, projects totalling almost $700,000 have been completed since the implementation of SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS thanks to NRC-IRAP's contribution and CIDIF's initiatives.

As they say, success breeds success The confidence and interest shown by members of the SOLUTIONS TECHPLUS network is leading to other projects. For CIDIF, the leader of this project, its perseverance has placed it at an advantage in the knowledge-based economy sector and allows it to be a reference point beyond New Brunswick's borders.

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