Research projects and grants

Catalyzing innovation in the Outaouais region, multi-sectoral research on innovations resulting from the pandemic caused by COVID-19


The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has created an unprecedented crisis affecting all spheres of society and all industries. The crisis has resulted in the closure of many public and private places, forced remote work and prompted organizations to rethink the way they operate. In response to this upheaval, many organizations have been forced to reinvent themselves and innovate (Park, Lee & Ahn, 2021). This research focuses on the innovations implemented by organizations located in the Outaouais region during the pandemic caused by COVID-19 to allow them to continue their activities. The sectors targeted by this research project are: culture, tourism, agri-food, forestry and technology. The objective is to describe and understand how innovations have been implemented, and to identify good practices. The relevance of this project lies in the importance of understanding how organizations have managed to survive the crisis through the implementation of innovations specific to their sector. Several studies show similarities between the 2008 financial crisis and the one caused by the pandemic and Roper and Turner (2020) report that organizations that invested in innovations during the 2008 crisis had an easier recovery. Therefore, it can be assumed that organizations that maintain their level of innovation-related activity during the COVID-19 crisis will enjoy an advantage in the post-COVID period. Guderian, Bican, Riar, and Chattopadhyay (2021) also identify innovation as a way for organizations to survive the crisis and even come out ahead. Thus, the study of organizations that innovated (and are innovating) during the crisis caused by COVID-19 is important and relevant.

The methodology chosen for this study is qualitative. We use case studies as our research strategy. The sampling strategies are purposive and networking. We target six cases per sector (30 cases in total). The data collection method is the semi-structured interviews, and we want to conduct three interviews per case. The analysis will be both descriptive and comparative between the cases for each sector. A comparative analysis between the different sectors will also be conducted. The partner (Espace-O; Cilex) will be able to use the results of this research to be better prepared, thanks to the examples presented, to accompany organizations that want to implement innovations.

Research team


Julie Bérubé

Associate Professor, UQO

Research Assistant and Students

Maud Loranger

MBA student (Master’s thesis), UQO

Alexis Pouliot

Bachelor’s degree student in Administration, UQO

Nancy Bouchard

Master’s degree student in Development Studies (Master’s thesis), UQO

Imane Belghiti

MBA student, UQO

Jean Paul Bisseck

Master’s Degree in Project Management (Master’s Thesis)

Armel Didier Tella

DBS candidate in Project Management, UQO