Officials with a new government-sponsored software test lab in Montreal are throwing out the welcome mat for Canadian companies, a move one expert says couldn’t come at a better time.

Billed as the first facility of its kind in Canada, and the only French-language test centre in North America, the new $7 million Software Test Centre (STC) is staffed and operated by the Centre de Recherche Informatique de Montreal (CRIM), a non-profit research and development agency that promotes IT in Canada, with an emphasis on Quebec.

The Centre was made possible by a $2 million grant from Quebec’s Minist