Videotron, Ericsson partner to create Canada’s first open-air smart living lab

Videotron, Ericsson, École de technologie supérieure and the Quartier de l’innovation (QI)are creating Canada’s first open-air smart living laboratory.

It will be located in the heart of the Quartier de l’innovation and will serve to test the many facets of innovations associated with the emerging industry revolving around fifth-generation telecommunications.

Concrete technological applications with the potential to improve and simplify Quebecers’ lives will be field-tested under real-life conditions.

This unique partnership will bring together expertise, knowledge and technology in a vast test site in order to begin laying the foundations for smart living. The laboratory will also be a model for collaboration in which the community, the municipality, higher education, manufacturers and the telecom industry will cohabitate as they work to make the next technological revolution a reality.

The lab will also be inclusive: from day one, its doors will be wide open to Montréal tech businesses and developers connected to the ICT industrial ecosystem that want to participate in the project.

First concrete project: smart dorms

ÉTS students will be the first to enjoy the fruits of the lab’s work. Starting in early 2017, they will see the products of the project partners’ expertise in the heart of their campus: students living in dorms will experience a “smart home,” an environment managed on the basis of analysis of the data generated by various objects in the building.

Raising the innovation bar

“We are very proud to have initiated the creation of this vast smart living lab and to have brought such distinguished partners together around a common objective: the development of an innovation ecosystem in Montréal,” said Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Videotron. “For Videotron, this laboratory will be another tool for identifying the applications and services that can best improve and simplify consumers’ daily lives, and those that can create the most value for businesses.”

“ÉTS is contributing at two levels,” said Pierre Dumouchel, Director General of the École de technologie supérieure. “First, we are contributing the knowledge, cutting-edge expertise and talents of the ÉTS professors, researchers and students who are involved in the open-air lab. Secondly, the ÉTS campus will be the site of experimentation, hands-on learning and skill development by students and our partners in this innovative, collaborative initiative.”

“By forming a partnership to create Canada’s largest open-air laboratory, we are giving entrepreneurs and students a playing field where they can prepare for the world of the future,” said Graham Osborne, President of Ericsson Canada. “At Ericsson, we are very excited about contributing to this project with our technological leadership, our global knowledge of smart cities, and most of all our people.”

“The Quartier de l’innovation is a major hub of innovation and creativity in Montréal,” said Damien Silès, Executive Director of the Quartier de l’innovation. “It is also a catalyst for the city’s development. It was therefore a natural site for this open-air lab. We are pleased to be part of this unique project in Canada which will raise the profile of QI and of the city.”

Harout Chitilian, Vice-Chair of the City of Montréal Executive Committee responsible for smart city initiatives and information technology, commented: “This first open-air laboratory will channel institutional innovation and the dynamism of our startups in order to test bold solutions to urban problems. More than ever, Montréal is showing leadership on the smart city front with transformative projects that enhance the quality of life of residents and promote the city’s economic development.”