Université de Sherbrooke partners with Bell on 5G research


The Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) is entering a new age of digital transformation focused on research and innovation in the field of wireless telecommunications in partnership with Bell.

Bell‘s advanced 5G wireless communication systems will be installed at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) to enable research projects to further develop technology in a broad range of sectors including Internet of Things (IoT), innovative manufacturing and smart energy management.

“We are very pleased with the confidence Bell has shown in the Université de Sherbrooke and our researchers by investing in this partnership,” said Vincent Aimez, Vice-President, Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer. “Proofs of concept and assessment of the benefits of new technologies and their positive impact on return on investment will enable us to develop solutions to address many of society’s needs such as smart energy management and low-carbon mobility.”

“As the world moves to embrace the next generation of wireless technology, Bell is committed to ensuring that research in Québec remains at the very forefront of 5G innovation,” said Nicholas Payant, Bell‘s Vice President of Connectivity and Reliability and also a graduate of the Université de Sherbrooke. “As one who knows the strengths of Sherbrooke well, I am proud that the Bell team will contribute our expertise and best networks in partnership with the university as we advance how the people of Québec connect with each other and the world.”

“Large-scale smart antenna networks are the cornerstone of 5G,” explains Professor Sébastien Roy of the Faculty of Engineering’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. “The partnership with Bell will make it possible to continue the research and development of these technologies as a primary focus, but now based on real data over genuine networks and commercially available or soon-to-be-available products.”

Digital transformation of businesses

Groundbreaking technologies developed at the Université de Sherbrooke will become a lever to enable companies to achieve their strategic objectives and in some cases reinvent their business models, especially in the manufacturing sector.

“The survival and growth of the manufacturing sector in an extremely competitive global market rely on the adoption of new technologies and the control and valorization of data,” said Sébastien Houle, General Manager of Productique Québec. “Today, it’s no longer just the large companies that are outperforming the smaller ones, it’s the faster ones that are outpacing the slower.”

Responsible technology

Co-leader of the “impacts, practices and society” focus at the Mixed International Unit for Nanotechnologies and Nanosystems Laboratory at UdeS, Céline Verchère sees this partnership with Bell as the opportunity to conduct research into the impact of the roll-out of these technologies for society. “In innovation, how do we ensure the technological development associated with economic progress, while at the same time managing the impact of this development on society, in a context where socio-environmental issues and challenges are becoming increasingly important? Examining these issues is part of our mission as researchers.”