Digital Transformation: Find Your Innovation Partner

At Sherbrooke University, Intelilab Group 4.0 specializes in digital transformation projects, while the Research Center in Strategic and Multidimensional Business Intelligence (PRISME) is interested in improving decision-making intelligence and data. (Photo: 123RF)

Digital transformation. Leading a digital transformation project usually involves integrating emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, Big Data Leveraging or Artificial Intelligence (AI) into your business. However, there is not always a “simple and affordable” commercial solution for adopting these technologies. However, SMEs are not without resources when it comes to this challenge: they can ask for help from one of the many research centers in Quebec.

This is the strategy adopted in 2017 by Conceptromec, a company based magg. At the time, the auto parts manufacturer wanted to provide remote maintenance and technical support on connected and automated machines that it sold to customers in Europe as well as Asia and Brazil.

“The project involved importing large amounts of data from machines, then analyzing it with artificial intelligence algorithms to give the customer a diagnostic,” explained Stephen Begin, president of the company.

The project is ambitious, but Stefan Begin knocks on the right door and can surround himself well. He contacted the Crytech Research Center at Sherbrooke University and a collaborative research project was launched. At the end of the process, Conceptromec has benefited from the work of a Masters student to create a new “Certification” business model – maintenance services and remote technical support will be provided as an annual contract. Cégep de Sherbrooke has given a “loan” to a student programmer to develop an IT component for data collection. Then, two young companies got their hands dirty; One is a mobile dashboard for creating AI algorithms and the other for viewing machine performance.

Everyone has his university partner

“SMEs usually do not have the means to finance the R&D department throughout the year,” explained Elaine Musconi, director of Createch. Establishing a partnership with a university research center allows them to innovate as large companies. A

The director emphasizes the word “partnership”, which he prefers to “consistent”. “At Academia, we don’t expect a company to provide coaching like a consultant implementing existing business solutions. The project must include a part of the innovation or experiment in the way it works. A

Also, it should be noted that each research group has its own profession or specialization. At Sherbrooke University, Intelilab Group 4.0 specializes in digital transformation projects, while the Research Center in Strategic and Multidimensional Business Intelligence (PRISME) is interested in improving decision-making intelligence and data. The Intelligence and Data Institute completes similar missions at Laval University. At Bromont Science Park, the MiQro Innovation Collaboration Center assists innovative companies in developing state-of-the-art microelectronic systems. Not to forget the college centers for technology transfer, which also has its own applied research centers.

AI, yes, if you have a “vision”

According to an IT portrait produced by NOVIPRO / Léger in the fall of 2021, 18% of Canadian companies plan to invest in artificial intelligence solutions within two years. Many of them will need the help of new predictive models published each year by AI researchers to adapt to their reality.

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between the academic world and the industrial world, enabling companies to benefit from recent advances in artificial intelligence,” explained Jumana Ghosn, director of research team applied to machine learning at the Quebec Institute. Artificial intelligence (also called matching).

In addition to his “open to the public” work, Mila conducts “collaborative” research projects with companies. “The company must have a well-defined problem that can be solved by AI algorithms,” warned Jomana Ghosn. It can take years to generate a return on investment, and management must believe in this project, he stressed.

Here are some of the benefits they can get from Mila when they become business qualified “The company has access to all of our algorithms. It benefits from our knowledge. Eventually, he moved on to a predictive model that was his own, as it was created with his own data. A

Of course, these projects are not within the reach of all companies. However, the choice is not based on the size of the company, but on the desire to innovate and innovate.


Leave a Comment