Public Release: 

INRS awarded $1.6 M for a unique applied research program on wireless networks and systems

Funding for NSERC's CREATE program in the industrial stream

Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

This news release is available in French.

In the 21st century digital economy, developing smart wireless applications such as smart homes, offices, hospitals, vehicles, power grids, or cities requires multidisciplinary training as yet unavailable in any educational program in Canada. Professor Sofiène Affes with INRS's Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre is teaming up with top-notch researchers from five Montreal universities and ten industry partners to launch the PERSWADE (Pervasive and Smart Wireless Applications for the Digital Economy) program so as to prepare students for new technology challenges, new application-specific integration issues, and a new industrial culture in the field of wireless networks and systems and its smart applications. The only one and very first of its kind, this interdisciplinary program is receiving upwards of $1.6 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), out of a budget of $3.8 million for 2013-2019.

Open to electrical engineering students from all levels of five participating universities--INRS, ETS, Polytechnique, Concordia University, and McGill University--the new program dictates that 20% of research time be spent in an industrial environment. The 210 students participating in the program for the next six years will benefit from cutting-edge internships, lectures and workshops on topical industry issues like the sustainable economy, intellectual property, standardization, and more industry-oriented research projects that address interdisciplinary wireless integration challenges in the digital economy.

For Professor Affes, getting industry partners involved in the program was critical. NSERC funding paved the way for partnerships with multinationals like Ericsson and Huawei, as well as Industry Canada, Hydro-Québec's IREQ, and six other businesses among the most active in the sector. "Participating companies already plan to hire 120-140 program graduates over the next few years," says Affes. This training program is a great added-value for students in terms of experience, knowledge, and skills. They'll be ready to contribute to the growth, innovation, and competitiveness of a large number of Canadian businesses." Open to other partnerships, the PERSWADE program will count on the involvement of new industrial collaborators in the near future.

Drawing on the expertise of faculty from its Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre, INRS is heading up this innovative program--the first in Canada to explore smart wireless communications and its pervasive applications in all industrial sectors of the 21st digital economy.


Partners of the Pervasive and Smart Wireless Applications for the Digital Economy (PERSWADE) program

Co-applicants to NSERC's CREATE program

Sofiène Affes, INRS
Charles Despins, ETS
François Gagnon, ETS
Ali Ghrayeb, Concordia University
Ferhat Khendek, Concordia University
Fabrice Labeau, McGill University
Long Le, INRS
Tho Le-Ngoc, McGill University
Martin Maier, INRS
Serioja Tatu, INRS
Ke Wu, Polytechnique

Industry partners

Ericsson Canada
Huawei Canada
Industry Canada
Hydro-Québec's research institute (IREQ)
InterDigital Canada

University collaborators

Chadi Assi, Concordia University
Mostapha Benzaazoua, UQAT
Christian Cardinal, Polytechnique
Benoit Champagne, McGill University
Tayeb Denidni, INRS
Paul Fortier, Université Laval
Jean-François Frigon, Polytechnique
Jean-Charles Grégoire, INRS
Allen Huang, University of Ottawa
Geza Joos, McGill University
Nahi Kandil, UQAT
Chahé Nerguizian, Polytechnique
Leslie Rusch, Université Laval
Reza Soleymani, Concordia University
Leszek Szczecinski, INRS
Claude Thibeault, ETS

About INRS

Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) is a graduate and post-graduate research and training university. One of Canada's leading research universities in terms of grants per professor, INRS brings together some 150 professors and close to 700 students and postdoctoral fellows in its centers in Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, and Varennes. Conducting fundamental research essential to the advancement of science in Quebec as well as internationally, INRS research teams also play a critical role in developing concrete solutions to problems facing our society.

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