Skip to main content

NEXT-GEN
INNOVATION

Taking the creative route to solving real issues

2020 HIGHLIGHTS


Concordia launches the Next-Generation Cities Institute

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing cities to transform their public spaces and services and reclaim their economic and cultural vibrancy while maintaining ecologically sustainable practices. These types of challenges will inform research at Concordia’s newly established Next-Generation Cities Institute, which gathers researchers from a broad range of disciplines.

“Cities generate most of the world’s gross domestic product and are the locus of innovation and productivity,” says Ursula Eicker, the institute’s interim director and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Cities. “At the same time, they are responsible for two thirds of carbon emissions. If we don’t transform cities worldwide, we’re going to have serious problems.”

District 3 creates a bioeconomy fast track

Concordia’s District 3 Innovation Hub 3 hosted the four-week intensive BioLingual Program in the summer to enable business professionals and engineers to understand the science and language behind biotech — crucial for those who wish to work in the emerging bioeconomy.

The program offers practical multidisciplinary learning opportunities through several interactive live online sessions. Participants learned how the latest technologies are used to engineer biological solutions and began developing their networks by meeting startups and biotech scientists looking for co-founders and team members.

Glitho was appointed Canada’s first Ericsson/ENCQOR 5G Industrial Research Chair in Cloud and Edge Computing for 5G and Beyond. Edge computing is when some processing tasks are distributed and processed closer to the source of the data to decrease the chance of delays and/or dropped messages. 5G is the emerging digital infrastructure needed to accommodate the coming wave of IoT devices.

Building the digital highway to 5G — and beyond

“Having fast, reliable communications is a necessity to enable the next generation of ‘smart’ Internet of Thing (IoT) devices,” says Roch Glitho, professor and Canada Research Chair at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering.

Glitho was appointed Canada’s first Ericsson/ENCQOR 5G Industrial Research Chair in Cloud and Edge Computing for 5G and Beyond. Edge computing is when some processing tasks are distributed and processed closer to the source of the data to decrease the chance of delays and/or dropped messages. 5G is the emerging digital infrastructure needed to accommodate the coming wave of IoT devices.

Novel approach to synthesizing essential medicines named a top Quebec discovery

Many modern medicines are derived from rare molecules found in plants and bacteria yet are difficult to produce in large quantities. A study published by Vincent Martin, biology professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Microbial Engineering and Synthetic Biology, and his California colleagues outlines a quicker and more efficient process.

Using cutting-edge synthetic biology approaches, they were able to produce a large amount of benzylisoquinoline alkaloid to synthesize an array of natural and new-to-nature chemical structures in a yeast-based platform. This, Martin explains, can provide a blueprint for the large-scale production of thousands of products, including the opioid analgesics morphine and codeine.

Québec Science named the research by as one of the top 10 discoveries of 2020.

Roch Glitho, professor and Canada Research Chair at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering

Building the digital highway to 5G — and beyond

“Having fast, reliable communications is a necessity to enable the next generation of ‘smart’ Internet of Thing (IoT) devices,” says Roch Glitho, professor and Canada Research Chair at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering.

Glitho was appointed Canada’s first Ericsson/ENCQOR 5G Industrial Research Chair in Cloud and Edge Computing for 5G and Beyond. Edge computing is when some processing tasks are distributed and processed closer to the source of the data to decrease the chance of delays and/or dropped messages. 5G is the emerging digital infrastructure needed to accommodate the coming wave of IoT devices.

Vincent Martin, biology professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Microbial Engineering and Synthetic Biology

Novel approach to synthesizing essential medicines named a top Quebec discovery

Many modern medicines are derived from rare molecules found in plants and bacteria yet are difficult to produce in large quantities. A study published by Vincent Martin, biology professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Microbial Engineering and Synthetic Biology, and his California colleagues outlines a quicker and more efficient process.

Using cutting-edge synthetic biology approaches, they were able to produce a large amount of benzylisoquinoline alkaloid to synthesize an array of natural and new-to-nature chemical structures in a yeast-based platform. This, Martin explains, can provide a blueprint for the large-scale production of thousands of products, including the opioid analgesics morphine and codeine.

Québec Science named the research by as one of the top 10 discoveries of 2020.

Looking to aggregate environmental knowledge for stakeholders

Maria Maisuradze, BComm 09, project manager of the Sustainability Ecosystem, acknowledges that there is little time to develop curricula or train educators about sustainability education before it becomes irrelevant.

This is just one of the issues that Sustainability Ecosystem, hosted at Concordia’s John Molson Executive Centre, is looking to rectify for the community in Montreal and beyond. To help overcome this hurdle, Sustainability Ecosystem developed the Learning Labs, which are designed to deepen understanding on quickly evolving environmental, social and governance topics and help catalyze the adoption of sustainable practices for businesses, asset owners and investors.

Concordia engineers help develop an emergency response drone

Luis Rodrigues, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is collaborating with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in developing autonomous navigation and control for Ambular, an emergency response urban air mobility vehicle. The ambulance drone is designed to transport people in tight, hazardous urban environments from their homes to the hospital.

ICAO’s Ambular team approached Rodrigues to assist in building a full-scale mock-up. “We will design algorithms to plan trajectories and control the vehicle to fly safely from source to destination in response to an emergency,” Rodrigues says.

Sustainable Investing Practicum promotes environmentally and socially driven investment

The John Molson School signed a partnership agreement with Manulife Investment Management to establish the first sustainable investing practicum at a Canadian university. The program’s inaugural cohort started in May.

The three-credit Sustainable Investing Practicum enables undergraduate business students to better understand the principles of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing in a capital market environment. “The ultimate goal of this practicum is to demonstrate the superiority of ESG investing as an investment philosophy,” explains Amr Addas, adjunct professor in the Department of Finance. “I believe all investment decisions should ultimately be considered through an ESG lens.”

Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University