The University of British Columbia (UBC) is launching Canada’s first blockchain and distributed ledger technology training path for graduate students. The initiative aims to build capacity for existing master’s and PhD students in this area and help scale Canada’s blockchain industry while also tackling some of the world’s most complex socio-technical issues.
Set to become the world’s most multidisciplinary blockchain training path, the unique initiative will provide students with next-generation tools and applications to address issues in FinTech, engineering and computer science, and information governance through its disciplinary streams.
“As the country’s first graduate blockchain learning path, the initiative is transformative to the blockchain sector in Canada and beyond,” said Victoria Lemieux, UBC iSchool associate professor and Blockchain@UBC cluster lead. “The initiative will allow students to develop the skills around emerging technologies that are in high demand as well as drive economic growth as graduates fill the void in the industry.”
The training path will focus on four primary sectors: health and wellness, clean energy, regulatory technology and Indigenous issues, and aims to train 139 students over six years. The initiative is supported by 15 industry partners from a wide range of sectors who will be offering students high-value internships in collaboration with Mitacs. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. will be a flagship partner, providing funding to support research at the intersection of blockchain and healthcare.
“We are proud to be part of a collaboration that is considered to be the first in Canada offering multidisciplinary graduate education in blockchain technology, developing the next generation of innovators,” said Uli Brödl, vice president, medical and regulatory affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “This collaboration will allow us to grow the knowledge base and expertise of scientists to leverage the value of blockchain technology in healthcare.”
Mitacs will provide $1.324 million over six years to match industry funding on an annual basis for up to 18 master’s and eight PhD internships, including skills training and capacity for international experience. This represents a combined potential value of over $2.44 million for 156 internships and post-doctoral training projects.
“Mitacs is pleased to support UBC’s graduate blockchain initiative, which will foster innovation and the training of highly skilled talent to strengthen Canada’s leadership in this emerging area of multidisciplinary research and business transformation,” said Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director, Alejandro Adem.
The initiative will be taught by UBC faculty from diverse disciplines, all of whom are well connected with the local community as well as blockchain research centers around the world. As part of the learning outcomes, students can expect to critically analyze blockchain solutions as well as explore innovative areas where blockchain can be applied to achieve business, social and technical benefits.
The training path will officially launch in January 2020.
For more information, visit: https://blockchain.ubc.ca/
- In recent years, blockchain has emerged as a powerful method of providing security and trust in handling data, with countless technical, economic, social and political applications.
- Blockchain is designed to enable frictionless peer-to-peer interaction without the need for a trusted middleman.
- Yet, there is little overlap between academia and industry as well as a critical shortage of qualified professionals in the industry.
- Victoria Lemieux, UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, is the founder of Blockchain@UBC and co-leads the cluster with Chen Feng, from UBC-Okanagan School of Engineering. Their interdisciplinary collaboration recognizes the value of a multidisciplinary approach to blockchain and distributed ledger technology development and the need to span both natural science and engineering (NSE) and non-NSE disciplines to leverage this emerging technology in the best interests of all Canadians.
SOURCE University of British Columbia
Volvo Group Capital Markets Day – “Perform and Transform”
At the Capital Markets Day today, Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO, and Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, presented a partnership to jointly develop the decision-making system of autonomous commercial vehicles and machines. The Capital Markets Day focused on the Group’s strategy and improved financial performance on the theme “Perform and Transform”.
Utilizing NVIDIA’s end-to-end artificial intelligence platform for training, simulation and in-vehicle computing, the resulting system is designed to safely handle fully autonomous driving on public roads and highways.
The Volvo Group has improved its financial performance in recent years. Martin Lundstedt pointed to a stronger service business as one contributor to the improvement. Driving the development of services is a key area for the Volvo Group, since it strengthens the relationship with customers and helps build a company that is more resilient to changes in market demand. Another cornerstone of the improvement is the well-invested industrial backbone with increased operational efficiency and flexibility.
Jan Ytterberg, Volvo Group CFO, covered the importance of securing the financial performance to be able to provide good returns for shareholders as well as invest in the transformative technologies shaping the future of transport. The commercial vehicle industry is in transition in a time with growing transport needs and increasing infrastructure investments. This provides great opportunities for the Volvo Group in developing more sustainable transport solutions.
Lars Stenqvist, Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer, laid out the Group’s innovation road map within areas such as electrification, automation and connected solutions using a modular concept based on the Groups’ CAST system (Common Architecture and Shared Technologies).
Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo Construction Equipment, gave an update on Volvo CE’s strategy and the potential to grow further in the excavator market and within services.
Furthermore, Martin Lundstedt outlined how the Volvo Group is building new businesses through the new technologies exemplified by Volvo Buses’ ElectriCity with Keolis, Volvo Trucks’ automated solution for Brönnöy Kalk, the Vera autonomous transport system’s first assignment with DFDS and Volvo Construction Equipment’s Electric Site concept with Skanska.
SOURCE AB Volvo
RBC and Microsoft Launch New Program to Accelerate the Digital Transformation of Canadian Businesses
To help Canadian businesses unlock greater business value and capitalize on advancements in smart technologies and cloud solutions, RBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of RBC’s Go Digital program. The program is designed to remove key barriers which businesses have cited as preventing or delaying their digital transformation. Go Digital offers a suite of turnkey technology solutions leveraging the power and security of the Microsoft cloud and skilled Partner Network, as well as innovation financing and tailored advice from RBC to help businesses embark on their digital transformation journey with greater ease and confidence. The program is currently available to Canadian food manufacturers and will continue to expand to other industries over time.
A recent IDC report found that while Canadian executives acknowledge the importance of embracing new technologies to digitally transform their business, the majority have yet to take action. A similar report found that 29 per cent of Canadian organizations are lagging in digital transformation and have not yet started their digital modernization. The most common barriers identified by Canadian companies include the challenge of finding the right solution, sourcing the right provider and securing capital.
“Technology is disrupting customer expectations and traditional business models everywhere, and businesses need to adapt to these historic changes to differentiate and lead in the market,” said Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “RBC is committed to creating more value for clients and helping them along this journey. That’s why we’re coming together with industry-leading partners like Microsoft to deliver tailored solutions that will help accelerate and simplify their digital transformation.”
RBC & Microsoft design tailored solutions to fuel business growth
The manufacturing sector in Canada accounts for approximately $174bn in GDP, more than 10% of the total GDP of the entire country.1 The adoption of advanced smart factory technologies can help fuel the next wave of business growth by way of significant cost savings, increased productivity and enhanced quality which ultimately results in delivering greater value to customers and employees.
Despite these benefits, mid-market Canadian manufacturing firms are falling behind when it comes to the digital transformation of their business, making Canada one of the worst performers in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD)2. Fifty-five per cent of manufacturers do not use advanced technologies and one-fifth have no plans to invest in them in the next three years, naming cost and uncertainty as deterrents for digital transformation3.
1 https://canadianvisa.org/life-in-canada/key-industries/manufacturing, Canadian Visa Org, 2019
2 Industrie 2030: Accelerating Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2017
3 2018 Management Issues Survey, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2018
Given this significant opportunity, RBC’s Go Digital program is now available to Canadian food manufacturers as part of its initial launch with plans to extend the program’s reach to additional industries.
“This strategic partnership with RBC demonstrates our strong commitment to helping companies across Canada have greater access to digital technologies,” said Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada. “By leveraging the breadth of Microsoft’s trusted cloud platform, tapping into the skilled expertise of our Partner Network and maximizing RBC’s sector-specific business and financial expertise, we believe this program will give organizations in Canada the confidence to truly embrace the next wave of computing, and expand that reach to more businesses across North America in the longer term.”
Optimizing food manufacturing operations powered by Microsoft
RBC and Microsoft co-designed a curated suite of technology and innovation financing solutions tailored to food manufacturers. Leveraging a group of industry-leading partners from Microsoft’s Partner Network, RBC’s Go Digitalprogram offers access to digital solutions that are powered by artificial intelligence, cloud business applications, data analytics, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). These solutions include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental monitoring (i.e. temperature, humidity, air quality) leveraging the scale and intelligence of Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensor technology to reduce waste, drive efficiency and realize cost savings;
- Food transparency and traceability leveraging blockchain technology to meet regulatory requirements and standards, from farm to table;
- Production variability monitoring using Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Azure IoT capabilities to reduce equipment downtime, increase output forecasting accuracy and improve quality control; and
- Cloud-Based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) leveraging Dynamics 365 to address food safety and compliance, quality and production, recipe development and management, and food recall traceability.
SOURCE Royal Bank of Canada
Resulticks Welcomes Sophie Pibouin as Executive VP of Sales of the Americas
Real-time omnichannel marketing solutions provider Resulticks has announced the expansion of the company’s leadership team with the hire of Sophie Pibouin as Head of Sales, U.S. Resulticks’ AI-powered platform provides users with segmented data and consumer behavior analytics, allowing marketers to create highly targeted and individualized campaigns across telecom, healthcare, banking, hospitality and other diverse industries.
Sophie Pibouin brings a global perspective, deep understanding of the market and unparallel expertise in propelling business growth. With two decades of executive experience including roles at IBM, SDL, Chronicle Solutions and CA Inc., she has led the strategic evolution and exceptional expansion of Fortune 500 and VC-backed high-tech companies, achieving record increases in sales and uplifts in competitiveness.
“The addition of Sophie to our executive team comes as we see strong opportunities across the region, which will play a significant role in Resulticks’ forward growth strategy,” said CEO and co-founder Redickaa Subrammanian. “Bringing deep marketing and global technology experience that complements our existing capabilities, she is well-positioned to be an integral asset to our U.S.-based clientele.”
In her new role, Sophie will lead efforts to expand Resulticks’ U.S. footprint and identify new opportunities for accelerated growth.
“I am delighted to be joining a rapidly growing organization that is delivering a holistic solution to its users,” said Sophie Pibouin, Resulticks Executive VP of Sales of the Americas. “Resulticks’ all-in-one cloud-based platform helps marketers understand and reach their audiences in a truly integrated way, and I am eager to bring that value to even more U.S.-based brands.”
Prior to joining Resulticks, Sophie was the Worldwide Sales Leader at IBM Watson. A graduate of the University of Flaubert in France, she is based in New York City.
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