The University of Windsor and Telus communications company announced Wednesday the launch of a 5G connected campus and commercial lab to support advanced research and establish the University as a go-to centre for innovation.
Telus is investing $5 million as part of a multi-year agreement that began in 2020 to fuel the development of new applications for 5G technology — the fifth-generation standard for cellular networks.
The collaboration will not only support multidisciplinary research in the agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and connected and autonomous vehicles sectors, but will transform the UWindsor campus to enhance teaching, innovation, and collaboration.
Beyond the development of the 5G commercial lab, the central space in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation will be named the Telus Atrium. The area will foster collaborative concept discovery, ideation, and creativity as students and researchers build solutions that meet today’s global challenges.
“By expanding our partnership with Telus, University of Windsor students and faculty members will have further opportunities to engage in meaningful research and sponsored participation in beneficial, industry-collaborative events and activities,” says Chris Houser, UWindsor interim vice-president, research and innovation.
“The University’s strong partnership with Telus will support industry to further address real-world needs in everything from consumer electronics to automobiles and home appliances, to industrial sensors and automation in manufacturing, to air and water quality sensors in environmental monitoring.”
Ibrahim Gedeon, Telus chief technology officer, says the company is committed to fuelling Canadian innovation.
“Our partnership with UWindsor will supply some of Canada’s leading researchers with the latest 5G technology to enable advanced research in key industries such as connected autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity, manufacturing and agriculture, helping unlock new applications for technology to improve Canadians’ lives,” he says.
“This investment will help to grow the local economy of Windsor-Essex and its position in the region as an automobility and technology leader and will provide UWindsor students with an enhanced academic experience.”
The agreement will build on the strength of existing partnerships to provide the University and its partners in industry and community with the infrastructure, expertise, and processes to enable new collaborations driving future public co-operation agreements.
Initial joint projects include:
Equipping connected vehicles for cross-border travel using 5G
Researchers are working with the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network, original equipment manufacturers, and policy makers to better equip connected vehicles to solve cross-border challenges, including congestion and supply chain obstacles.
Developing new cybersecurity applications for connected and autonomous vehicles
In collaboration with Mitacs, a non-profit national research organization, this project will explore the use of artificial intelligence and deep learning to identify potential vulnerabilities and access points in CAVs, enhancing safety and security.
Exploring the effective use of AI and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in high-tech greenhouses to enable more efficient food production
UWindsor has partnered with Horteca to launch a two-acre, fully operational, 5G connected research greenhouse in Harrow. The greenhouse will use IoT and computer capabilities to make food production more scalable, while reducing cost and footprint.