Canadian Manufacturing

HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab to receive $18M over five years

by CM staff   

Financing Manufacturing Research & Development Technology / IIoT HEC Montréal Tech3Lab

The financial support will boost UX innovation and accelerate digital transformation in organizations.

(CNW Group/HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab)

MONTRÉAL — HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab, the largest university laboratory for user experience (UX) research, has been awarded $18 million in funding over five years.

The financial support will boost UX innovation and accelerate digital transformation in organizations, showcases the laboratory’s expertise, international status, and influence on the economy of Quebec and Canada.

“I am delighted with this historic funding. Our researchers in all areas of management sciences constantly strive for excellence and are driven by a deep desire to surpass themselves. Our mission’s primary focus is on research and knowledge transfer to the business community and society, and this contribution will convert HEC Montréal’s high ambitions into reality,” said Federico Pasin, Director, HEC Montréal.

This amount comes from two public granting agencies — the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and PROMPT — as well as 13 partners: Alloprof, National Bank, Blue Yonder Group Inc., CAE Inc., CN, D-BOX Technologies inc., Deloitte Digital, LRDG Inc., Desjardins Group, Radio-Canada, ServiceNow, Sobeys Inc., Videotron Ltd.

The funding will help advance UX research, which uses tools from neuroscience to develop an understanding of the experiences of users. This research is crucial for boosting digital economies, and its resulting breakthroughs will benefit many organizations, their employees and other people interacting with technology, such as consumers and citizens.

The 13 industrial partners will work closely with the multidisciplinary team in HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab by providing real cases. The results and progress will optimize UX among their customers and employees in a wide variety of sectors: traditional and electronic commerce, telecommunications, banking, transportation, procurement, online education, culture, and entertainment.

The funding will be used for two research programs led by Pierre-Majorique Léger and Sylvain Sénécal, and comprising 10 other researchers from the School: the first one seeks to help organizations develop easy-to-learn technological interfaces and ensure that users are ready to adopt them; the second one hopes to improve UX measures and methods and make them more accessible, for instance by providing internal teams with opportunities to validate results faster.

Experts from HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab will conduct tests that will analyze users’ reactions from emotional and cognitive perspectives, with the help of certain tools including physiological sensors, and equipment for measuring facial expressions, visual attention, and cognitive load.

For example, the Tech3Lab team located in the Hélène Desmarais Building uses virtual reality devices to conduct very high precision studies of the emotional and cognitive experiences that customers or staff members undergo while interacting with technologies.

“This major public and private funding will help accelerate research findings and make UX even more intuitive and enjoyable,” said Pierre-Majorique Léger, Co-director, Tech3Lab and Professor, Department of Information Technologies, HEC Montréal. “Meticulous innovations regarding the speed and diagnostic nature of data from our experiments will now become possible, with the purpose of mobilizing the latest developments in artificial intelligence to achieve results almost in real time, when evaluating digital products and services.”


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