Axis 6: Applications Research Projects

Theme 6.1 - ARP #1: ICT for Healthcare


In this sector, ICT has been adopted in an understandably conservative manner due to concerns such as reliability, mobility, safety and cost. For example, wireless devices have been restricted in many instances due to concerns for the effects of electromagnetic interference with medical devices.

One key aspect that SYTACom researchers are addressing is improving healthcare delivery by using ICT to increase efficiency (e.g., better workflows) and reduce cost (e.g., more efficient clinicians, thus fewer needed).

Studies have shown that for specific application cases, proper usage of ICT in clinical settings can lead to both improved patient safety and system efficiency, but ways to fully obtain these benefits in more general settings remain an open problem.

Important research issues include the use of sensing systems to locate people and equipment when provisioning ICT services in hospitals, the development of software frameworks that allow for high availability of services, and the design of wireless networks which reduce electromagnetic interference with medical devices.

A constant dialogue with the end-user sector (clinicians and healthcare administrators) is necessary in order to develop solutions that are technically appropriate and have, at the same time, a high probability of adoption by the end-user community.

    User sector:
  • healthcare providers
  • ICT companies

  • healthcare Support through Information Technology Enhancements (hSITE)
  • e-santé sans fil et technologies habilitantes
  • Location-aware clinical communications

  • NSERC Strategic Research Network
  • Bell Canada
  • RIM
  • Alberta Health Services

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Theme 6.2 - ARP #2: Green ICT


Efforts to reduce worldwide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through ICT have been collectively termed Green ICT. These efforts include research to reduce the carbon footprint of communications technologies, as well as that of other technology sectors.

In the former category, issues of energy-efficiency are central, combined with software and hardware technologies that allow use of renewable energy (e.g., clean-powered data centres).

In the latter category, researchers explore intelligent transportation systems (e.g., sensor-equipped roads, automatic traffic monitoring from cameras) and ICT-enabled power grids (“Smart grids”), which are two areas where a tighter integration of ICT can lead to large energy savings and GHG emission reductions.

Research in Green ICT requires strong interaction with different user sectors including the power engineering sector (e.g., Hydro-Québec), business sector (e.g., carbon credit and business processes), public policy sector (e.g., Ministry of Environment, Western Climate Initiative), and the standardization sector (e.g., Canadian Standards Association).

    User sector:
  • ICT companies
  • government agencies (Western Climate Initiative, Canadian Standards Association)
  • power utilities
  • transportation companies

  • The Canada-California Consortium for a Green Cyber-infrastructure and a Zero Carbon Internet
  • Distributed Energy-Aware Information Infrastructure: A Path to Robust and Sustainable IT
  • NSERC/Hydro Quebec Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Information Infrastructure for the Power Grid
  • Ultra-Efficient Joint High-Performance Computing Datacenter for California & Canada

  • NSERC Strategic Projects
  • Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP)
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Ericsson

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Theme 6.3 - ARP #3: Communications in Challenged Environments


The deployment of ICT for some applications is hampered by the very environment in which they take place. The ARP on Communications in Challenged Environments develops algorithms and technologies that can withstand severe interference, intentional jamming, lack of infrastructure or difficult propagation media.

From combat or disaster zones to underground mine tunnels, these environments each create difficulties that classic communication systems are not able to handle.

SYTACom researchers explore self-configuring ad-hoc networks that can be deployed in real-time in tactical situations; interference-resilient modulation techniques that can sustain deliberate jamming; indoor localization and wireless propagation mechanisms for underground mining tunnels; and portable cellular base station components that can quickly re-establish communication in a disaster situation where the infrastructure has been destroyed.

The requirements dictated by these extreme conditions demand real-world solutions that bridge the gap between theoretical advances and practical applications. Important proof-of-concept and implementation platforms which are available through shared SYTACom infrastructure are also required.

    User sector:
  • ICT companies

  • NSERC - Ultra Electronics TCS Industrial Chair in High Performance Wireless Emergency and Tactical Communications
  • Émulateur de réseaux ad-hoc avec radios militaires
  • WLAN/WPAN Millimiter-Wave Multi-Gigabit Wireless Systems for Underground and Confined Environments
  • Communications coopératives et opportunistes dans les réseaux sans fil
  • Ruggedized Transceiver for Wireless Sensor Networks
  • Caractérisation du canal de propagation dans les mines souterraines sur la bande EHF
  • Prototyping of a WLAN-based geolocation system for underground mining applications

  • NSERC Partnership Program
  • RTI
  • Ultra TCS
  • Octasic

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