So technological innovation is responsible

Professor Marie-Luc Arpin from the School of Management and Professor Serge Ecoffey from 3IT/LN2 and the Technical Faculty.
Professor Marie-Luc Arpin from the School of Management and Professor Serge Ecoffey from 3IT/LN2 and the Technical Faculty.
Photo: Michel Caron – UdeS

Technologies are developing at a high speed. But how can we ensure that their enormous progress is achieved from a socially responsible perspective? It is on this huge question that the professor of the Faculty of Management, Marie-Luc Arpin, and the professor of engineering, Serge Ecoffey, will carry out a research-intervention project in the very heart of the Technum innovation zone. Quebec from Bromont.

Funded as part of the STIMuleS program of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technology (FRQNT), in partnership with the Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Energy (MEIE), at the rate of 300,000 USD per year for 3 years, this project is a breakthrough in the human and social sciences into the world of technology, which could become a school of thought due to its interdisciplinary approach.

Become an ambassador for a responsible digital Quebec

In February 2022, Bromont was designated as a digital technology innovation zone by the Quebec government. Thanks to an industrial ecosystem established over five decades, the Technum Québec innovation zone has become the latest symbol of an industry that has been renewed in response to the changing needs of markets using microelectronic circuits and systems. The core of its mission calls for Technum Québec to become a technological ambassador for a responsible digital Québec, environmentally and socially.

For Professor Marie-Luc Arpin, from the Faculty of Management, and Professor Serge Ecoffey, from the Faculty of Engineering, the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) and the Laboratory for Nanotechnologies and Nanosystems (LN2), this great expectation has its share of blind spots and risks which stakeholders in the area have every interest to consider so that social responsibility becomes one of their strategic advantages.

But how can these people who are driven by digital innovation act responsibly? This is the broad question that this research project seeks to answer.

With the recent establishment and future development of the Technum Québec innovation zone, and thus the increase of activity in the Bromont region, it is the perfect time to ask these kinds of questions and set the tools that will be used in general in the future of the level: in education, within companies, in municipalities, etc.

Professor Serge Ecoffey, Faculty of Technology and 3IT/LN2

Over the next three years, the duo plans to conduct, with the support of several of their colleagues, intervention research that will begin with diagnosis and data collection, and then continue with research interventions directly with actors and actresses. Technum Québec’s innovation zone has completed its third year with a legacy of concrete processes that will enable the zone, and even the general public, to adopt good practices in order to continue to progress responsibly.

We aim to ensure that the initiative is structured for Technum Québec and that the experience can be useful, adaptable, enlightening and inspiring for other areas of innovation; that he can serve as a role model. The assembled team of researchers will therefore strive to contribute to the improvement of knowledge in this area of ​​social sciences and humanities.

Professor Marie-Luc Arpin, Faculty of Management

Intersectoral and interdisciplinary project

The project arose out of a consultation led by UdeS researchers with the Technum Québec innovation zone and some of its stakeholders, including the Bromont Economic Development Corporation (SODEB), the Industrie des electronic systems of Quebec (ISEQ), the Micro Innovation Collaboration Center (C2MI) , IBM, City of Bromont and Cégep de Granby.

As a technology ambassador for digital Quebec, Technum Québec believes in the importance of developing sustainable innovation. In recent years, the arrival of new technologies has changed our lifestyles at an unprecedented speed. This research project will allow us to better assess and understand the impact that different technologies can have on society in order to implement new practices that can benefit companies in the Bromont Innovation Zone, but also everywhere in Quebec.

Normand Bourbonnais, director of the Technum Québec innovation zone

The expertise that this project gathers is immense. Indeed, Professor Marie-Luc Arpin and Professor Serge Ecoffey are joined by people from very different disciplines:

  • Professor François Claveau (philosophy and applied ethics, Faculty of Letters and Humanities)
  • Professor Céline Verchère (Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation)
  • Professor Valérie Grandbois (Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Technology and Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Management)
  • Professor Ben Amor (Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering)
  • Mathieu Gagnon (preschool and elementary education, Faculty of Education)

Also participating in the research project are:

  • University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR)
  • University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM)
  • National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS)
  • National School of Public Administration (ENAP).

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