September 9, 2021

IVADO and Hitachi ABB Power Grids Form Strategic Collaboration to Develop Digital Solutions for Power Grids

  • Research initiatives to focus on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to the challenge of managing the transition to a carbon-neutral energy system
  • Collaboration highlights the growing importance of Quebec as a center of AI research and development

Montréal, 9 September 2021 – Montreal’s Institute for data valorization (IVADO) today announced a strategic collaboration with Hitachi ABB Power Grids to explore the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to power grids. With this agreement, Hitachi ABB Power Grids joins IVADO as a member, and will help to bring focus to the digital evolution of power grids to support the transition to renewable energy.

This collaboration will address the challenges associated with the digitalization of power grids, with a focus on addressing the impacts of the widespread introduction of renewable energy generation sources. The transition to renewables represents a paradigm shift in terms of the architecture and management of power grids, which were originally designed to transmit and distribute power from a relatively small number of large, predicable sources such as fossil-fuel or nuclear power plants. Renewable energy generation, in contrast is highly distributed and variable, which creates new challenges for power utilities and grid operators. This collaboration will address the role that digitalization can and will play in addressing these challenges.

Replacing a large coal-fired power plant with renewable energy sources, for instance, can require hundreds or thousands of solar or wind assets. Managing the data from such large number and variety of connected devices presents enormous opportunities for optimizing grid performance.

“IVADO has considerable experience driving research around how AI and machine learning is being applied in a wide variety of industry verticals,” said Martin Naedele, Global Head of Research, Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “By bringing together IVADO’s expertise in these fields with Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ strong track record in the development and management of electrical transmission, distribution, storage and energy management solutions will bring significant benefit to our customers, and to society as a whole as we pursue aggressive sustainability goals.”

“Digital intelligence is the main pillar for smart grid management and design as it connects data and energy,” said Nancy Laramée, Partnership Director at IVADO. “Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been a pioneer in their field and this new partnership will provide exciting new avenues for optimizing power grids and further research with our academic experts in machine learning and AI towards a greener economy.”

About Hitachi ABB Power Grids Ltd.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids is a global technology leader with a combined heritage of almost 250 years, employing around 36,000 people in 90 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, the business serves utility, industry and infrastructure customers across the value chain, and emerging areas like sustainable mobility, smart cities, energy storage and data centers. With a proven track record, global footprint and unparalleled installed base, Hitachi ABB Power Grids balances social, environmental and economic values. It is committed to powering good for a sustainable energy future, with pioneering and digital technologies, as the partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.


The Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) is a joint initiative of HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal that brings together nearly 170 industrial, academic and government partners. With over 1 400 researchers, IVADO is a multidisciplinary center of advanced expertise in statistics, artificial intelligence and operations research.

IVADO’s mission is to 1) contribute to the development of an economic sector in big data processing for decision making; 2) create privileged partnerships between industry and the administrative, social and academic sectors; 3) contribute to the advancement of knowledge and train new generations of data scientists; and 4) foster exchange and knowledge sharing between experts, partners, researchers and students.

IVADO provides a framework for seven research centers: Canada Excellence Research Chair in Data Science for Real-Time Decision Making, CIRRELT, Consortium Santé numérique, CRM, GERAD, Mila and Tech3Lab.


Sandra Estrela
Communications Coordinator