March 9, 2023

XST at the helm of smart maritime transportation thanks to IVADO

XST has been awarded more than $600,000 by the Government of Quebec for the development of a smart marine transportation system. This funding, secured with the help of IVADO, will allow this industrial member to take to the sea!

As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: “To reach a port we must set sail – Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” This famous quote highlights the foresight required for effective seafaring, something with which Xpert Solutions Technologiques (XST) is intimately familiar.

An IVADO industrial member, the Lévis-based SME is an established leader in the field of maritime logistics. This expertise was recently acknowledged by the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable du Québec (MTMD), which granted financial support to the company as part of its “Advantage St. Lawrence” vision and, more specifically, its “Smart Economic Corridor” program.

This funding is the culmination of a process that began in 2020. At the time, Jean-François Bruneau, IVADO technology transfer and innovation advisor assigned to XST, put the SME’s owner in contact with Prof. Loubna Benabbou, Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence for Digital, Resilient, Agile, and Sustainable Supply Chains at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR).

The XST-IVADO-UQAR team then undertook a collaborative research project, with the aim of developing algorithms capable of predicting vessel navigation speeds and arrival times at port. This very promising project gave the SME a taste for digital innovation.

“From its very first research experiences with IVADO, XST decided to set up a favourable environment for innovation, for the integration of AI into their business model, and, above all, for collaboration with academia.”

Jean-François Bruneau

IVADO technology transfer and innovation advisor

Motivated by XST’s drive and the proficiency of its academic partners, the IVADO advisor next found a challenge that matched their potential: applying to the “Smart Economic Corridor” program.

After the MTMD expressed an interest for the project, he supported XST and UQAR in the preparation of their funding application, actively participating in all stages of the process: ideation, project justification, writing and revision of the proposal, budget planning, and securing additional funding sources.

“Our team is so pleased with the assistance we received on this project, especially from IVADO. Without IVADO, this project would never have happened! The IVADO team was involved from the beginning by putting us in touch with UQAR, by helping us secure MITACS credits, by participating in the financial planning for the project, and even by contributing financially. A big THANK YOU!

Stéphane Caron

Owner and president of XST

Due to IVADO’s intervention, XST will receive a total of $1.24 million over three years, including over $621,000 from the MTMD. These funds will allow the SME to operationalize and industrialize the prediction algorithms created in partnership with Professor Benabbou.

It seems there is smooth sailing ahead for Quebec maritime logistics!