University of Alberta and Telus partner on a 5G ‘living lab’

$15M investment focuses U of A’s innovation and commercialization capabilities, starting with precision agriculture, autonomous vehicles

The University of Alberta has announced a five-year partnership with Telus to establish a 5G “Living Lab” at the U of A that will contribute to a pipeline of new research and technology with commercial applications.

It will also support the development of the talent pool needed to enhance economic recovery and diversification in Alberta.

The $15-million investment from Telus will provide the 5G infrastructure that will allow the company and the U of A to accelerate research and drive technology roadmaps to address society’s most pressing challenges now and into the future.

Bill Flanagan
Bill Flanagan

“This investment in 5G advanced infrastructure will not only stimulate economic growth, diversification and innovation in Canada, but it will transform the Alberta ecosystem for technology and innovation,” said U of A president Bill Flanagan. “This is the sort of diversification opportunity that provincial, education and business leaders are pushing for in order to position Alberta to compete globally.

“It reinforces Telus’s remarkable reputation as a technology company driving emerging opportunities.”

Telus’s investment will help the university prioritize research projects with a direct path to public or commercial viability in the areas of precision agriculture and autonomous vehicles, with potential subsequent partnerships in precision health, virtual medicine and smart cities. It will also leverage strengths in artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver innovation and technology solutions in these areas.

“Telus is excited to be part of this great initiative and to be investing in technological innovation to create sustainable, intellectual wealth for Alberta and Canada,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, chief technology officer at Telus. “The promise of creating jobs and positioning leading technology to support innovation in education and providing solutions for both Alberta and Canada as leaders in the connected and digital economy is crucial.

“We are proud to support the faculty and students at U of A, and we are confident that this alliance will propel our efforts to further enhance the lives of all Canadians through technology.”

Ibrahim Gedeon
Ibrahim Gedeon

5G is the fifth generation of technology for broadband cellular networks. With mobile data speeds up to 100 times faster than the current 4G, 5G networks will move the amount of information needed to enable everything from remote surgery to autonomous cars and the creation of truly smart cities that optimize the lives of residents using innovation, data and connected technology.

In Alberta, Telus’s 5G network will support vital connectivity, including remote work, virtual health care and distance education, all while inspiring the technological innovations that will unleash new opportunities for human productivity and will enable Albertans’ entrepreneurial spirit.

“Ultimately, this partnership creates a space where innovative thinkers can transform ideas and discoveries into sustained value, both economic and social,” added Flanagan.

The U of A is home to the Autonomous Vehicle Testbed, which enables researchers to develop and test autonomous vehicle technologies that will allow vehicles to see the road and any potential obstacles, communicate seamlessly with the environment and with other vehicles, and make immediate decisions on speed, direction and safety.

Stan Blade, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences
Stan Blade

The disruptive technologies enhanced by 5G will also enable researchers to address global problems in agriculture and food systems, such as increasing demand for food and growing competition for land, energy and water, and improve the efficiency, quality and sustainability of these systems.

“Having precision agriculture highlighted in the first stage of the partnership will create unique opportunities for us to generate new, innovative ideas with our partners,” said Stan Blade, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.

“The agriculture and food sector has been a leader in developing new technologies based on effective collection and use of data for diverse applications. Our expertise across the entire agri-food value chain and extensive industry collaborations will generate many new initiatives in both teaching and research using the strengths of the Telus 5G Living Lab.”

| By Michael Brown for Troy Media

This article was submitted by the University of Alberta’s Folio online magazine. Folio is a Troy Media Editorial Content Provider Partner.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the authors’ alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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