Transit tech hub gets grant, new director

Deputy Mayor David De Cotis wants Laval to lever its mass transit technology leadership.

Laval’s efforts to lever its mass transit leadership got a big boost from Startup Quebec subsidy this month.

The Quebec government program gave $225,000 to Laval Smart Mobility Incubator and Accelerator (CIAMIL). The city set up the organization to brings the city and its transit authority together with technology entrepreneurs to find new ways to make mass transit more effective and efficient.

CIAMIL aims to find ways to exploit emerging digital technologies, such as big data analysis and processing, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and fifth-generation telecommunications systems.

The program pays particular attention to moving people and things through industrial parks, high-employment districts and transit-oriented development zones.

CIAMIL acts as an incubator by giving up-and-coming small firms access to a network of experienced mentors in fields like accounting, communication and intellectual property law. It also provides financial support to facilitate their projects as well as office space at its transit tech cluster.

Deputy Mayor David De Cotis credited Laval MNAs for helping to get the grant.

“In the past it wasn’t easy to get the province to take a second look at the city of Laval,” he said in an interview. “It’s good to see this sign of confidence placed in our city to help foster such startups.”

CIAMIL also announced that it has hired economic development expert Jacques Fortin to take over at the helm. Fortin previously fashioned an business development strategy for photonic optics and served on the board of directors of the Optech technology transfer centre.

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