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Hitachi ABB establishes new R&D presence in Montreal

New Digital Power Grid Center leverages Quebec’s academic and technology leadership

December 15, 2020   Stephen Law

Hitachi ABB Power Grids recently announced the establishment of a new research and development (R&D) presence in Montreal, focused on addressing key challenges in the energy industry related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cybersecurity. The new Digital Power Grid Center will build on the company’s pioneering work in the development of technology solutions for the global energy industry.

Part of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Research arm, the new Center will develop key competencies in major technology disciplines related to cybersecurity, machine learning and data analytics, and contribute to product and solution developments in these fields. The Digital Power Grid Center will be the company’s seventh research location, joining with existing R&D centers in China, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

Assets increasingly interconnected

As utilities and other companies move to digitalize their energy infrastructure, their assets will be increasingly interconnected and linked to the Cloud, which offers significant opportunities to optimize power generation, distribution, transmission and storage capabilities.

For instance, the Center will look to capitalize on opportunities presented by the increasing volumes of data being made available through a growing number of smarter, connected devices distributed throughout the grid. This data can provide valuable intelligence to power utilities and other organizations to help them more effectively address sustainability, reliability and resilience goals. The Center will also focus on mitigating potential threats arising from the increasing connectedness of grid assets.

Key hub of digitalization ecosystem

In recent years, Montreal has emerged as a key hub of activity in the digitalization ecosystem, hosting a variety of world-class universities, research consortia and major companies, all contributing to the development of new technologies and collaborating on the creation of standards that will help to drive the next generation of sustainable energy solutions.

“For many years, our team has supported Hitachi and ABB Power Grids so they will continue to invest in Quebec, and we’re happy to have contributed to the emergence of a giant in operational technologies for the energy sector,” said Hubert Bolduc, President of Investissement Québec International. “The launch of this research and development centre in the metropolitan area and the resulting long-term investment confirm the attractiveness of our technological ecosystem and its wealth of talents.”

Development of technical expertise in the region

The Province of Quebec is also strongly involved in the development of technical expertise in the region, and contributes both funding and guidance to help steer and foster a strong, collaborative R&D environment in the province.

“The selection of Montreal for the company’s new center of excellence highlights the important contributions Quebec-based organizations make to the global energy industry,” said Bill Strohecker, Canada Country Managing Director, Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “The province hosts a number of top research institutions and leading companies that are making important strides in fields like AI and cyberdefense. We plan to tap into that pool of expertise. Hitachi ABB Power Grids Canada is proud to host this new center in our Montreal location, and to contribute to the Canadian economy and help attract future talent to the area.”

Access to the best talent in these fields

“Montreal’s ecosystems in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, two closely related sectors, play a key role in the economic vitality of Greater Montreal. By establishing its research and development center in the region, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will have access to the best talent in these fields,” said Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montreal International. “In only 4 years, Montreal International has supported some 40 AI projects in the region, with investments totalling close to $1 billion.”

With more than 800 employees and 3 manufacturing locations, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has a strong presence in Canada. Located at the company’s state-of-the-art country headquarters in Montreal, the Center will spearhead Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ engagement with other researchers in the area that are focused on applying the power of pioneering and digital technologies to make grids stronger, smarter, and more sustainable.

 

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