November 9, 2017
Pierre-Majorique Léger, Chairholder and Co-Director of the Tech3Lab.
On Thursday, November 9, HEC Montréal is launching its first-ever industrial research chair. The NSERC-Prompt Industrial Research Chair in User Experience is being created with the support of the federal and provincial governments and in partnership with D-Box, Deloitte, JDA Software, Mouvement Desjardins, Sobeys and Vidéotron.
Two of the School’s professors will be directing its research work: Pierre-Majorique Léger, Chairholder and Co-Director of the Tech3Lab, and Marc Fredette, Full Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences.
The Chair will receive total funding of $7.6 million over five years, in particular thanks to support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and from Prompt, the ICT research and innovation consortium, whose main financial partner is the Quebec Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation.
Marc Fredette, Full Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences.
A number of industry partners will also help underwrite the research. The six firms involved will be able to draw on the Chair’s findings to optimize their customers’ user experience.
The Chair will provide them with research and analysis tools reflecting the latest scientific advances. The tests done on interfaces of all kinds, including websites and mobile applications, will allow the researchers to analyze users’ emotional and cognitive response.
Photo : Tech3Lab
The partners will provide the researchers with data from real cases—highly valuable raw material, according to Professor Léger. “These cases, based on the firms’ actual experience, are priceless resources for our researchers. They will force us to push our limits and find solutions to the problems presented, or to identify the most promising avenues for constantly improving the user experience.”
Professor Fredette is delighted with the advances in data science and training opportunities offered by the new Chair. “This Chair is another fine example of how data science is being used in advanced research in Montréal, this time to analyze huge quantities of neurophysiological data gathered through user experience research. In addition, the funding will let us offer scholarships to over one hundred students and hire and train people who are highly specialized in user experience and data valorization.”
The NSERC and Prompt are proud to support this collaborative effort and see it as an important investment in developing Canadian leadership in this field.
“The Chair is a highly valuable asset that will equip Canadian firms to develop and optimize their interfaces and better position themselves against international competition,” says Luc Sirois, Executive Director of Prompt.
According to NSERC President Mario Pinto, “The spinoff from their work in fields ranging from e-commerce and mobile applications to entertainment and education will make Canada a leader in user experience and improve Canadians’ daily lives.”