MONTREAL -- Concordia University has created a research chair to drive its digital networks towards the 5G highway over the next five years.

The school partnered with Ericsson and ENCQOR 5G to invest $2.67 million in order to create the Industrial Research Chair in Cloud and Edge Computing for 5G position and appointed Roch Glitho as its first chair.

Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR) is a project that established the first pre-commercial 5G corridor in Canada. It’s a $400 million partnership between Canada, Quebec and Ontario.

Glitho is a professor and cloud network expert at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Glitho’s team has two tasks: build new edge and cloud computing for the future and develop 5G applications.

“To do that, we’re working on ‘intelligent clouds’ in which artificial intelligence will drive all the management tasks,” said Glitho. “Edge clouds featuring intelligent management would be particularly helpful to connect first responders during a disaster scenario, like an earthquake. The idea is to expand the cloud as close as possible to data sources and end-users, make it autonomous.”

Edge computing involves processing and distributing tasks closer to the source of the data on local servers instead of everything relying on the cloud.

The ultimate goal at the school is to decrease download and buffering times, and generally increase the internet connection at the school.

Glitho’s position is a first in the country.

“As well as creating the next cloud architecture and making it mobile, the chair’s research will develop applications like remote robotic surgery and self-driving cars that require a solid backbone of 5G infrastructure,” said Concordia research and graduate studies interim vice-chair Paula Wood-Adams. “We’re excited to embark upon this cutting-edge project with Ericsson and ENCQOR 5G, building upon our history of collaborative innovation.”