Municipalities in Quebec have an important role to play in fighting climate change. Most are unaware, however, that solutions to reduce their environmental footprint are often found very close to them. The Quebec cleantech cluster wants to correct this situation … one tree at a time.
The Écotech Québec organization represents this cluster. Its president, Denis Leclerc, deplores the difficulties encountered by the public sector and the cleantech sector in meeting in public tenders inaccessible to small businesses, which are often start-ups, and which do not speak the language of public administrations.
“We have been trying for a long time to force all levels of government to accelerate the use of clean technologies created here. It’s nice to say, but we also decided to take action to concretely show them what is already available, ”explains Denis Leclerc.
Écotech Québec launched a first demonstration project for these technologies last Wednesday. In the next eight months, the start of digital mapping Giacarto on behalf of the municipality of Sainte-Julie, on the South Shore, a digital and evolving inventory of the trees located in its territory adjacent to the Mont-Saint-Bruno national park.
This partnership with a young technology service is the first in the municipal world of Quebec, ensures Écotech Québec. The inventory will identify the tree species present in this district. It will help assess their health quickly enough to prevent the possible spread of diseases or parasites that would threaten their growth. It may even go as far as preventing the formation of heat islands.
The data that can be obtained from the public sector is a very important resource for innovators. Used well, this data is believed to have an economic and environmental benefit and will improve our quality of life.
The technology would be advanced enough to also measure the human and residential impact on this part of Mont Saint-Bruno. For example, it would be possible to detect the unauthorized creation of trails on protected land located in the vicinity of the targeted neighborhoods. But this is not the goal of this project, indicated in Must the General Manager of the City of Sainte-Julie, Mélanie Brisson.
“The project is to take an inventory of the trees to analyze their health,” he says. Some species unique to this area of the Montérégie mountain could therefore be better protected.
Who benefits from digital?
Lidar cameras and sensors mounted on remote-controlled drones will create what Jakarto calls a “digital twin” of the neighborhood parks targeted by this partnership. This computerized representation is similar to what Google does in its Street View application, but much more precise and detailed: the margin of error is less than 3 centimeters, it is said. To carry out this project, Jakarto will receive $ 130,000 in assistance from the Ministry of Economy and Innovation within the framework of the Défi innovation Québec led by Écotech Québec. This is a showcase for the company that demonstrates the usefulness of its technology in a municipal context. “Our digital twin allows you to plan the implementation of different infrastructures without having to travel in person. Up to 80% of the travel costs required for planning can be avoided, “says Félix Laroche, founder and CEO of Jakarto.
Ultimately, Jakarto hopes to map all of Quebec. Companies like Hydro-Québec, Bell or others may be interested in such an application to reduce the cost of managing their infrastructure across the province, Laroche believes. The young entrepreneur hopes that his partnership with the Municipality of Sainte-Julie will demonstrate the commercial value of his digital twin.
Écotech Québec hopes the same, because it has three other networking projects between young local companies and public organizations that it hopes to announce in the coming months. One of these could lead SEPAQ, which manages the province’s national parks, to produce its own electricity from biomass residues.
Quebec’s green tech sector feels the urge to take action to quickly carve a place for itself with a public sector that is also heavily courted by tech multinationals. The key: accessing public sector data to create new and profitable digital products and services. It is something that makes the dream too Legal governmentwhich for several months has been juggling with the idea of monetizing the data belonging to some of its departments.
“The data that can be obtained from the public sector is a very important resource for innovators,” confirms Denis Leclerc. He also introduces Écotech Québec as “the bait of green innovation” in Quebec. “Used well, we believe this data can have an economic and environmental benefit and will improve our quality of life. “
Even that of trees.