13 January 2022

Creation of the CIRANO Pole on Data Science for Trade and Intermodal Transportation

CIRANO is pleased to announce the creation of the CIRANO Pole in Data Science for Trade and Intermodal Transport.


The increasing frequency and impact of supply chain disruptions exacerbate the socio-economic issues associated with the fluidity of transportation and trade. Canada's supply chains have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent extreme weather events. The performance of supply chains is a direct and high-level concern for public authorities, companies and researchers. End-to-end supply chain bottlenecks create shortages, fuel inflation and undermine economic recovery. Transportation is a complex set of systems, as interprovincial trade and international trade, which are also a combination of different levels: resources, institutions, political risks, competitive advantages, comparative advantages, and so on. Therefore, they are often analyzed in their own context.


The goal of this Pole is to use the latest developments in data science to bridge the gap between trade, transportation and their economic and environmental impacts. This multidisciplinary research Pole will use new data science methodologies and tools to leverage trade and transportation data to support decision making in the face of major supply chain challenges (optimization, resilience visibility, climate challenges...) and to support public policy. This cluster will focus on the intermodal transportation and trade ecosystem within the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway trade corridor. The size and scope of this trade corridor is matched only by the complexity of its multimodal freight systems and the increasing urbanization on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. This complexity is exacerbated by the lack of data interoperability and effective collaborations among the various stakeholders within and across jurisdictions.


This collaborative network ("hub") will provide stakeholders with a forum for structured dialogue, exchange of expertise, cooperation among key interdepartmental, intergovernmental, public, industry and research interlocutors, and a secure virtual and physical platform for knowledge sharing, skills and talent development.


The lead researcher of the Pole is Thierry Warin (HEC Montréal) professorship in pedagogical innovation in data science for international business. The researchers who will be involved in the Pole's activities are Florian Mayneris and Julien Martin (UQAM) for international trade, Ari Van Assche (HEC Montréal) for supply chains, Dalibor Stevanovic (UQAM) for modeling, Marcelin Joanis (Polytechnique Montréal) for infrastructure and public investment,  Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin (Polytechnique Montréal) et Ingrid Peignier (CIRANO) for risk management and Martin Trépanier (Polytechnique Montréal, director of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Business Networks, Logistics and Transportation) for transportation.


This pole is intended to federate projects involving researchers from several of CIRANO's major themes. Several other CIRANO researchers from different universities and research fields will also participate in the Pole's research activities. Alain Dudoit, CIRANO Invited Fellow (expert in Public Policy) and Molivann Panot, Research Professional at CIRANO, will be involved in the Pole's activities and the development of partnerships.


The researchers collaborate with different public organizations and research centers as well as with private organizations. The mission of the Pole is to bring together researchers, public authorities and other stakeholders involved in the supply chains of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Basin Trade Corridor.


A CIRANO project report, published in December 2021 and based on numerous exchanges between researchers and various stakeholders, provides a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary analysis of the challenges and opportunities concerning the interoperability and sharing of transportation and trade data in relation to the intermodal transportation and data strategy of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Trade Corridor. These discussions led to the creation of this hub.

Link to the report