Alstom is among the founding partners of McGill University’s new Sustainable Growth Initiative (SGI). Also, Knorr-Bremse is a now customer of and strategic investor in Swiss firm Nexxiot.
McGill University in Montreal has launched SGI, a hub for academia, industry partners and policymakers that will “align academic initiatives on sustainable growth with the priorities of industry leaders” through “research-to-action” projects, engagement workshops, global student competitions, thought leadership and education.
SGI’s founding partners have provided more than $1.4 million in initial support. They include: Alstom; global alternative asset manager Power Sustainable; international management and holding company Power Corporation of Canada; institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ); and individual donors.
“Responding to complex sustainability challenges such as urbanization, climate change or the increasing need for mobility requires collective sharing of knowledge on good practices, solid business models and latest available technologies,” Alstom Americas President Michael Keroullé said. “The SGI’s data-driven approach will allow for informed and comprehensive decisions by business and public decisionmakers on sustainable development in transportation. For Alstom, a globally recognized leader in sustainable mobility, it is a natural partnership.”
“We are grateful for the ground-breaking contributions from our founding partners and look forward to using this solid foundation to build the SGI into a fully fledged institute,” said Yolande Chan, Dean of McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. “It is our hope that the SGI inspires even more thinkers and doers to join us in this collaborative effort toward a brighter and greener future.”
Knorr-Bremse and its North American subsidiaries New York Air Brake and Knorr Brake Company will initially offer to retrofit existing rail products—from rail brakes and doors to HVAC, sanitary and other systems—with Nexxiot’s IoT hardware and software; future rail products will integrate the technology.
According to Nexxiot, Knorr-Bremse will deploy the Globehopper LINK device, which detects the status of railcar components/systems and sends the data to the cloud. Nexxiot processes that “data using proprietary algorithms and Big Data analytics to create new business intelligence and data-driven services. … Train parts that have not been monitored in real time become digitally visible and accessible.”
“Specifically, our sensors and scalable cloud-based platform help turn rolling stock assets into connected, data-generating industrial objects,” Nexxiot CEO Stefan Kalmund said.
Additionally, “Knorr-Bremse will be able to precisely project [a] system’s state of health and maintenance needs,” according to Nexxiot. “In effect, clients will be able to service their fleets more proactively and cost-efficiently by taking advantage of condition-based and predictive maintenance.”
“By combining our systems’ technology with Nexxiot’s digital ecosystem, we’re creating a win-win scenario that will boost vehicle availability and lower the total cost of fleet ownership by leveraging a new generation of data-based services,” said Dr. Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division.
Knorr-Bremse has also become a strategic minority investor in Nexxiot. Knorr-Bremse and existing shareholders led by QVIDTVM have invested a combined $79.02 million, according to Nexxiot.