Welcome of AIMday Internet of Things 2019

Welcome to AIMday™ Internet of Things 2019, hosted by the Innovation Enterprise at the University of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

This is the fifth AIMday™ being organized in North America. We look forward to welcoming companies, organizations and academic researchers to this event on March 27th, 2019, to discuss specific industry challenges within the Internet of Things research space.

Academic Industry Meeting day, or AIMday™, is centered around workshops whereby company questions are submitted around a central theme which are then discussed by academics from across the University disciplines.

  • Each question or challenge submitted by a company is tackled by a group of academics, with the aim of finding a pathway to a solution.
  • One question, one hour, a group of academic experts – the AIMday™ format is unique.
  • Register your attendance at the event by submitting a question on the registration page.

Why Internet of Things (IoT): The convergence of connecting people, things, data, and processes is transforming our life, business and everything in between. The technical definition of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet. The 1990s Internet connected 1 billion users while the IoT has the potential to connect approximately 28 billion “things” to the Internet by 2020, ranging from bracelets to cars. Various diverse sectors, including transportation, healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing are expected to benefit from IoT technologies that provide communications over a large geographical area based on cheap and low-power devices. Industrial Internet has the potential to contribute $10 to $15 trillion to global GDP in the next two decades.

Challenges: With all the promises and potential, IoT still has to resolve several major issues. We break these up into five main areas; Connectivity, Sensors, Analytics, Regulatory, and Security & Privacy

  1. Connectivity: Networks in accessible areas are strong and robust, but still may not meet the needs of large numbers of distributed sensors. In remote and inaccessible areas, network capacity can be a significant restriction to IoT adoption.
  2. Network Determinism: The use of the cloud currently imposes a delay of about 200 milliseconds or more. This is fine for most applications, but not for those that require a rapid, almost immediate, response. Computations are increasingly being shifted to occur “at the edge” (client-side) but this can require unreasonable compute and power demands from sensors.
  3. Scalability: is bound to become an issue mainly in relations to generic consumer cloud as the number of devices in operation rises. This will increase the data bandwidth needed and the time needed for verifying transactions.
  4. Analytics: This is the process of getting knowledge from data in order to generate value. A lot of research is still needed in IoT and big data in order to develop efficient and innovative applications and services for a wide range of users.
  5. Sensors: Sensor prices continue to drop, but there are still limitations Sensors need to be more discriminating in crowded, noisy and complex environments. Increased robustness is also needed for sensors that need to operate in sweltering heat, colder conditions, dusty environments, and etc. Dense and durable off-grid power sources are needed to meet the limitations of battery life. It would make a difference if power could be broadcasted wirelessly to the sensors or smart phones from a distance, or if power sources that can last for at least a year can be integrated into the sensors. As IoT computing continues to move from the cloud to the edge, increased compute power for sensors will become increasingly desireable.
  6. Regulatory: IoT is growing in many different directions, with many different technologies jostling for market dominance, trying to avoid competitor’s proprietary intellectual property and competing to become the standard. There is a current lack of a clear leader in the space.This will cause difficulties and require the deployment of extra hardware and software when connecting devices. IoT networks operating in regulated industries like healthcare, banking, vital infrastructure, and etc. have further regulatory requirements for robustness and safety. Costs need to come down to increase reliance on IoT networks, and there is often end-user opposition to the technology.
  7. Security and privacy: Without the consideration of strong security at all joints of the IoT and protection of data, the progress of IoT will be hindered by litigation and social resistance. IoT has already produced several serious security breaches that has drawn the attention of prominent tech firms and government agencies around the world. Within two years, 90% of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach. Security vulnerabilities include breach of privacy, sabotage, denial of service. Changing the mix ratio of disinfectants at a water treatment plant or stopping the cooling system at a nuclear power plant could potentially place a whole city in immediate danger. Security and privacy fears drive some of the other challenges associated with IoT like fragmentation of standards.

Opportunities: IoT research is being driven by several main aspects: (i) Powerful telecommunication networks – Fiber optics reaching homes and 5G almost ready to be deployed, improved WiFi protocols and almost worldwide wireless coverage; (ii) Low-cost devices – Battery powered, small and cheap computers are available on the market, which can be connected to a wireless network and through it to the internet, and they can therefore collect and send data to other devices on the Internet with almost any imaginable information (e.g. people in the house, body or room temperature, shopping lists, usage of electric appliances, status of the engine in a car, location of a bike, etc.); (iii) Cloud computing – Powerful servers capable of processing the data gathered by the low cost computers on the other side of the telecommunication network, and providing services to the end users with or without their intervention. This is closely tied to the advent of big data, and the development of increasingly powerful techniques (especially within the realm of machine and deep learning) to process and make predictions from that data. Breakthroughs in the cost of sensors, processing power, and bandwidth to connect devices are enabling ubiquitous connections right now.


University of Saskatchewan   University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan (UofS) is a member of the U15, a group of the top Canadian research universities. Our main campus, well known for its beauty, is located in the heart of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and is home to programs ranging from business, law, and arts and science to engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, along with many others.

The UofS has extensive research capabilities in the IoT space, concentrated in:

  • Low power wireless sensors
  • Distributed and cloud computing
  • Computational Epidemiology
  • Data Visualization
  • Mobile sensor and computing
  • Biometrics and biosensors
  • Distributed sensor networks, especially in water monitoring and agriculture contexts

A number of research chairs, centres and research labs at the UofS provide extensive support to IoT research. Some of these are listed below:

For an overview of other expertise, facilities, services and technologies available at the UofS, please visit the Portal for Industry Engagement.

University of Regina  University of Regina Logo

The University of Regina is home to more than 400 researchers across 10 faculties, two academic units and dozens of academic departments with established reputations for excellence and innovative programs leading to Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. Over the last decade the University of Regina has emerged as a research-intensive Canadian university, leading in research impact, international collaborations, graduate student training, and industry funding in the following areas of strategic priority: Anxiety, stress & pain; Digital future; Integrated human health: Equity, disease & prevention; Social justice & community safety; and, Water, environment & clean energy.

The breadth of research at the University of Regina has numerous applications within agriculture but selected examples of specific areas of research that have generated significant collaborations with our research partners include:

  • Functional microbial genomics laboratory for the University of Regina’s Institute for Microbial Systems and Society (IMSS)
  • Autonomous agricultural vehicles in our industrial systems engineering group
  • Effects of environmental changes and industrial activities on fresh water systems at the Institute for Environmental Change and Society
  • Waste management, groundwater simulation, water treatment development, climate modeling, and general environmental impacts through the Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic  Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is the province’s primary post-secondary applied learning institution.  From our four campuses, we offer over 170 distinct educational programs, together with 24 apprenticeship programs that cross all industry sectors in Saskatchewan.  The Polytechnic’s faculty are a unique blend of education and industry experience that bring an applied approach to teaching and research.  Saskatchewan Polytechnic performs applied research across all of its disciplines and we have five state of the art research centers that focus on digital technology, innovative manufacturing, natural resources, bioscience and health care.  Through its Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE), the Polytechnic has an established background in digital research, the IoT and big data. That background is further supported by our expertise in the Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic Sensor Engineering and MechTech-CAD/CAM programs.  We are proud of our ability to solve real world problems.  By connecting businesses, industry and communities with all of these types of academic expertise and our leading-edge technology, Saskatchewan Polytechnic produces applied research that has immediate value for the tech sector.


Industry registration is closed now.

Researcher registration is closed now.

Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.