INTERnational cooperation: Results 2021 AUDACE Call & upcoming webinars

The FNR is pleased to announce that 4 INTER projects have been retained for funding in the AUDACE Call with Quebec FRQ, with an FNR contribution of 100,000 EUR. Webinars for the 2022 Call will take place in late July and mid-August.

The main objective of this agreement is to foster cross-border collaboration between the scientific communities of Quebec and Luxembourg.  In the framework of the AUDACE programme, the research consortia are invited to submit joint interdisciplinary projects. Three annual bilateral Calls are foreseen under this agreement, with FRQ Quebec serving as lead agency.  

Go to FNR-QUEBEC FRQ programme page

2022 Call webinars

Two information webinar for researchers in Luxembourg will take place on 29 July and 11 August respectively. More information to follow.

PI & institution (Lux)

Bernd Grimm (Luxembourg Institute of Health)

Project title

Les chiffres comptent: Compteur de pas de nouvelle génération révélant des informations environnementales significatives pour les domaines de la santé, du sport et de la médecine

PI & institution (Canada)

Philippe Dixon (Université de Montreal)

FNR Committed

25,000 EUR

Abstract

Walking has been recognized by researchers, health professionals, patients, and consumers as a physical activity highly correlated with general health and decreased risk of most diseases. This is why wearable step counters have gained popularity and market volume as fitness or lifestyle trackers as well as medical grade activity monitors in clinical trials. However, the sole or main output of such devices is step counts only, sometimes combined with a distance/speed or asymmetry metric. Information about the context under which the episodes of walking or running occurred, such as the inclination of the ground, the type of surface or path curvature are entirely missing. This contextual environmental information is plausibly more important to monitor and has much more influence on a patient’s real life mobility or treatment outcome and an athlete’s training load than a simplistic overall step count. This project will develop and validate algorithms for wearable devices capable of differentiating and classifying surface conditions of gait in real life relevant to patients (walking) and athletes (running) considering specific diseases or injury risk profiles.

This project will innovate next level step monitoring with new meaningful digital biomarkers relevant to user groups (patients/athletes, treating physicians, clinical researchers). The impact of such next level, context enriched step monitoring for patients, athletes, and caregivers would be that remote real-life diagnosis, assessment, and therapy by wearable trackers would be significantly more disease specific, patient orientated, individualised, and targeted than by a context free step count figure as standard now. For runners the injury risk load profile derived from the different surfaces would allow athletes, coaches, or sports physicians to plan or prescribe lower injury risk or performance enhancing training loads and schedules. In clinical research and trials, next level step monitoring promises to dramatically increase the clinical meaning, patient centricity, and specificity of diagnostics and outcome metrics.

Furthermore, impact is generated at a societal level when the relationship between gait-related activity levels and surface properties enables the assessment in a sociocultural context to identify the outdoor terrains that correspond to higher pedestrian mobility in urban environments. Such information could be exploited to inform public health and urban planning policy for developing local environments that serve populations with mobility issues. In line with the bold project aims, the team of co-creators does not only include researchers and clinicians from technology, health, sociocultural sectors but also patients and athletes as equal cocreators since they are the end user and benefactor of the project outcomes.

PI & institution (Lux)

Ludivine Martin (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research – LISER)

Project title

Test et validation économique et physiologique des résultats probants de la théorie de l’autodétermination appliquée au contexte de travail

PI & institution in Canada

Jacques Forest (Université de Quebec à Montréal)

FNR Committed

25,000 EUR

Abstract

Avec ce projet intitulé « Du cœur au travail », nous mettrons en lien le meilleur de la psychologie motivationnelle avec la physiologie cardiaque; nous unirons la tête, le cœur et le corps. Ceci nous permettra également d’élever nos niveaux de productivité dans nos collaborations déjà existantes entre le Québec et le Luxembourg (ESG UQAM et l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal (ICM); ESG UQAM avec le Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) et Sacred Heart University Luxembourg).

Nous proposons un projet novateur imbriquant les plus récentes recherches en psychologie organisationnelle et celles sur les indicateurs et objectifs de santé physique en mesurant la variabilité du rythme cardiaque. Jacques Forest s’est rendu au Luxembourg dès 2018 pour mettre en place le partenariat avec le LISER, il y retournera physiquement en 2022. La collaboration bénéficiera du souffle efficace et soutenu que donnera cette subvention. Dans la demande, nous expliquons la théorie de l’autodétermination (que nous utilisons) puis le projet proposé ainsi que tous les arguments justifiant l’adéquation entre celui-ci et l’ensemble des critères de la subvention AUDACE.

Au niveau de l’intégration intersectorielle, nous avons une psychiatre chercheuse M.D./Ph.D. en électrophysiologie cardiaque (FRQ-Santé) qui nous aidera à intégrer un biomarqueur physiologique, la variabilité du rythme cardiaque, dans le champ d’études de la santé organisationnelle. Le tout sera fait en collaboration avec un chercheur issu des sciences sociales (FRQSC) internationalement reconnu et connecté sur la théorie de l’autodétermination au Québec, et 2 chercheurs connectés et compétents, au Luxembourg, avec des collaborations actives au Québec. Nos objectifs et nos valeurs de recherche sont communs, avec des écrits scientifiques soumis ou publiés. Notre méthodologie est innovante en ce sens que nous utiliserons une technologie de la santé (capteurs non-invasif pour mesurer les données cardiaques) en lien avec des variables psychologiques individuelles, organisationnelles et économiques. Le potentiel de rupture innovante est colossal en ce sens que nous pourrons valider des décennies de recherche avec des données autorapportées, cette fois-ci avec des données physiques objectives relatives à la variabilité du rythme cardiaque; qui plus est, nous pourrons en faire la démonstration d’utilité en termes économiques.

Nous estimons la portée des retombées anticipées comme abondante. Au niveau scientifique, nous sortons du connu en faisant la liaison entre des données valides et fidèles issues de domaines interconnectés (économique, organisationnel, psychologique et physiologique), mais habituellement étudiées séparément. Ceci permettra de produire des articles de grande qualité et de transformer le champ d’étude et d’application de la santé organisationnelle. Aux niveaux méthodologique et économique, nous utiliserons des technologies numériques maintenant disponibles au grand public pour obtenir des données de qualité sur la santé physique et psychologique des gens. Au niveau économique, nous appliquerons les analyses économétriques que nous avons nous-mêmes développées pour chiffrer financièrement nos résultats. Aux niveaux social et organisationnel, il est attendu que les rapports organisationnels que nous fournirons puissent faire office de diagnostic organisationnel porteur et utile, et ce avec des données économiques, psychologiques et physiologiques; toutes des données utiles, porteuses, recherchées et pertinentes pour les organisations.

PI & institution (Lux)

Leon van der Torre (University of Luxembourg)

Project title

Que devrions-nous faire? Que pouvons-nous faire? Que sommes-nous en train de faire!? Étude des limites, problèmes et risques associés aux technologies autonomes

PI & institution in Canada

Clayton Peterson (Université de Quebec ä Trois-Rivières)

FNR Committed

25,000 EUR

Abstract

Technologies are being developed at an alarming rate and citizens are becoming more aware of the social issues related to technological developments. More recently, for example, autonomous vehicles have been under the spotlight given how rapidly these technologies came on the market and how quickly advancements are made in the area. Despite these technological achievements, unfortunate incidents have increased awareness regarding the risks and social issues associated with autonomous technologies. As we saw with Uber and Tesla, for instance, it can be difficult to establish who is responsible in the event of an incident when many parties are indirectly involved.

Perspectives from human and social sciences on technological advances are deeply relevant. However, these perspectives can only have a limited impact on technological developments if these ethical and social considerations are not integrated to the practice and the industry. Beside a reflection upon sociopolitical aspects of emerging technologies (e.g., accessibility or social inequities), it is important to understand how values can be reached by specific aspects of the conception and development of technologies. Hence, although theoretical considerations regarding the principles, values and norms that should guide technological developments are important, there is a pressing need to stop reflecting upon the theory and think of feasible ways to apply this theory to concrete cases. This can be understood as a shift of perspective from normative ethics to applied ethics. Accordingly, human and social scientists should not simply tell the industry the values they should be considering, but they should also be able to understand how these values can be integrated within technological developments in order to be able to participate to the coming of an ethical fourth industrial revolution.

Human and social sciences should inform technological developments, but they should also be informed by natural sciences and engineering. As such, human and social scientists need to engage in a reciprocal dialog where their concerns are informed by the practice and the industry. Scholars in human and social sciences need to understand the constraints and limitation surrounding technological developments in order to be able to integrate these concerns into their ethical and social reflections. Otherwise, human and social sciences will have a very limited impact on our technological future.

The objective of this research project is to address the risks, limits and problems associated with autonomous technologies from an intersectorial approach by promoting interdisciplinary collaborations through students’ co-supervision and by establishing partnerships between scholars and the industry. Specifically, our aim is to assess the risks and ethical issues surrounding autonomous technologies (e. g., ethical behavior, responsibility, sustainable development, etc.) in light of their capacities as well as their physical and technical limitations.

PI & institution (Lux)

Thomas Kaspereit (University of Luxembourg)

Project title

Grammatical Reflection On Spelling In German By Portuguese-german Bilinguals In Porto

PI & institution in Canada

Thomas Walker (Université Concordia)

FNR Committed

25,000 EUR

Abstract

Both the European Union and the Province of Québec maintain pollutant registries under which firms have to report the amount of pollutants emitted by all plants operating within their jurisdictions. Although the resultant databases – which are made available to the public at no cost – are of high value to academic researchers and practitioners, they are vastly underused in disciplines such as finance or accounting because there is no common identifier that would allow plants in the pollutant registries to be mapped with publicly traded entities that own and operate them.

This project aims to address the challenges that are associated with the usability of the Québec and European emission inventories in research projects that require firm-year level data. It will employ the resultant merged database to answer prominent questions related to corporate policy, valuation discounts, and risk management strategies that could not be previously addressed due to data mapping difficulties. Moreover, it will make the mapping algorithm publicly available to facilitate future research in this area.

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