August 11, 2022

In a time of green transition, research on sustainable mobility is accelerating, with scientists Kevin Manaugh, Owen Waygood, and Bobin Wang at the forefront. These three IVADO-affiliated academics recently secured a major grant, thanks in part to the personalized support of their IVADO advisor. Here is the story of their fruitful collaboration.

In November 2021, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) launched a partnership research program on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This was the perfect opportunity for Associate Professors Kevin Manaugh (McGill University) and Owen Waygood (Polytechnique Montréal), along with Assistant Professor Bobin Wang (Université Laval), to apply their recognized expertise in sustainable mobility by proposing a transformative project. They chose to focus on cycling adoption.

The three researchers had a number of potential partners in mind, but they first had to overcome a significant challenge: contacting the right people within much-sought-after organizations and recruiting them to the project.

This is where IVADO comes in. As researchers affiliated with CIRRELT, an IVADO academic member, Drs. Manaugh, Waygood, and Wang belong to IVADO’s community. As such, they had access to an IVADO advisor who specializes in transportation logistics, road safety, and sustainable mobility.

After being made aware of the project and seeing the short time frame set by the program, the IVADO advisor drew on his research experience and his network of contacts to identify the key people within the prospective partner organizations, whom he then connected with Drs. Manaugh, Waygood, and Wang. The advisor also actively participated in the ensuing team effort. Together, they produced an innovative research proposal that reflected the interests of all parties and highlighted the potential of the project. With IVADO’s support, the three scientists were thus able to establish partnerships with Vélo Québec, Équiterre, and the City of Montréal.

This project clearly illustrates the positive impact of working with IVADO’s Transfer team. Indeed, IVADO’s advisors support a research initiative at every stage of implementation and adapt their approach to the specificities of each. In the present case, the advisor was involved in several steps: planning meetings, tracking key deadlines, obtaining letters of support, establishing the budget, and even writing the application itself.

The Manaugh-Waygood-Wang project was recently selected by the FRQNT and FRQSC, who awarded it over $380,000. This will allow the three scientists to study the structural, behavioural, and societal factors that determine cycling adoption by urban populations.

The partners, who are making some of their research specialists and data sets available to the researchers, will fully benefit from their participation in the project. Vélo Québec and Équiterre will use the results to better target their awareness-raising activities and thus to better fulfill their respective environmental missions. As for the City of Montreal, it will have access to new data regarding different categories of its population (motorists, business owners, people with disabilities, etc.), which will enable it to foster the social acceptability of its cycling infrastructure projects.

IVADO is proud to have contributed to the success of this project, which is perfectly in line with one of its main strategic orientations: sustainable development.