Digital Transition Laboratory


Josée Beaudoin


Created in 1987 in the context of microcomputing development within organisations, CEFRIO has been leading a wide variety of large scale ICT innovation projects for the past 20 years in various sectors: healthcare, education, business, territorial development, e-commerce, knowledge management, organisational development, mobility and social media. In the 1990s, CEFRIO took advantage of the development of Internet and of the web to anticipate new forms of future services in various fields of activities. This positioning led to major private-public-academic projects, linking several disciplines with emerging digital technologies.

CEFRIO’s activities can be categorized in two groups: multi-sectorial surveys and experimental projects. Since the early 2000s, CEFRIO is implementing a model of « in situ » experimentations, putting users and real life contexts at the core of its innovation system. First tested in schools, this model was extended to SME’s, health services, public services and community organizations.

Today, most of CEFRIO’s projects follow this model. As such, CEFRIO acts as a real Living Laboratory by implementing new digital practices to fulfill its mission, which is to accelerate the development of a digital culture through knowledge development and ICT experimentations and appropriation.

The CEFRIO’s living lab, called the Digital Transition Laboratory (DTL), represents the framework in which experimental projects take place. The lab acts as an intermediation agent between the public sector, SME’s, user communities, researchers and organizations. 

Through user-driven methodologies, DTL’s objectives are to support:

  • the development of new ICT usages in several economic sectors to increase productivity and competitiveness (mostly with SMEs).
  • experimental projects with several government agencies to find new ways of interacting with citizens and to offer new services through ICTs.
  • the development of digital territories and SMART territories through Public-Private-People partnerships centered on ICT solutions through co-development of territorial digital plans involving citizen participation in urban services planning. CEFRIO has been supporting the development of digital strategy in remote regions for the last 5 years, working with political authorities and various citizen groups and companies.
  • the development of a digital and co-creative culture inside and between organizations in areas such as education, health, social and public services. For the past 10 years, CEFRIO has brought together researchers, professional corporations, labor unions, managers and professionals themselves to elaborate new organisational practices and processes supported by digital technologies and is now reaching out to other professionals such as speech therapists, psycho-educators, careers advisers, economic advisers, etc.