RBC Financial Group is donating $1 million towards the establishment of a new chair at HEC Montreal University devoted to e-commerce research.
The donation forms part of a total $1.35 million pledge by the bank to the joint fundraising campaign, A World of Projects, by Universite de Montreal, HEC Montreal and Ecole Polytechnique.
The RBC Financial Group chair of e-commerce, to be held by HEC Montreal professor Jacques Nantel, will develop and disseminate information regarding Canadian consumers' adoption and use of new technologies such as digital television, smart cards and cellular telephony. Initial research will focus on consumer perception and understanding of the use companies make of proprietary consumer data; the structure of Web sites and consumers' inclination to use them; consumer views on Internet security; the main B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing models; and the Internet advertising market.
Professor Nantel comments: "E-commerce technologies designed for general consumer use cannot be viable and profitable unless they are adapted to consumers' needs, demands and concerns...The new chair's main mission is to analyse these attitudes, and particularly the new opportunities that e-commerce is opening to consumers and the new role that virtual communities will play in consumerism."
The new chair's activities will be supervised by a steering committee comprising, in addition to Professor Nantel, five members with expertises in different areas of e-commerce.