10 January 2011

Three themes for Innovation in 2011

This is an update from my last post of 2010  from the GBC Innovates! newsletter.

The past year has been an exceptionally good one for applied research: for polytechnics, and for colleges engaged in instigating industry innovation. There can be no debate that we need to increase productivity and our national capacity to innovate. Polytechnics and colleges involved in applied research will play a vital role in achieving this—and we’ve made strong gains in the past year. Increased government sponsorship is helping us to help industry and community partners innovate.

As George Brown College embarks on our Strategy 2020, it is worth noting that the three themes guiding our development are well enabled by applied research and innovation:
  1. Partnerships – working with our partners on innovation activities gives our students good exposure to industry trends, and helps us attract investment in the college, both directly and indirectly, benefiting our students. 
  2. Innovation in teaching and learning – applied research is one form of innovation activity that we can help support. Students can engage with partners on problem solving as part of their course work, gaining credit, valuable experience, and developing innovation literacy: research, development, problem solving, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, along with the ability to recognize innovation in work contexts. 
  3. Field placements –we will enable our students to gain work and learning experience in real work contexts, often through working on applied research projects. 
Our goal is to foster a culture of innovation at George Brown College and support ongoing teaching and learning experimentation, thereby promoting scholarship and innovation broadly.

For the year ahead, GBC Research has three themes:
  • The diffusion of innovation: our ability to be responsive to the innovation and productivity challenges is contingent on complementarity and cooperation. We work with our industry and community partners, and other educational institutions, to promote an innovation mindset throughout all areas that we teach and influence. 
  • People-centred innovation: a grounded way to promote participatory innovation - our way of engaging students, faculty and our partners in mutually rewarding innovation activities that support student learning and partner problem-solving objectives. This fosters innovation literacy in our graduates while being focused on the downstream results of our work. People-centred innovation acknowledges that innovation is a social activity. 
  • Using our imagination: Our faculty, staff and students are limited only by our imagination when thinking of how to get involved in applied research and innovation activities across the college. Many of you are doing innovative things in your courses on a daily basis. We need to celebrate what we do, and imagine ourselves into doing new things to support student learning and the 2020 Strategy objectives. 
Join me in celebrating our successes – many of which are on our website (georgebrown.ca/research). And use your imagination! We invite you to conceive and share new and innovative ways we can work together to support excellence in teaching and learning.

No comments: