02 November 2013

This is what applied research looks like

On 25 October over 150 staff, faculty, students and industry partners gathered at George Brown College to celebrate applied research. A highlight of the day was a visit from the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Minister Goodyear was on hand to celebrate the Connected Health and Wellness Project, on which GBC is a partner, and which is funded by FedDev Ontario.

The theme of the day was cross pollination, and it was a day of celebration not only for applied research here at George Brown, but in Canada at large, as we stand at a cross-roads of innovation.

This innovation is not possible without the kind of collaboration that was explored on the day: bringing together students, faculty and industry together to create new ideas and innovations.

Cross pollination means looking at the intersections of disciplines. There was great discussion throughout the day on the ways in which students and faculty from across many departments at GBC work together to help our partners innovate.

Cross pollination means bringing our incredible talent in our faculty, staff and students to bear on the challenges our industry and community partners face.

Cross pollination means the intersection of technical and innovation skills our students gain as a result of working with partners on applied research. These innovation skills (innovation literacy) will help our partners to realize innovation goals, and help our graduates add value to their future work places.

The day featured several panel discussions on Partnerships; Enabling the Innovation Economy; and Preparing Diverse Learners for Job Success:

Moderated by Miriam Tuerk, Co-Founder and COO, Clear Blue Technologies | Panelists: Carlos Paz-Soldan, Tenet Computer Group | Rami Alhamad, PUSH Technologies | Diana Facchini, Business Development, George Brown College  (Health Sciences) | Colin Furness, Infonaut Inc. 

Enabling the Innovation Economy
Moderated by professor Gary Hoyer, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts | Panelists: Alan Majer, Good Robot | Sam Zhang, Good Robot | Iris Epstein, Professor (George Brown School of Nursing) | Winnie Chiu, Director (FIRSt) | Kimberly Lugsdin, Kimberley’s Own | Fred Hann, CEO (Garden Connections) | Clint Kissoon, George Brown School of Architecture 

Preparing Diverse Learners for Job Success
 Moderated by professor Tyler Krimmel, Centre for Construction & Engineering Technologies | Panelists: Steffanie Adams, GBC ARGILE | Miyoko Oikawa, GBC ARGILE | Jamie McIntyre, CCET Professor | Elliot Carney-Killiam | Robert Sgrignoli 

Ted Hewitt, Executive Vice President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, gave an address on How SSHRC supports college research and talent. and Dr. Uwe Erb , Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, gave a keynote talk on transforming science ideas into market realities.

Minister Goodyear's appearance was a highlight of the event, who spoke about the importance of the Connected Health and Wellness Project, and the role that the college is playing in enhancing innovation on the project. Minister Goodyear also presented Student Innovation Awards, presented to students nominated by their professors. More on this, including pictures and videos, will be posted in the days to come. 

The Chef School students who worked on the recipes for the Connected Health and Wellness Project, under the tutelage of GBC professors Chef James Smith and Chef Tim Belanger, really stole the show. They presented three of the many recipe videos produced in GBC's Health eHome, and there were many recipes for the attendees to sample. As Minister Goodyear quipped: this is what applied research tastes like

Thank you to all who attended, and to all who make college and polytechnic applied research the success it is.

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