10 March 2016

CICan Applied Research Symposium a success

Representatives of Canada's college applied research leaders met in Winnipeg this past few days at the annual CICan Applied Research Symposium. The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, delivered the opening keynote to the event, which featured a range of college applied research success: from social innovation through to the support of business innovation. The theme of productivity and innovation was amply demonstrated through panels on social innovation (which featured GBC's Dr. Jaswant Kaur Bajwa, Research Coordinator & Professor, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies, recipient of a SSHRC social innovation grant), Industrial Research Chairs, and the Technology Access Centre Network.

The college applied research system in Canada has evolved well into a highly functioning essential element in the innovation ecosystem. A real highlight was a series of presentations by students from across the country, who collectively showed the value of innovation literacy gained through working on applied research.

Colleges are innovation intermediaries, performing a crucial function as a nexus between private and public sector research and development. The annual CICan convening of college applied research shows how this network has been supported - via individual colleges, the granting agencies, private and public sector partners and CICan. The result is a high performing and necessary component in the innovation system in the Country. Each year the symposium gets better because the system is dedicated to continuous improvement and evolution, a strong testament to the applied research community and the convening power of CICan.

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