04 May 2016

GBC Applied Research Day a Success

The annual George Brown College Applied Research Day was held this past Monday and was a great success, convening 200 faculty, students and research partners for an afternoon of dialogue, discussion and a tour through the Galaxy of Research. A highlight this year was the student start-up pitch competition that saw five student entrepreneurs vie for a spot at the GBC Research OCE Discovery booth and $500 in applied research services to support their venture. Congratulations to mywinecanada.com - I encourage everyone to check out this exciting business that enables wineries in Canad to sell wines direct to consumers.

The annual Applied Research Day demonstrates the strength of applied research at the College. Our faculty, industry and community partners spoke about curricular innovation, social innovation and industrial innovation – three facets of innovation that give our students key innovation skills while creating social and economic value in our community.

One of the things that struck me was how applied research offers an "unstructured structure" to curricula at the College. That is, we have the structure of engaging with partners on applied research and giving these experiences to our students as part of the educational environment. But we do not know how these projects will turn out, Some will success, others will fail, some will get taken in new and unplanned directions. This is the beauty of why applied research works so well to instill innovation skills in our students. It requires extemporaneous thinking and perseverance. It promotes outside the box thinking and the acquisition of innovation literacy, skills that foster resilience, problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking. 

A highlight for me was speaking to the many students who attended, and who attested to how working with our partners on the many projects helped them gain innovation literacy. These students have the skills needed for the economy of today and tomorrow, proving our strategic imperative of Enabling the Innovation Economy.

GBC Applied Research Day 2016 Logo

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