25 January 2010

Conference on People-Centred Healthcare a Success

The Canadian Association for People-Centred Health convened a one day conference last Friday on People-Centred eHealth Research. The event was a huge success, bringing together many prominent researchers and industry organizations interested in moving the eHealth agenda forward. The Forum was held at North York General Hospital, site of a future community-embedded health innovation lab. GBC is a partner in the CAPCH.

Of particular note is the confluence of academic and industry partnerships that are engaging in complementary research. This is an excellent example of the innovation equation: public-private partnerships conducting research and development together to support common aims (P3RD). Canada needs more of these sorts of partnerships. Recent announcements by CIHR and NSERC - with the former's Industry-Partnered Collaborative Research Operating Grant and the latter's Strategic Partnerships Initiative - are good examples of how our public funders are mobilizing to address Canada's historical shortfall in realizing the benefits of our publicly-funded R&D.

The Canadian Association for People-Centred Health's Academic Research Collaborative, chaired by Dr. Alex Jadad, is seeking to "empower and utilize independent, autonomous research" that supports a more people-centred approach to healthcare. GBC's faculty interests in eHealth, simulation and interprofessional healthcare are areas where we will participate in the Collaborative. Our project on diabetic-friendly ethnic cuisine, led by Professor Sobia Khan, is an excellent fit with extant projects currently underway at CAPCH. Watch this space for updates as we connect to other researchers supporting people-centred health.

15 January 2010

Annual ACCC Applied Research Symposium 3-4 February 2010

The Annual ACCC Applied Research Symposium is being held in Ottawa from 3-4 February 2010. This annual event brings together college applied research people to discuss the policy landscape, best practices, and the further development of applied research capacity across the country. Notable this year on the agenda are presentations by the tri-council funders, as well as CFI and IRAP.

11 January 2010

CCL loses funding

The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) last week announced that their funding has been discontinued. This is indeed a sad day for education in Canada. Not only has CCL funded some good and innovative research (two of my own studies and another at GBC), they have also created the Composite Learning Index. The message from Paul CAppon, CCL CEO, is worth a read, as is this article for an opinion on its potential impact.

04 January 2010

Open Innovation, Collaboration

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect Janus-like, back on the year past, and that which is to come. Last year was good for GBC applied research - we initiated our NSERC CCI program of research, launching many exciting projects in concert with our industry, academic and community partners. The year ahead promises more of the same. We are getting set to launch several new projects and initiatives, the newly expanded CONII is coming online, and there is strong federal and provincial support for the kind of R&D partnerships that will help Canada rise from our innovation doldrums. Announcements such as that by NSERC at the recent Polytechnics Canada Showcase about the value of industry+academic partnerships hold strong promise that the innovation system in Canada - and notably in Ontario with the Ontario Network of Excellence - can increasingly work together to foster greater social and economic productivity.

Here's an article that speaks about Proctor and Gamble's move into an organization that partners with others in the pursuit of bringing innovations to market. The value of open innovation to companies that embrace this concept is evident by P&G's successes. And a recent article in the Globe and Mail about a new academic search engine - Yaffle - shows how academic institutions are getting engaged with finding ways to partner with industry to ensure that, where relevant, research can be put to use. As the Globe article says, Yaffle is like "an online dating service for the academic set, matching research needs with expertise," echoing the purpose of sites like InnoCentive and CONII, which I've elsewhere called the lava life for the R&I set. These kinds of collaboration will be the way forward, as the innovation system in Canada articulates greater value to our publics for the work we do, whether in basic, applied, or experimental research. As I've noted earlier, our approach to applied research and innovation encompasses both applied and experimental research, and our focus on complementarity with other R&D organizations enables us to have a significant impact on the innovation economy.