15 November 2012

Polytechnics Canada showcases students' work on industry applied research

The annual Polytechnics Canada Applied Research Showcase was hosted by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and today featured excellent presentations from students who have worked with industry partners at each polytechnic The presentations are always a real treat; student demonstrate how they have applied their education and worked to help industry realize innovation goals. At the same time, they demonstrate how they have acquired innovation literacy skills. George Brown College recent grad Adam Piercey won third place for his presentation about his work on Infonaut's hand hygiene gel dispenser, as part of the Infonaut Hospital Watch Live project. Congratulations to Adam for a job well done.

The Showcase featured some great speeches from notable industry leaders such as Mike Begin, President and CEO, Spartan Controls Ltd., who spoke today about how applied research fills a necessary gap in Canada, and that the differentiation we have - colleges, universities, polytechnics - are a positive feature of our ecosystem. We must not shy away fro industry applied research, nor should we aspire to be universities. Rather, polytechnics are doing what we need them to: educate for skills, and to support industry innovation through applied research.

This message was reinforced during the conference dinner by Member of Parliament James Rajotte. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, echoed this after presenting the students with the awards. Minister Goodyear spoke about collaboration and building on our base of research excellence, referring to the recent CCA Expert Panel report on the the State of Science and Technology in Canada. Applied research with industry is complementary to our basic research excellence, and is a key component in our ability to turn around our innovation performance. Minister Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, spoke as well, outlining how the government's innovation procurement strategy dovetails with the Science and Technology Strategy focus on fostering innovation in Canadian firms. The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) is an innovative approach that enables Canadian firms to meet market needs within government procurement, giving firms important reference client sales which supports international sales. It is policies such as these, in addition to the College and Community Innovation Program, that foster greater innovation potential. Firms are accessing the talent, facilities, networks and funding while we train the future talent our economy needs. It is heartening to see our students step up onto the stage as ambassadors for industry innovation.

No comments: