New funding for innovation: Camosun bridges research and community
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“Camosun” and “innovation” are becoming even more entwined.
March 4, 2011
“We are on the leading innovative edge,” says Dr. Tim Walzak, Director of Camosun’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI). “And our new SSHRC status is federal confirmation of that fact.”
The college has just been granted eligibility to access research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Combined with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding Camosun has been able to access over the last three years, Camosun is set to leverage huge opportunities. These funds will not only enhance the student experience during a leaner economy, but also support new levels of innovation within the greater community.
“Local businesses and community organizations see colleges as ideal partners for helping to develop new products or improve processes and services,” says James Knight, President and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).
Colleges know their communities well. Integrally aligned with the needs of their communities, they are adept at translating these needs into specialized training, or, increasingly, business-savvy or humanitarian solutions.
“Becoming eligible for SSHRC is prestigious recognition of the role we can play in transforming community, both through economic diversity and social innovation,” says Stan Chung, Dean of Camosun’s School of Arts and Science.
Traditionally known for teaching, not research, colleges have proven increasingly valuable in using “applied research” to bridge the gap between theoretical research and practical community solutions. Embedded into the heart of the community, colleges specialize in the use of technology, commercialization and implementation techniques, therefore complementing the academic style of research traditional to universities.
Camosun’s first funding proposal to SSHRC is by Dr. Francis Adu-Febiri, with a proposal to measure a “Human Factor Competency Index” as a predictor of social inclusion and the impact of equitable diversity in the Canadian workplace.
As students see their instructors immersed in social and humanitarian goals, they begin to understand they also have power to effect change as individuals, as members of a community, as well as part of a college. In addition, the hands-on experience in helping gather and analyze data as well as supporting innovation is valuable to potential employers.
Camosun’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) is the focal point to coordinate research and innovation at the college. CARI engages faculty expertise, provides assistance in obtaining project funding, and connects project partners.
Tim Walzak, Director,
Centre for Applied Research and Innovation, Camosun College
Last updated: March 3, 2011 2:18 pm