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Commentary - October 31, 2014

Carleton University hosts national launch with celebration of student entrepreneurship

Local and national business leaders, government representatives, university officials and students gathered at Carleton University today to help launch the fourth annual national university open house. Open Doors, Open Knowledge – Big ideas for better business highlights the role of university and private sector partnerships in driving prosperity and innovation, creating jobs and preparing students for rewarding careers.

Over the coming weeks, universities across Canada will open their doors to their communities and partners to showcase the many ways they collaborate with small- and medium-sized businesses, helping companies grow and succeed. These partnerships also equip students to achieve their potential and build a better Canada.

Student entrepreneurs from Carleton, Myles Foster, Natasha D’Souza and Anna James with AUCC president, Paul Davidson

Student entrepreneurs from Carleton, Myles Foster, Natasha D’Souza and Anna James with AUCC president, Paul Davidson

The launch event was co-hosted by Paul Davidson, president and CEO of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; and Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and vice-chancellor of Carleton University. Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Kellie Leitch, delivered an address. A panel of Carleton’s top student and graduate entrepreneurs discussed the impacts of Carleton University’s entrepreneurship programs on the community, economy and students’ futures.

Open Doors, Open Knowledge, Big ideas for better business runs from November 8 to 16 at campuses from coast to coast. More than 40 universities are organizing events including panel discussions, student showcases and innovation open houses.  For more information and a full listing of events, please visit www.aucc.ca/opendoors

Quotes

“From start-up incubators that launch students’ inventions, to programs that help them create new companies, universities across Canada cultivate student entrepreneurs. Students are not only building careers for themselves; their innovative ideas are creating jobs in the industries and services of tomorrow.”

Paul Davidson, president and CEO of AUCC

“Co-ops and internships give students the work experience and skills to help them in the transition from classroom to the labour market. Employers also benefit. Co-op and internship students contribute new ideas to companies and organizations, they are assets to the companies where they are placed and bring workplace skills as future workers.”

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of CCC

“Across the country, universities are connecting with their business communities to make local economies stronger. The Open Doors, Open Knowledge event is a chance to expand those connections between universities and the private sector, and to focus on small business.”

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of CCC

Facts

  • Forty-five universities across Canada have developed entrepreneurship degree programs, and provide workshops, facilities, mentoring and other supports to students to help them take product and service ideas to market.
  • Currently, there are more than 1,000 co-op programs at 59 Canadian universities.
  • Fifty percent of all undergraduate students at Canadian universities will complete a co-op, internship or service learning experience before they graduate.

Interview opportunities:

AUCC president, Paul Davidson and other participants are available for media interviews.

Media contacts

Helen Murphy
Assistant Director of Communications<
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 238
or cell: 613 608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
Communications Officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 306 
or cell: 613 884-8401

Media release - October 30, 2014

Open Doors, Open Knowledge showcases universities’ partnerships with small- and medium-sized enterprises

Big ideas for better businessOctober 30, 2014 –Canada’s universities kick off the fourth annual Open Doors, Open Knowledge initiative on Friday, October 31, 2014 at Carleton University. This national open house highlights the many ways that university and private sector partnerships are driving prosperity and innovation, creating jobs and strengthening communities while also preparing students for rewarding careers.

Co-hosted by Paul Davidson, president and CEO of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and vice-chancellor of Carleton University, the breakfast event will bring together local and national business leaders, government stakeholders, student entrepreneurs and university officials.

Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Kellie Leitch will deliver an address, followed by a panel of Carleton’s top student and faculty entrepreneurs who will discuss the impacts of Carleton University’s entrepreneurship programs on the community, local economy and students’ futures.

DATE:                    Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

LOCATION:         River Building, 2nd floor, Carleton University

Media are invited to attend. To confirm your attendance and/or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Helen Murphy
Assistant Director of Communications
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 238 or
cell: 613 608-8749
Nadine Robitaille
Communications Officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca
613 563-3961 ext. 306 or
cell: 613 884-8401

Complimentary parking will be available in lot P16 underneath the River Building. Please leave your media credentials on dashboards.

AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.

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Media release - October 27, 2014

University presidents and innovation leaders from Canada, Israel and Germany share ideas for higher education, research and innovation

OTTAWA – An international gathering of university and research leaders in Ottawa this week will discuss national innovation systems and how they help universities drive the advancements that build prosperity. University presidents and innovation experts from Canada, Israel and Germany gathering Oct. 27 and 28 for an international policy dialogue entitled, Optimizing Canada’s Innovation system: Perspectives from abroad, hosted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

“Universities are an integral part of the innovation systems that improve quality of life and drive economic growth,” says Professor Peretz Lavie, president of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. “Sharing successes and lessons learned through this kind of dialogue will help us enhance how our countries support medical breakthroughs, solutions to social challenges and the commercialization of research.”

The two-day conference focuses on three major themes: increasing risk-tolerance in research funding; catalysing international research collaboration; and facilitating new forms of collaboration between universities, the private sector and their surrounding communities.

Enno Aufderheide, secretary general of Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, an agency that funds international research collaboration,sees the meeting not only as a place to share insights and ideas, but also to build and strengthen partnerships. “Our countries already have successful collaboration in research and innovation, but there’s more we can do. This is a welcome opportunity to reach beyond our own institutions and create the alliances, partnerships and initiatives needed to address the challenges facing our world.”

David Barnard, president of the University of Manitoba and chair of AUCC, says the gathering will help strengthen existing partnerships among Canada, Israel and Germany in the areas of research and innovation, and forge new ones as well. “There is growing international recognition that advanced research must be collaborative, and that achieving research excellence in any field demands drawing together world-wide expertise.”

The policy dialogue is part of AUCC’s continuing series of international conversations about higher education, research and innovation.  It builds on an inaugural policy dialogue held in June 2013, which brought together higher education leaders from around the world to examine the forces shaping universities’ academic and research missions.

AUCC is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Helen Murphy
Assistant Director, Communications
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613-563-3961 ext. 238
Cell: 613-608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
AUCC Communications Officer
nrobitaille@aucc.ca
613-563-3961 ext. 306

Commentary - October 27, 2014

The following op-ed was published in the Globe and Mail October 27, 2014

By Rivka Carmi, president, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Martha Crago, vice president, Research, Dalhousie University

The economic uncertainty that continues to plague countries around the globe has contributed to an increased focus on innovation and the commercialization of research – and rightly so. Innovation drives prosperity. Unfortunately this focus can lead to the questioning of the value of basic foundational research. That debate, however, presents a false choice—and only by understanding why, will universities’ contributions to the world be fully realized.

In fact, there is no choice to be made between basic research, driven by researchers’ desire and curiosity to explore the unknown, and applied research, inspired by usefulness and driven by need. Foundational research is how applied scientific discoveries get started, and universities cannot encourage innovation without fostering excellent basic research.

To see this in action, consider what happened when, in the 1970s, a Japanese researcher named Osamu Shimomura got curious about a jellyfish species and discovered the protein that makes it glow in colour. A decade later, American biologist Martin Chalfie realized that this glowing protein could help map the cellular structures of living organisms. Subsequently, another scientist, Roger Tsien, discovered how to make multi-colour fluorescent molecules that have technical applications, including mapping the human brain. That work—which developed over 40 years from basic research to fundamental and then advanced applications—won the three men a joint Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. It also illustrates that the path from basic research to innovation is rarely straight. Instead it builds upon both successes and failures along the way.

To say that foundational research is indispensable for scientific breakthroughs is fully compatible with promoting innovation in a variety of ways. Both in Canada and in Israel, universities are helping students and faculty better understand needs in both the public and private sectors, and are supporting their efforts to translate basic knowledge into applied breakthroughs.

Some of the most exciting steps on this front involve training students to become the next generation of innovators. At Dalhousie, for instance, the ‘Starting Lean’ program encourages entrepreneurial thinking in undergraduates—and now some of its graduates are joining the Canada-wide ‘Next 36’ program, which is aimed at turning  top students into the country’s most successful future business leaders and innovators.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s annual innovation day brings together engineering students displaying their final year projects, business school students, industry leaders, governmental figures and private  investors for a full day of innovative scientific, technological (and social) project presentations, discussions, debates and business meetings. This way, students are exposed to the scrutiny as well as to the options of the world outside of academia and industries can look for opportunities to take academic research to the next level of application.

Universities also foster innovation by operating technology transfer offices that help faculty and students commercialize their research applications, develop research partnerships with local and global companies and forge links with nearby science and technology parks.

Another dimension of today’s constrained university budgets and the increasingly international scope of research is the need to collaborate with other institutions on mutual strategic research goals in order to maximize resources.  Because both Dalhousie and a group of Israeli universities, including Ben-Gurion University, have maritime campuses on the Atlantic and the Red Sea respectively, it made sense for us to partner in the development of a world-class marine science site in Eilat, Israel. This is expected to become an internationally recognized Ocean Studies Centre that will attract and educate marine scientists around the world, and will generate basic, applied and industry-partnered scientific advances.

Governments in both Canada and Israel, supported by philanthropists and industries, encourage such connections through the funding of collaborations that help researchers and their students pursue multi-sectorial, multi-country research initiatives.  The need to understand massive, rapidly accelerating societal, technological, and environmental change is why advanced countries need to invest together in basic research and higher education.  That investment will lead to the discovery of where the future opportunities for industry and innovation lie.

As countries, we can learn from each other. We welcome the gathering of university leaders and innovation experts from Canada, Israel and Germany this week in Ottawa to share successes and lessons learned from various nations’ innovation systems and higher education institutions. This policy dialogue, hosted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, will give participants new insights into the strengths of each country’s research and innovation system and facilitate a sharing of promising practices for collaboration.

Underlying all of our discussions, we hope, will be a shared recognition that new discoveries and applications, whether small or revolutionary, begin with excellent basic research. From curiosity about glowing jellyfish to new tools for brain mapping: that’s what the path of innovation looks like. And that is why universities and our partners in government, industry and community must continue to support and nurture the essence of foundational research that is at the very beginning of the innovation continuum.

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Backgrounder - September 29, 2014

Framework for Collaboration.The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Colleges and Institutes Canada signed a historic partnership agreement on September 29, 2014. The framework reflects the commitment of universities and colleges across the country to further enhance innovative programs and partnerships that offer Canadian students an effective continuum of choices leading to rewarding careers. It also signals new avenues for collaboration by AUCC and CICan in communications, member initiatives and policy dialogue.

Read A Framework for Collaboration


( Total - 247 )