Creating knowledge and fostering creativity

ushageorge-1by Usha George, Interim Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Ryerson’s academic plan has set out a distinct path for growth—with one of its key components defined as increasing the excellence, intensity and impact of our scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activities.

At Ryerson, we believe in a broad and inclusive definition of research. We value basic and applied research while also placing importance on creative activities such as exhibitions, theatrical performances and other creative works. Our faculty members have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of research areas, as long as their research program meets the standards of ethics review, falls within the mandate of the university, and promotes public good.

An essential component of a faculty member’s work at Ryerson, research is central to our growing reputation. It fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Ryerson prides itself on being a community-engaged university, and a city builder. We want to address real-world problems by responding to societal needs and contributing to the technological, cultural, social and economic well-being of society.

Research also helps us as academics. Through research, we stay current, infusing fresh materials in the courses we teach. The very act of creating knowledge is exciting. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and mastery. Sharing one’s research with students provides them with the opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of creating knowledge, generating the kind of engagement and exceptional experiences we strive to achieve at Ryerson for our students. Moreover, as researchers we also benefit from student perspectives; in particular, our graduate students are bringing a fresh perspective to our high-level research.

In professional disciplines, research provides us with evidence to inform policy and practice. The integral relationship between theory, research and practice has been well established. Knowledge translation and mobilization of our research creates that important link between research and application by disseminating the newly created knowledge and engaging the end users.

Application is crucial to closing the innovation loop—it breaks down silos and brings us into our communities, where we see the real impact of our work as we continue to create knowledge and build solid relationships that strengthen our position as an engaged, innovative institution.

The case for innovation in diversity and inclusion

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by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

I recently presented to a room full of women at the Electricity Distributors Association’s Women Connected event, which featured a series of talks aimed at women in the energy industry.

The room was definitely energized as I delved into the subject of diversity. The research confirms what many women experience on a daily basis: in order to make room for diversity, we need to apply what we know about innovation to solve the problem.

Continue reading The case for innovation in diversity and inclusion

Creating a culture of innovation in the public sector

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by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

The Ontario Public Service has said it’s ready to innovate.
On April 16th, during World Creativity and Innovation Week, I led a session on innovation and system change for the Ontario Public Service (OPS) staff. Steve Orsini, Secretary of Cabinet and head of the OPS, joined me at the workshop attended by nearly 100 public service staff to discuss some of the obstacles to innovation.

Continue reading Creating a culture of innovation in the public sector

Innovation a topic of interest during pre-budget consultations with Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

During his stop in Toronto for pre-budget consultations with stakeholders, Finance Minister Bill Morneau heard from numerous experts on the topic of innovation, infrastructure and the environment at the Canadian Public Policy Forum. I participated as a panelist focusing on innovation along with Eme Onuoha, CIO Xerox Services and John Ruffolo, CEO OMERS Ventures. We, along with Minister Morneau, agreed that investing in a strong innovation ecosystem in Canada is necessary to create a foundation for economic prosperity.

Continue reading Innovation a topic of interest during pre-budget consultations with Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Ryerson’s Changemakers

by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

During the recent Ryerson Changemaking Project Showcase which highlighted innovative work being done by faculty and students. In 2014, Ryerson received $500,000 from RECODE, an initiative created by the J.W. McConnell Foundation to catalyze social innovation and entrepreneurship in post-secondary institutions across Canada. Continue reading Ryerson’s Changemakers

New partnership to promote research, technological innovation and entrepreneurship

by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Ryerson is pleased to partner with Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC), First Stone Venture Partners (FSVP), and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) to promote research, technological innovation, attract and accelerate start-ups and advance economic development in the region. Continue reading New partnership to promote research, technological innovation and entrepreneurship

Highlights of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

by Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Ryerson is widely recognized as a leader in entrepreneurship education, with the largest program in the country. Ryerson’s Entrepreneurship Research Institute (ERI) is spearheading new research into entrepreneurial opportunities to look at how they can be encouraged. In addition to examining diversity, social entrepreneurship, and innovative training programs, Ryerson’s researchers are part of the world’s largest study of transnational entrepreneurship, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), acting as GEM’s lead for research in Ontario. Continue reading Highlights of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

Ryerson University Research and Innovation in The Globe and Mail

The following editorial ran in The Globe and Mail on Nov. 16.

Creating an ecosystem where startups and dynamic companies thrive

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/partners/advresearchandinnovation2015/creating-an-ecosystem-where-startups-and-dynamic-companies-thrive/article27237032/ Continue reading Ryerson University Research and Innovation in The Globe and Mail

More than technology push is needed to drive innovation

Ryerson partners with industry, government and community organizations to make things happen. Our unique cross-disciplinary approach not only drives the creation of new technologies, products, services, and ventures, but also examines the drivers and impediments to change in existing organizations.

Research in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is necessary butinsufficient. We need social sciences and humanities research to better understand user needs, organizational drivers, factors shaping personal preferences and behaviour, aesthetic and content design, as well as policy, legal, and ethical issues. We need to understand the demand side as well as the supply side to drive innovation. Continue reading More than technology push is needed to drive innovation

Dr. Cukier on innovation in 3D technology in The Globe and Mail

“Canada went from a leader to a laggard in innovation strategy … and needs a refresh,” Dr. Wendy Cukier, vice-president of research and innovation at Ryerson University, said at the conference. The transformative application of 3-D has the potential to change everything, she said, “but if new technologies, services or processes are not actually adopted, there is no innovation.” She believes consumers tend to be ahead of business users in adoption of new technologies, although 47 per cent of jobs in North America linked to the manufacturing economy could be at risk. Continue reading Dr. Cukier on innovation in 3D technology in The Globe and Mail