Collaboration planned at new campus

March 24, 2005, vol. 32, no. 6
By Diane Luckow

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Digital entertainment, transforming arts and culture, and urban sustainability are three initial areas planned for development at the Great Northern Way campus (GNWC) in Vancouver.

The new campus is located on land donated by Finning International and now jointly owned by SFU, UBC, BCIT and the Emily Carr institute of art and design (ECIAD). Together, the four institutions have created a strategic academic plan that will see them collaborating on teaching, research and entrepreneurship projects.

GNWC president and CEO Bruce Clayman (formerly SFU's VP- research) says, “The GNWC provides a superb venue for cooperation and collaboration among the four institutions. The potential is strong for developing high-quality teaching and research activities that take advantage of these synergies.”

A new black box studio being created in an existing building on the new campus will accept applications for innovative uses from arts faculty and students of all four institutions.

It will also serve as the venue for collaborative work among the partners, including short courses and workshops and for events created by the greater Vancouver arts community.
To meet burgeoning employment demands from Vancouver's electronic gaming and animation community, planning is under way to test the local and international markets for a professional graduate-level program in digital entertainment. Conducted by BCIT's learning and teaching centre and external experts, the study is considering a program similar to the successful master of entertainment technology at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S.

Pilot courses in urban sustainability, hosted by SFU and UBC, will be available in June and September this year. A Learning City project team comprising members from all four partner institutions is planning further research and academic programming in this field, as well as a new centre for interactive research in sustainability, to be housed in a new building on the GNWC campus. Researchers from BCIT have also created a green roof facility on the campus in a 100-square metre building where they will research storm water source control and the thermal performance of green roofs.

SFU research groups at GNWC are studying the important social issues of sustainability related to health care and education and the integration of immigrants into thriving communities.

GNWC also houses SFU's centre for global political economy and institute for governance studies.

Visit to view the strategic academic plan and learn more about projects under way and those planned.

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