It's About T.I.M.E. - SFU's Innovation Initiative
technology CEO will tell you that people, new ideas and technologies can make
the difference between innovative companies and also-rans.
One of the most common problems facing technology companies is the need for talent. Recruiting is becoming increasingly challenging. Both management and technical people are in short supply. Providing on-going education and skills development for current employees keeps companies innovative and goes a long way toward the retention of this valuable resource.
the TIME Centre. TIME, which stands for Technology, Innovation, Management and
Entrepreneurship, is an initiative of Simon Fraser University. The TIME Centre,
a brand-new facility on the seventh floor at its downtown Harbour Centre campus,
aims to meet these challenges.
have always been amazed at what appears to be a gap between the management and
technical disciplines. Business schools produce graduates with training in
finance, marketing, and management but how many of these have latched onto jobs
in the high tech field? Many B-schools are offering special courses and programs
for technology management and many engineering faculties are providing some
management subject matter. TIME brings these two disciplines together.
Faculty of Business and the Faculty of Applied Sciences along with some applied
research groups (e.g. Telelearning, New Media,
Poly Math) are intent on forming a partnership with the corporate sector
to more effectively address their needs - especially with respect to developing
their human capital.
Waterhouse, Dean of Business, sees TIME as the "teaching hospital"
analogy. Faculty and students work with companies on real issues and problems.
Not only does this provide a tangible learning experience for the students, but
it also provides companies with an opportunity to screen prospective employees.
His recently launched Management of Technology MBA is a fast-track route for
managers and entrepreneurs to obtain a degree.
the technical side, Ron Marteniuk, Dean of Applied Sciences is responding to
industry needs by providing much-needed education and training in high-demand
disciplines. The "Object Technology Program" carefully selects
applicants who demonstrate an aptitude in software development. Programs such as
this are being developed in consultation with industry and they focus on
building the knowledge and skills needed by the rapidly expanding technology
sector. Companies are lining up to hire these grads.
well as training of management and technical human resources, the TIME Centre
offers a host of services for the business and entrepreneurial communities.
of the most unique features of the TIME Centre is the airport-style Business
Centre. This first class facility
has been carefully designed for business people to use between meetings
downtown, be it to check email, to do some work, or to have a meeting. Space,
ranging from small meeting rooms to executive boardrooms and larger presentation
rooms, is available for companies and entrepreneurs. The idea behind this
service is to encourage interaction among the users of the facility and between
the SFU tenants in the TIME Centre and the business representatives frequenting
the Business Centre.
technology transfer office will be staffed with business professionals who are
both familiar with the needs of industry and the research capabilities and
resources of the university in order to facilitate technology transfer and
contract research initiatives.
TIME Centre would not be complete without a company incubator. TIME Ventures
offers entrepreneurs both real and virtual facilities for getting a fast start.
Fully equipped office space is available on a full-time or occasional-use basis.
Mentoring, business planning, and ties to the Angel network are all part of the
package. A big plus for tenants is the fact that TIME is located at BC's main
Internet hub, operated by BCNet.
industry advisory board will provide input and direction to TIME. An
"innovation roundtable" and several other initiatives are in the
The way I see it, the most important ingredients of SFU's TIME Centre are its entrepreneurial flair, and its ties to the business community.