SFU goes to Ottawa to advance university research and innovation

May 10, 2018

By Justin Wong

This week SFU President Andrew Petter, Vice President of Research and International Joy Johnson, and Vice President of External Relations Joanne Curry travelled to Ottawa to promote SFU’s research interests, advance its innovation strategy, and strengthen its relationships with government and other partners.

Government support is critical to universities’ capacities to generate and mobilize knowledge, and SFU is positioning itself to gain further research strength from the 2018 federal budget’s commitment of $925 million in new research funding over the next five years. The university is also planning to participate in other federal research and innovation initiatives, such as the national supercluster strategy.   

“SFU is proud to be a part of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, which is B.C.-led,” says Johnson. “This initiative will allow SFU to collaborate with other universities and businesses to help develop the talent and build the innovative capacity required to grow Canada’s digital technology sector.”

While in Ottawa, Petter, Johnson, Curry and others met with cabinet ministers, MPs, officials and funding agencies to thank them for their support, update them on SFU’s research and innovation activities, and to explore opportunities for future collaboration.

“As Canada’s engaged university, SFU recognizes the value of collaboration as a means for increasing the relevance, reach and impact of our research,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “Our strengths in fundamental research combined with SFU Innovates, our university-wide innovation strategy, will enable SFU to contribute even more to Canada’s economic and social development.”

SFU Innovates aims to address Canada’s innovation gap by mobilizing research, educating and supporting entrepreneurs, and fostering economic and social innovation.

The strategy links an extensive network of SFU programs and initiatives that have been put in place to advance these objectives. Examples include Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection (Western Canada’s first student business incubator), Innovation Boulevard (a health tech precinct founded by SFU and the City of Surrey), SFU Venture Labs® (B.C.’s most successful business accelerator), 4D Labs (SFU’s state-of-the-art material science and engineering research facility), and RADIUS (SFU’s social innovation lab and venture incubator). 

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