CASE STUDY 1: Central Ontario Research and Innovation Cluster – VISION 2030
VISION 2030 brought together close to fifty industry and community leaders to explore regional challenges and a common vision for building a research and innovation cluster in Central Ontario. Challenges being faced by local industries with respect to talent, technology, research and innovation, and growth were explored.
Two events were held, facilitated by Dr. James Doran. The first event focused on the economic development leaders of the region and the second event focused on industry leaders. The guests were also tasked with envisioning how Georgian’s new Advanced Technology Innovation Research Centre (ATIRC) could be leveraged to solve economic development, community and industry challenges; bring the community together under the banner of innovation; and empower the Georgian College and Lakehead University’s partnership with respect to new combined degree programs.
Concepts and practical ideas from this workshop will be used to inform Georgian's Research & Innovation strategic planning process, looking outward five to ten years.
A Research and Innovation Cluster in Central Ontario must actively look for and cultivate synergistic relationships between industry, the College and the community. These synergies arise where there are supply and demand overlaps of technology, talent, research & innovation interests, education, and expertise. For example, an industry that needs help developing a prototype can leverage College facilities and the expertise of students and faculty; while at the same time, the students and faculty are exposed to new technologies relevant to industry.
By working together, the College and its partners can solve major regional challenges such as talent attraction and retention; technology awareness & adoption; industry innovation and competitiveness; and global business growth. Partnerships of this nature have the highest return on investment.
Places like ATIRC can provide multi-dimensional benefits to its users. Programs aimed at helping industry solve innovation challenges are also opportunities for training students, faculty and employees. The new innovations can also be showcased in the building to draw in community members, entrepreneurs, and youth, to build awareness of advanced technologies and career options.