Sheridan receives more than $1.9 million in research funding from NSERC
Sheridan College will receive more than $1.9 million in research funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to enhance care for older adults, fuel innovation in screen industries, and advance entrepreneurship in theatre professionals.
Oakville Member of Parliament John Oliver was in attendance for the exciting announcement that took place at the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research on Monday, November 5. The funding is part of the more than $45 million announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, for institutions across Canada through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program and the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF). The investment will further research and innovation in Canada for years to come and delivers on the Government of Canada’s commitment to science as outlined in Budget 2018.
“These grants support applied research and collaboration that facilitate commercialization and solve real-world problems our businesses and communities are facing,” says Oliver. “This funding will allow students at Sheridan College greater access to facilities, industry and research opportunities to grow their skills and create new quality jobs based on know-how and technological innovation. The projects being funded today will have real benefits for all Canadians.”
In its role as a Technology Access Centre (TAC), Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) will receive a renewal of funding totalling $1.75 million over a five-year span. Since being designated as a TAC in 2013, SIRT has expanded its capacity and joined a national network of TACs supporting a variety of industrial sectors across the country.
Established in 2010 as an applied Research Centre, SIRT provides innovation support to Ontario's screen industries (film, television, gaming, interactive media). Over the past two years, in response to industry demand and the potential growth in global markets, SIRT has proven itself a leader in support of virtual and augmented reality technologies and applications. SIRT engages Sheridan students and faculty on applied research and other industry projects, providing enhanced learning experiences for students and valuable opportunities for faculty while building a competitive advantage for companies throughout the screen industries.
The Centre for Elder Research will receive $178,856 over a two-year span. With this funding from CCSIF, Director Dr. Lia Tsotsos and her team will explore how emerging technologies, such as virtual reality tools, can be leveraged to enhance the health and well-being of older adults residing in congregate living facilities such as long-term care homes. The Centre, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, provides a unique environment for applied research into areas of practical concern and is committed to developing innovative approaches to enhancing the well-being of older adults and the environments that support them.
In partnership with Toronto Fringe, Dr. Brandon McFarlane of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is leading the research project “Mobilizing Social Innovation to Train the Next Generation of Theatre Entrepreneurs.” The project will receive $240,000 over a two-year span to invigorate the Theatre Entrepreneurs' Networking and Training (TENT) program. TENT provides free professional development training to youth and emerging theatre professionals while developing entrepreneurial skills that are often neglected in traditional theatre curriculum.
The research team will apply their expertise in creative problem solving and social innovation to assist Toronto Fringe in expanding TENT, enhancing accessibility, and securing fiscal sustainability for TENT programming. The broader goal is to produce a portfolio of entrepreneurial curriculum for theatre practitioners, which will be widely disseminated online and through the global Fringe network.
“We are immensely proud of our unique research culture, the meaningful experiences it provides for our students, the achievements of our faculty and staff, and the exceptional value we deliver to partner organizations within the community,” says Andrea England, Vice Provost, Research. “These three projects reflect the breadth and depth of research at Sheridan, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways in which our research centres, faculty and students are making a meaningful social and economic impact in our communities.”
Sheridan has established itself as a trusted research leader in Canada and continues to house groundbreaking research projects through all five of its innovative Research Centres. As announced on November 1, Sheridan College ranks in the top five research colleges in Canada, according to the annual ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges by Research Infosource Inc.
Along with this milestone achievement, Sheridan maintains its first overall ranking of completed research projects with a total of 180 projects, while remaining as a top-five institute in the categories of research partnerships, paid student researchers, industry research income and industry research intensity.
Pictured top right (left to right): David Dexter, Associate Director, SIRT, John Oliver, Oakville MP, Brandon McFarlane, Professor, Creativity and Creative Thinking, Lia Tsotsos, Director, Centre for Elder Research, Jeff Valentin, Vice President, External Relations, Andrea England, Vice Provost, Research