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$1.75M investment continues SIRT’s standing as one of Canada’s leading innovation centres

Jul 6, 2023

OYA VPThanks to an investment from the federal government Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre, an integral part of Generator at Sheridan, will further provide renowned expertise and innovation support to its partners in the film and television, gaming, interactive entertainment and performing arts sectors.  

Announced online earlier today, SIRT has received $1.75 million over five years to continue as a Technology Access Centre (TAC) — a designation given to specialized centres of expertise that offer timely innovation support to organizations from the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors in a college’s community. The investment will extend SIRT’s ability to address its partners’ innovation needs, enabling them to take advantage of the Centre’s applied research and prototyping expertise, technology and facilities.  

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), awarded 16 TACs from across Canada with a total funding of $18 million over the next five years from the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program’s 2022 Technology Access Centre (TAC) grants.  
 
“Sheridan is thrilled to receive this TAC renewal for SIRT, enabling the Centre to further its already significant achievements as a renowned source of research and innovation support for our partners. Congratulations to SIRT on this well-deserved grant,” said Dr. Vicki Mowat, Director, Research at Sheridan.  
 
“We are honoured and truly appreciative of NSERC’s continued support of our work. As a designated TAC, we offer a range of specialized research, prototyping and training to our project partners to drive innovation. NSERC’s investment in SIRT furthers this important work and its impact,” said David Oppenheim, Director of SIRT. 
 
Below are examples of SIRT’s recent partnerships and supports: 

National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company and the UK Royal Opera  
SIRT collaborated with the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, and the UK Royal Opera to design and deliver “Expanding the Canvas,” a project that provided participating artists access to novel technological tools and SIRT’s research expertise to explore, augment, and implement a final performance piece of original work. This international collaboration built upon SIRT’s previous research involving the application of digital tools for artistic expression and enhanced accessibility, particularly in the performing arts.  

SideFX 
SIRT worked with industry partner SideFX on the research and development of digital character animation workflows within their Houdini 3D software. SIRT’s research helped to demonstrate the advantages of digital character animation in a procedural workflow. For example, digital human behaviors that react and interact within their environments.  

Deaf AI 

SIRT has partnered with Deaf AI to address accessibility barriers and limits for deaf travelers by using real-time, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered translation tools that convert written text into American Sign Language (ASL), enhancing the travelling experience for the hearing-impaired community. 
 
OYA Black Arts Coalition 
SIRT collaborated with OYA Black Arts Coalition’s Emerging Filmmakers Program to design and deliver a training program exposing participants to emerging technologies including Virtual Production (VP) tools and techniques. Participants were provided training and hands-on experience working with VP technologies and explored how to create and produce VP projects. 
 
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