Top Ten

August 4, 2015

$30 M for research computing platform at SFU, UVic, uToronto, and uWaterloo

The Canadian government, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), has announced $30 M in funding for a research computing platform that will allow researchers to store, analyze, and mine massive quantities of data. The funding will be shared equally between Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo. The platform will be managed by Computer Canada, an independent organization, and will be available to researchers at all Canadian universities, irrespective of discipline. “Computer simulations that would have once taken weeks to complete could soon be done by the end of the day given the remarkable power of this advanced digital platform,” said uWaterloo Mechanical Engineering Professor Duane Cronin. CFI | UVic | Waterloo Region Record | uToronto | SFU

uSask creates new livestock research centre of excellence

The University of Saskatchewan has announced it will create a new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence that will serve as a unique research, teaching, outreach, and industry-training hub. The Centre will be based at two locations: a new Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit near Clavet, SK, and the Forage and Cow-calf Research and Teaching Unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s existing research farm near Floral, SK. The new centre will allow agricultural and veterinary researchers and producers to collaborate with industry and government stakeholders in order to improve techniques and sustainability. The federal and provincial governments contributed a combined $10 M to the initiative, with uSask contributing $7 M, and the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) contributing $1 M. SK | uSask | StarPhoenix

uCalgary to launch new microbiome research centre with federal funds

A federal grant of $9.9 M will help launch the Western Canadian Microbiome Centre at the University of Calgary. The new centre, set to launch in 2017, will focus on research around micro-organisms and how their interactions affect humans and the environment around us. The centre will host a germ-free lab, reportedly one of only a handful in the world, and the only one in Canada focused on applied microbiome research. Located in the Cumming School of Medicine, the centre will be a hub for researchers and industry to collaborate on areas such as global health, food production, and energy solutions. uCalgary | Canada

MITT and uManitoba receive grants through Western Economic Diversification

Federal funding through the Western Economic Diversification program has been announced for PSE institutions in Manitoba. The University of Manitoba will receive $1.8 M for its Technology Transfer Office and the development of a pan-western consortium of Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO). In addition, uManitoba’s engineering faculty will receive $500 K towards applied research around global marine renewable energy markets. The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology is receiving $1.1 M for the establishment of a training and skills initiative related to the print industry in MB. MITT will use the funds to create a graphic and print technician diploma program and to purchase new training equipment. Canada (uManitoba) | uManitoba | Winnipeg Free PressCanada (MITT) | MITT

Feds invest in national hepatitis C treatment network based at uMontreal

The federal government will invest $4.5 M in the new National Collaborative Hepatitis C Network, established for the treatment and prevention of hepatitis C. The funding for the network comes through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The initiative will be led by Naglaa Shoukry, a scientist at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal Research Centre (CRCHUM) and an Associate Professor at Université de Montréal, and involve more than 60 researchers and health professionals across Canada. Montreal Gazette | Canada

NL invests in sustainable aquaculture management research

Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it will invest $1 M over two years for research to support the development of sustainable aquaculture management practices. The work will be conducted with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, using their training and research vessel MV Anne S Pierce. “We have a vested interest in the sustainability of the aquaculture sector, having worked closely with the industry since its creation in the 1980s,” said MUN Marine Institute VP Glenn Blackwood. “We look forward to being part of this oceanographic survey which will help gather the scientific data required to identify and define bay management areas.” MUN

The MBA needs an overhaul, say prominent Canadian executives

The MBA is hardly dead, but it needs an overhaul. So says Ron Duerksen, Chief Strategy Officer at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, along with several prominent coauthors, including top executives at Bombardier, Telus, and the CBC. Writing in the Globe and Mail, the authors note that demand for MBAs is growing: 84% of companies plan to add MBAs to their workforce in 2015, up from 62% five years ago. In order to continue to be relevant, they say, the MBA must move beyond pedagogical approaches developed in the early 20th century and towards a practice-based approach focused on real-world skills. Globe and Mail

TRU releases interim sexual assault protocol, will create task force

Thompson Rivers University has released its Interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol. The new protocol provides information and resources for members of the university community that may be involved with victims of sexual violence. TRU is also establishing a President’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Task Force that will focus on four goals: develop a permanent sexual assault policy and review all existing policies and procedures; enhance existing assault prevention programs; develop clear reporting and response protocols; and develop communication plans for these policies and protocols. President Alan Shaver is encouraging the entire TRU community to review the interim protocol in order to best support those who need it. TRU | Kamloops This Week | Protocol

New program in Waterloo region helps connect arts grads with tech jobs

A new initiative in Kitchener-Waterloo will help recent arts graduates connect with jobs in the local tech industry. Located at The Working Centre in Kitchener, the program is designed to help those arts grads who have been unable to find work to obtain a six-month paid internship in occupations such as technical writer, marketing analyst, and communications in the science, technology, engineering, and math sectors. “No tech industry can survive without appropriate support from non-tech people,” said Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth. “It’s a unique approach which is filling a particular niche.” The federal government has contributed over $210 K towards the initiative. Waterloo Region Record

Liberal arts degree is a “hot ticket” in tech, says Forbes

That liberal arts degree is not as “useless” as some critics argue. So says Forbes contributor George Anders in a detailed article demonstrating the numerous ways in which a liberal arts education is the new “hot ticket” in the tech world. Anders gives the example of Stewart Butterfield, CEO of the team-based messaging software company Slack, who holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Victoria. Throughout the major tech hubs, says Anders, “software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.” Forbes