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Government of Canada announces a $21.4 million investment in innovative research projects that prepare science and engineering graduates for jobs

Team at McGill University will pioneer a training model that fosters team-oriented innovation for new ground-breaking surgical instruments

April 14, 2016 – Montréal, Quebec

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows looking to combine technical research training with professional workplace-oriented skills received a boost today, with new funding announced by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

The funding comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through its Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) initiative. CREATE projects, including the 13 new ones, support training environments that allow young researchers to make the transition from trainees to productive employees. Courses emphasize professional skills development to complement collaborative and integrative research environments and internships with potential employers.

The announcement was made at McGill University where a CREATE team lead by Dr. Jake Barralet will receive $1.65 million to lead a team of researchers and provide nearly 90 graduates with cross-disciplinary training to prepare them for high skill jobs in the surgical devices industry.

The McGill-led team will emphasize innovation-oriented teamwork, pioneering for the first time in Canada a training model originally developed in the Biodesign program at Stanford University. By providing Canadian industry with highly skilled innovation-oriented graduates, this program can help position our country as a global leader in healthcare technology.

Quotes

"This investment will give some of this country's best and brightest natural sciences and engineering graduate students and postdoctoral fellows a strong foundation of life skills, with an emphasis on team-building, communications, and successful scientific collaborations."
- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"CREATE delivers on NSERC's strategic vision by fostering a collaborative environment where discovery and innovation reinforce each other. The result is a new generation of Canadian research leaders that will have impact across the innovation spectrum."
- Dr. B. Mario Pinto, NSERC President

"This award provides a unique opportunity for teams of surgeons, scientists, engineers, and business students to work together to improve patient care by applying the process of needs-based clinical innovation. The McGill University Health Centre provides a fertile environment to expose this multi-disciplinary team to a variety of clinical problems, challenging them to create innovative solutions."
- Dr. Jake Barralet, scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and Vice Chair (Research), Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

"Today's announcement is wonderful news for the 13 recipient research teams across the country, and also for the future of academic and industry educational partnerships in Canada. Dr. Jake Barralet's newly funded project at McGill, Innovation at the Cutting Edge, will be a model program of industry partnership in the area of surgical devices. The project's participants will benefit from unparalleled preparation for career opportunities in healthcare technology."
- Dr. Rosie Goldstein, Vice-Principal of Research and International Relations, McGill University

Quick Facts

This year's CREATE teams cover a wide variety of research areas, including hybrid electric cars, aerospace and planetary science, optics, geoscience and mining, computer gaming, medical technology, zoo/aquarium biodiversity conservation, and marine ecosystem preservation. This diversity reflects CREATE's four priority areas:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Information and communications technologies; and
  • Natural resources and energy.

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About NSERC

NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

Contacts

Véronique Perron
Press Secretary, Minister of Science
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-2858
Email: veronique.perron@canada.ca

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618
Email: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

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