Dr. Terry Peckham
Director & Research Chair, DICE
Industry has many problems to solve — some simple, some complex. Trying to solve these on one’s own can be costly, time-consuming, and frustrating. That’s why applied research partnerships with academic institutions can be indispensable to a company’s research and development (R&D) strategy.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is an applied education and research institution located in Saskatchewan that offers training across multiple areas through over 150 academic programs. It also offers industry partnerships, where applied research partners can have access to a wide network of connections, funding, faculty experience, and exceptional facilities.
One of those exceptional facilities is the Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE), a research lab within Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s School of Information and Communication Technology. “DICE works collaboratively with multiple programs to bring digital solutions for various industrial partners with a core focus on data, including data integrity, transmission, analysis, and storage,” says Dr. Terry Peckham, Director and Research Chair of DICE.
Three main differentiators to this industry partnership model
Three main factors differentiate Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s industry partnership model. The first is the ability to help solve a problem by pulling from any program or faculty for expertise. “This partnership approach is especially beneficial to industries facing complex problems,” says Dr. Peckham. “When you’re no longer an island or one person but a collaboration of various groups of various levels and sets of expertise, you’re in a better position to find solutions to these problems.”
The second differentiator has to do with the institution’s intellectual property (IP) policy. “All IP stays within industry, meaning industry partners get to keep the full IP on the solutions created for them at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. I think that’s an attractive feature for them,” says Dr. Peckham.
The third differentiator is the opportunity for students to be involved in applied research projects and to solve real-world problems. “We’re taking what they’ve learned in the classroom and building on it,” says Dr. Peckham. Many students end up getting hired by the industry partner. “There’s a demand in industry right now for IT talent, and companies have realized that we’re not a bad spot to pick up some good, qualified people,” says Dr. Peckham.
Collaboration across fields and sectors is a top priority and way of working at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. With access to resources, talent, and testing, Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s research partners can find ways to capture new business opportunities, solve everyday problems, and ensure a pipeline of future talent.