Dr. Vicki Mowat
Director, Research at Sheridan
By bringing their issues, challenges and innovation needs to Sheridan, industry and community partners are growing their economic and social impact.
The applied nature of college research entails helping industry and community partners solve real-world problems. Sheridan College’s success in this endeavour earned the institution’s top ranking for research partnerships in the 2021 edition of Research Infosource Inc.’s annual summary of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, and among the top five in four different research categories.
The symbiotic nature of Sheridan’s collaborations benefits both parties. Partners obtain access to faculty research expertise across a wide variety of disciplines and focus areas, cutting-edge equipment and machinery, and a potential employee pipeline of highly skilled and trained students. Likewise, Sheridan’s faculty stay current on the issues and concerns facing industry sectors and community organizations and students get to apply in-class learning to real-life situations with real-life companies. Many go on to work with these companies after graduation.
Increased partnerships in social innovation space
Sheridan’s partnership activity has broadened in scope thanks to substantial government funding support for research and innovation projects specific to COVID-19 recovery. “Many of these projects aligned with our areas of expertise so we were able to connect that expertise in our Faculties and Research Centres with the needs of the pandemic,” says Dr. Vicki Mowat, Director, Research at Sheridan.
One project example is from Sheridan’s Centre for Mobile Innovation as they work on advancing the development of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) that provides close monitoring of vital signs in healthcare settings. Other projects have had a social impact. Sheridan’s Center for Elder Research, for example, worked with Food for Life and Community Development Halton on an initiative to help older adults living in community housing who were struggling with food insecurity and social isolation.
“The notion of social innovation is really important to us because solving many of today’s problems requires more than just a tech solution,” says Dr. Mowat. “Bringing together the for-profit companies with not-for-profit community-based organizations helps to provide a more holistic perspective to solve these issues and challenges, and we’re continuing to focus our efforts in this direction going forward.”