Innovation York hosts successful event focused on industry-academic collaborations

The benefits of industry-academic collaborations took centre stage April 11 during the “Teamwork Makes the Research Dream work” event hosted by Innovation York.

More than 165 participants took part in the event including York University researchers, industry partners from the Greater Toronto Area, and representatives from government funding agencies.

Cheryl Giblon

Cheryl Giblon

The goal of the industry-academic event was to “play matchmaker by bringing together researchers and potential industry partners to discuss research needs,” said Cheryl Giblon, Innovation York’s Industry Liaison Manager.

The event also served to explore the supports available to members developing collaborative research partnerships within the York University ecosystem.

As part of proceedings, Innovation York presented a case study for the Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) project. In the ADERSIM example, multiple companies came together to collaborate with multiple researchers. The ADERSIM project has led to additional partnerships for those involved; specifically, IBM offers their cloud services through the Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP) to ADERSIM partners. Further to this partnership, several levels of government funders provided financial support to York University researchers involved in this project.

A capacity audience listened to presentations about the potential in academic-industry collaboration

Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York, facilitated a panel discussion with key representatives of the ADERSIM research partners. Participants were: Ali Asgary, associate professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University; Benjamin Pantin, supervisor, power system planning and logistics, Toronto Hydro; Gunho Sohn, associate professor, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University; Laurie E. Eisner, vice-president, product development, Mircom Group of Companies; and Sanjeev Gil, national industry executive for research, IBM.

Panelists highlighted the benefits of industry-academic collaborations. Their remarks highlighted to the audience how a large-scale project with both industry and academic partners can be beneficial to all parties — well beyond the scope of the original ADERSIM research projects — through larger ecosystem participation and the role that Innovation York plays in facilitating these research partnerships.

Since this event has been so successful and has seen large attendance numbers, Innovation York is planning to host the next industry liaison event in a larger space on campus.

For any additional information on Innovation York and its services, contact Cheryl Giblon at cgiblon@yorku.ca.