By Roman Khazin
When it comes to research, Ryerson is playing off its strengths to get more government funding.
The university has identified seven research areas which it considers increasingly important to focus on. This group includes digital media and communication information technology, energy, sustainability and the environment, health and well-being, and management, competitiveness, and entrepreneurship.
“(These areas) are very much aligned with the needs of the country and the needs of the province,” said Tas Venetsanopoulos, Ryerson’s VP of research and innovation.
Also on the list are learning and teaching effectiveness, cultural prosperity (contributions of social sciences, arts, and humanities) and technological innovation (in engineering and science).
The areas are identified in the Scholarly, Research, and Creative Activity Strategic Planning process.
Aligning their research focus with the government’s will give the school a better shot at securing funding. The university hopes to establish a name for itself in these fields, attracting top researchers and investors.
“As we become stronger we may be able to broaden our scope,” he said.
The plan is meant to be a guide for academics and suggest research areas to them.
“We will try to emphasize some areas of strength but it doesn’t mean we direct a faculty member to this area,” said Ryerson president Sheldon Levy.
The plan will encourage interdisciplinary co-operation within Ryerson. “In combination, (focusing on these areas) can produce results that are bigger than the sum of their parts,” said Venetsanopoulos.
Co-operation with other universities and industry on an international level will also be encouraged.
The plan will last five years, and a new one will be made at the end of that term. The plan will also be reviewed on an annual basis in search of new research areas and opportunities.