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Sheridan College research ecosystem boosting outcomes for industry partners and students

Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) allows researchers to conduct pioneering work creating computer-generated characters or virtual humans.SUPPLIED

By nurturing a culture of research, innovation and entrepreneurship, Sheridan College embodies institutional principles around “inspired questing, intentional impact and radical engagement,” says Andrea England, vice provost, research.

Funding support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has contributed to “explosive growth” in research activities, enabling Sheridan to “increase the level of engagement for faculty and students while addressing the needs of communities we serve,” says Ms. England.

Sheridan is home to six research and incubation centres. Over the years, the CFI has granted more than $5-million to the college, says Ms. England, “making it possible to build infrastructure and cutting-edge facilities and purchase specialized equipment. This critical investment has aided us in laying a strong foundation for our research ecosystem.”

Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) was a recent recipient of $1-million from the CFI, which allowed researchers at the centre to conduct pioneering work creating computer-generated characters or virtual humans. The grant “helped secure SIRT’s position as a leader in virtual production innovation,” says Ms. England.

"Research projects give students a chance to deepen their skills by working on real-world challenges. They are exposed to state-of-the-art technologies, and they expand both their personal and professional networks.

Andrea England
Vice Provost, Research, Sheridan College

Another opportunity arose in 2020 when the Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI), along with a team of researchers from the Sheridan Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, were awarded a grant from the CFI to advance development of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), in collaboration with health-care technology companies. Research in this area could help alleviate the strain on health care, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Ms. England.

Research projects give students “a chance to deepen their skills by working on real-world challenges. They are exposed to state-of-the-art technologies, and they expand both their personal and professional networks.”

Partners gain “access to the talent of Sheridan’s students, plus the expertise of our amazing faculty and staff,” says Ms. England, “along with access to our specialized equipment or infrastructure.”

These supports help industry partners become more productive and competitive, she says. For community partners, “it’s often about delivering social benefits and enhancing their impact.

“In either case, we help solve challenges that matter to them.”

In 2020-21, 821 Sheridan students were hired to work on research projects, while more than 2,000 students participated in curriculum-based research, engaging with approximately 630 community, academic and industry partners. The numbers attest to Sheridan’s commitment “to increasingly lean into research and entrepreneurship as drivers of academic innovation.

“We’re proud of being consistently ranked as a top 10 research college in Canada,” she adds.


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