It’s time to Discover Social Innovation

Janice Chu (United Way of York Region), Jeremy Laurin (ventureLAB), David Phipps (RIR-York)

York University, United Way of York Region and ventureLAB are collaborating to support social innovation and social enterprises in York Region. On May 15 they will speak about the assets they bring to bear to help address persistent social challenges.

Picture this: Metro Toronto Convention Centre. May 15. Over 2,600 attendees listening to a multi-sectoral panel on social innovation.

That’s what we’re doing at Discovery 2012, Ontario’s premier technology and innovation showcase. Hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Discovery is Ontario’s annual conference bringing together university, college and industry based researchers, students, entrepreneurs and innovators. Traditionally focused on technology sectors such as green tech, health tech and ICTs, this year Discovery is going social and exploring the role of social innovation and social enterprises in Ontario’s innovation landscape. Mobilize This! has previously written about efforts to introduce social innovation into the federal innovation agenda and on May 15, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, over 2,600 delegates (well, those that attend the panel at least) will hear this message. York Region’s innovation sector will speak about how we are sowing the seeds of social innovation in York Region and how we are starting to build relationships to support innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to address persistent social, environmental and cultural challenges.

This panel at Discovery represents early conversations with York Region’s vibrant entrepreneurial sector (represented by Lahav Gil of the Kangaroo Group), a regional hospital network (represented by Pat Clifford of Southlake Regional Health Centre) and the three primary supports for innovation in York Region: ventureLAB (York Region’s Regional Innovation Centre represented by CEO, Jeremy Laurin), York University (represented by Vice-President Research & Innovation, Robert Haché) and the United Way of York Region (represented by Janice Chu, Director Community Investments). For the first time in the history of Discovery the community sector will be represented. We will also be joined by Allyson Hewitt, Advisor, Social Innovation and Director, Social Entrepreneurship MaRS, who will reflect on York Region’s assets and efforts and place them in a provincial context.

ventureLAB, York U and UWYR are actively discussing how best to support an emerging cohort of social entrepreneurs. UWYR has a Strength Investments program (itself a social innovation) that has already invested $300,000 in 11 community based innovations to address local opportunities. ventureLAB has an established Build program and Entrepreneurs in Residence that can be made available to social entrepreneurs. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit will actively broker collaborations between social entrepreneurs and researchers/students so that social innovations are grounded in the latest research. The Innovation York accelerator space at the Markham Convergence Centre, co-located with ventureLAB and other York Region innovation acceleration services such as the York Technology Alliance, will be available to social entrepreneurs seeking a space to grow their businesses.

Stay tuned for details on how we will weave these assets into a coherent value proposition but we have progressed beyond recognizing the need and moved into the “how to” stages. This energy will build on the primary message of the recent Public Policy Forum reportthat spoke of the value of collaboration as a key component of innovation and singled out York Region as a region that was making strides to supporting multi-sectoral collaboration.

Discovery 2013. That’s when we will share the emerging York Region story – still separate silos beginning the dialogue on and action to support social innovation and social entrepreneurship so we can make a difference in the lives of York Region’s diverse citizens. Come with us as we discover social innovation.

ResearchImpact wants to grow / Le RéseauImpactRecherche veut grandir

Founded in 2006 by York University and the University of Victoria, ResearchImpact is Canada’s knowledge mobilization network. In 2010-2011

ResearchImpact expanded to include Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Guelph and University of Saskatchewan. Responding to local opportunities and constraints has resulted in different models of institutional knowledge mobilization services; however, all six universities have invested in an institutional capacity to support knowledge mobilization among faculty, students and partner organizations.

Now maturing as an interactive working network and having completed an initial period of definition and goal setting, ResearchImpact would like to solicit interest from the academic community to join us in building knowledge mobilization expertise and sharing best practices.

Please see the attached document, RIR announcement for new members EN, regarding the call for new university partners.


Fondé en 2006 par l’Université York et l’Université de Victoria, RéseauImpactRecherche est un réseau pancanadien de mobilisation des connaissances.

En 2010-2011, RéseauImpactRecherche s’est étendu à l’Université Memorial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, à l’Université de Guelph et à l’Université de la Saskatchewan. En réagissant aux ouvertures et aux contraintes propres à leurs milieux, les membres ont produit différents modèles de services de mobilisation des connaissances dans leurs établissements; toutefois, les six universités ont en commun d’avoir investi dans leur capacité à favoriser la mobilisation des connaissances pour leurs professeurs, leurs étudiants et leurs divers partenaires.

Après le déroulement d’une phase initiale où il s’est défini et a établi ses objectifs, le RéseauImpactRecherche a atteint la maturité en tant que regroupement fonctionnel et interactif. Il s’agit désormais de susciter dans le milieu universitaire l’intérêt à se joindre au réseau, dans le but de construire une expertise commune en mobilisation des connaissances et de veiller à la diffusion des pratiques exemplaires.

Veuillez trouver le document, RIR announcement for new members FR, en annexe.

York’s KMb Unit part of inaugural conference on knowledge mobilization

The following article appeared in York University’s YFile on April 24, 2012 and is reposted with permission.

York University is playing an important role in the first conference of its kind that is dedicated to better mobilizing and brokering knowledge.

The K*2012 conference, which starts today and continues until April 27, provides a forum for an international cohort of delegates to share their ideas and practices in knowledge mobilization. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and Research Impact are two of the sponsoring organizations involved in the conference.

“York University is a recognized leader in Knowledge Mobilization in Canada and internationally,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president Research & Innovation. “We are pleased to participate in this event. The K*2012 conference provides an opportunity for global experts to share their perspectives on knowledge-brokering practices and its impact on the creation of public policies.”

How to better mobilize knowledge and maximize its usefulness will be the focus of some 60 experts from 20 countries. David Phipps, director of Research Services & Knowledge Exchange at York University, serves on the conference steering committee and is a participant in a panel discussion featuring experts in knowledge mobilization.

“This conference is the first of its kind,” said Phipps. “I will be sharing York’s knowledge mobilization practices with knowledge brokers from knowledge intermediary organizations around the world. I am particularly excited about presenting a panel with a knowledge broker from Argentina and one from Ghana. Despite the very different national contexts we have identified eight shared outcomes from our very different practices.”

As part of the conference proceedings, delegates will lay the foundation for future work, including establishment of a global community of interested parties and mechanisms to sustain it. The conference chair, Alex Bielak, senior Fellow and knowledge broker of the United Nations University’s Hamilton-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), will create a legacy document to capture ideas on reducing the gulf between knowledge and action.

The York University community can join the conference through social media. There will be a daily conference blog available on GDNet providing updates on plenary and panel discussions and interviews with speakers and participants. The blog offers a forum for University community members to ask questions and share their ideas and research about their experiences navigating the knowledge-policy interface. Twitter updates including photos, live updates, participants comments regarding discussions can accessed by following @Connect2GDNet and #Kstar2012.

University community members can also register here to watch full coverage of the plenary and panel sessions, or they can subscribe to receive GDNet blog email alerts and blog newsfeed offering a daily digest of conference news.

Upcoming KMb Learning Events at York

The Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit at York will be providing the following learning sessions for York University researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development throughout 2012:

Social Media 101 – a lunch hour session to provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects.

Twitter – a 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research.

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!)

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts.

KMb 101 – Maybe you’re familiar with the term, or maybe you’re not. This lunch hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization and how services are delivered here at York.

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy.

KMb Peer to Peer Network – this is an informal network for York staff and researchers who have explicit responsibility for KMb. Come and meet others in similar roles, share and learn from others.

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences.

For a complete list of dates, please see the poster below. To register for any of the sessions, please visit or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at or ext 88847.

The Most Influential Knowledge Broker in Canada

The following blog story was first published on the United Way York Region blog on November 22, 2011. It is reposted here with permission.

In a recent bulletin from York University, David Phipps, who is the director of York University’s Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, was named the most influential knowledge broker in Canada. We’re lucky enough to be able to work with David as part of our partnership with York University.

David received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen’s University and has built a career managing academic research at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation, Canadian Arthritis Network and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In 2001, he completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management at U of T. In his current role at York, David manages all research grants and contracts, including knowledge and technology transfer.

David is also leading York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who want to use policy and practice related research to inform public policy.

Working in partnership with United Way of York Region provides community credibility to the brokering efforts of York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.

Both partners act as mutual knowledge brokers to bridge the academic and community sectors to support knowledge translation (KT) activities so that university research and expertise can inform community level health related policies and practices. Through this collaboration, York Region residents and vulnerable populations can receive health and human services that are informed by academic research.

The partnership also includes the hiring of a Knowledge Mobilization Officer, who was recently employed to work on site at United Way to develop research initiatives that will examine how living conditions (the social determinants of health) affect health. Jane Wedlock is currently working in this role, which will certainly enhance the partnership’s overall goal to inform and support the public across the region.

Of the partnership, David notes that UWYR provides a valuable community perspective to the research and knowledge mobilization activities of York University. “In order to be relevant to York Region we need to ground our work in the experience of York Region. UWYR is the principle community convener in York Region. Our partnership with UWYR is invaluable in our efforts to be York Region’s research university.”

Doing something that matters is what David says brings him the greatest satisfaction from his involvement with United Way. “Research is important but isn’t valuable unless it’s engaged with people and organizations who can take that research and apply it to more effective social programs and more responsive public and community policies,” he adds. “Our partnership with UWYR helps make York University’s research matter.”

New Knowledge Mobilization Award at UVic / Nouveau prix afin de reconnaître l’excellence en matière de mobilisation des connaissances

Dale Anderson, RIR-UVic

The University of Victoria has a new award to recognize excellence in knowledge mobilization by UVic researchers. The Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 award. This award replaces the former Craigdarroch Awards for Excellence in Societal Contribution, and Excellence in Communicating Research. 

L’Université de Victoria compte sur un nouveau prix afin de reconnaître l’excellence en matière de mobilisation des connaissances par les chercheurs de l’Université, le Prix Craigdarroch. Les mises en candidatures sont ouvertes pour l’édition 2012. Ce prix remplace l’ancien Prix Craigdarroch récompensant l’excellence de la contribution à la société, et l’excellence en communication de la recherche.

The University of Victoria has a new award to recognize excellence in knowledge mobilization by UVic researchers.

The Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 award. This award replaces the former Craigdarroch Awards for Excellence in Societal Contribution, and Excellence in Communicating Research.

The new award will recognize a significant project or body of work that demonstrates excellence in Knowledge Mobilization (KM). At the University of Victoria, KM is defined as “the purposeful exchange and application of knowledge developed through an ongoing process of research and/or creative and artistic endeavor for the benefit of society.” KM applies across the academy and includes the dissemination of both basic and applied research as well as the full range of creative and artistic activities undertaken by faculty members. The concept of societal benefit resulting from KM is equally comprehensive, ranging from advances within academic disciplines, to community engaged research, to advances affecting wider society through social, economic, humanistic and/or environmental improvements.

The Craigdarroch Research Awards are named for Craigdarroch Castle, which was home to Victoria College from 1921 to 1946. These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize those who have been instrumental in original, productive, entrepreneurial and ground-breaking research at the University of Victoria.

For more information and nomination forms, please see the website.

Reflections on Going Green / Réflexion sur le virage vert

In this blog we reflect on the lessons learned from working with Nottawasaga Futures to help develop the Green Economy Centre in South Simcoe.

Dans ce billet, nous revenons sur les leçons apprises du travail accompli avec Nottawasaga Futures afin d’aider au développement du Centre d’économie verte de South Simcoe.

York’s KMb Unit was pleased to work with Valerie Ryan (Nottawasaga Futures), faculty and students of York University to imagine, develop and launch the Green Economy Centre. The Green Economy Centre provides green business services to businesses in rural South Simcoe.

You can read the full story of the Green Economy Centre from knowledge mobilization to social innovation in the KMb in Action section of the RIR website here.

Working with Val has been a pleasure. Her vision and leadership have had a material impact on rural South Simcoe communities and business. And York’s KMb Unit was pleased to be part of this effort. Our experience with Val, Nottawasaga Futures and the Green Economy Centre illustrates a number of knowledge mobilization “lessons learned”.

  1. Knowledge mobilization (the process) enables social innovations (the outcome): Knowledge mobilization connected Nottawasaga Futures to faculty and graduate students. The work that they undertook together resulted in a vision for a green economy in South Simcoe. The Green Economy Centre was the result. The Green Economy Centre is a social innovation. It found a new way to address a pressing and persistent need.
  2. Impact is measured at the level of the user. When measuring the impact of knowledge mobilization or of research, don’t ask a faculty member to tell you how many papers were published, which is important, but important to them. Instead ask the research user what changed as a result of the relationship formed with the researchers and/or students. In this case a new program was developed and jobs were created. In other instances a policy might have been influenced or a social service might be delivered more effectively.
  3. Impact takes time. The knowledge mobilization process happened fairly quickly, over the summer of 2009. Then the research and planning occurred and the Green Economy Centre launched March 26, 2010. Eighteen months later the Green Economy Centre is producing results. Funders and stakeholders need to give projects enough time to demonstrate results. (In fact, showing results in 18 months is remarkable. Many social innovations measure their impact over years.)
  4. Students are as valuable to knowledge mobilization as faculty. Michael and Susan were the key researchers for Nottawasaga Futures. They had the support of their supervisors Mark and Gerda but it was their research skills and their talent that helped Nottawasaga launch the Green Economy Centre. Knowledge mobilization can also be a way for students to meet potential employers. Eight of York’s Knowledge Mobilization interns, including Susan, have been hired by their placement partners. This is an immediate impact for the student and for the placement partner that has built capacity to engage with university research to inform decision making.

Don’t forget to watch the Green Economy Centre video that is posted in the KMb in Action story to hear Val and Susan Swail, a York KMb graduate student intern now working at the Green Economy Centre, talk about the Green Economy Centre in the own words.

Two Steps Forward for KMb at UQAM / Deux pas en avant pour la mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) à l’UQAM

Luc Dancause and Jérôme Elissalde (RIR – UQAM)

Mobilize This! first published this post in French on September 13, 2011.  We re-publish it here translated into English.

In 2011-2012, almost 200 new researchers will join UQAM. In an effort to provide more support to these newcomers regarding knowledge mobilization, UQAM is launching a new website and a researcher’s guide.

Au cours de la période 2010-2012, l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) accueille près de 200 nouveaux chercheurs. Dans une optique de mobilisation des connaissances, l’UQAM lance coup sur coup un nouveau site et un guide destinés à mieux soutenir les chercheurs dans leurs activités.

Building on the excitement of the back-to-class period, the Office of Research and Creativity( Service de la recherche et de la création or SRC) introduced two new tools that will prove useful in the future. First, the SRC launched its new website. The content of the site has been completely restructured and expanded with the goal of making it an indispensable and user-friendly tool for the entire research and creative community at UQAM. From this site, researchers can find all the resources and information they need to manage their research and creative projects.

In a second step, the SRC collaborated with colleagues in the Office of Partnerships and Innovation Support (Service des Partenariats et du Soutien à l’Innovation or SEPSI) to launch the first version of a guide entitled “Guide to Research and Creativity at UQAM: Tools and Resources to Ensure Your Projects Succeed.” This document is a tool to help researchers find their way amongst the many support services offered at UQAM during the many stages of a project, from the early stages of funding, right through to the eventual mobilization of knowledge. Designed primarily as an electronic document, the guide will evolve according to the needs of researchers at UQAM.

From the perspective of knowledge mobilization, the launch of both products allows UQAM to remind researchers that a wide range of support services is already available on campus. The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Creativity, has also implemented a program to support the mobilization of knowledge, bringing together professionals from the SRC, SEPSIS and the Office of Service to the Community (Service aux collectivités or SAC) to both improve KMb services and make them more accessible.

The program to support knowledge mobilization at UQAM provides:

  • Consultation on the use of knowledge (knowledge dissemination, transfer, etc.);
  • Identification of opportunities (for funding, partnerships, etc.); and
  • Support for the development of partnerships and collaborations

In a future MobilizeThis! post, we will take you behind the scenes to the process we undertook in developing the “Guide to Research and Creativity at UQAM: Tools and Resources to Help Your Projects Succeed,”  which was itself an interesting experience in knowledge mobilization within our university.

David Phipps and York’s KMb Unit named Canada’s biggest influencers

The following article appeared in York University’s YFile on September 28, 2011 and is reposted with permission.

David Phipps, director of York’s Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, has been named the most influential knowledge broker in Canada, according to a report by Knowledge Mobilization Works, a consulting and training company based in Ottawa.

The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization 100, a survey run by Knowledge Mobilization Works, asked respondents to rank the biggest influences of their knowledge mobilization practice. Phipps, who leads York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network, topped the list.

Left: David Phipps

Also mentioned among the top influencers in Canada were Peter Levesque (Knowledge Mobilization Works), Melanie Barwick (Hospital for Sick Children), Ben Levin (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and Gary Myers (  The survey collected responses from Jan. 5 to June 15, and results were released by Knowledge Mobilization Works on Monday

“Knowledge mobilization is a key element of York’s research outreach strategy,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Through David’s efforts and leadership, York’s excellent reputation as a leading knowledge mobilization university in Canada continues to be strengthened. This recognition by his peers is well deserved.”

York piloted institutional knowledge mobilization in 2005 under a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Since then, York has grown its knowledge mobilization collaboration with the University of Victoria to include the other four ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche universities: Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador, Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Guelph and University of Saskatchewan. York also works closely with the United Way of York Region to deliver knowledge mobilization services to the York Region community, municipal and regional agencies.

Knowledge mobilization is a suite of services that connect university research and expertise to government and community agencies so that research can help these organizations make better informed decisions about public policy and social services. Knowledge mobilization is a process that results in social innovation.

Read More

A Summer of Summaries / Un été en résumés

David Phipps (RIR- York)

The ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary database holds 170 summaries. Thanks to a summer of writing at York University and collaborations with ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche universities and other knowledge mobilization organizations this number is poised to triple over the next few months.

La banque de résumés en langage claire ResearchSnapshot contient désormais 170 items. Grâce au travail estival de l’université de York, en collaboration avec des universités du RéseauImpactRecherche – ResearchImpact ainsi qu’avec d’autres organisations de mobilisation des connaissances, ce nombre est amené à tripler dans les prochains mois.

School has begun and it’s time not only to look forward to planning for another academic year of knowledge mobilization services but to also look back on the work of the summer. We held a very successful KMb Expo introducing social innovation, the outcome of the process of knowledge mobilization. We travelled to CUExpo, CAURA and Congress where the most frequently heard question was “how can my university join ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche?”  We started the KMb journal club. We got two papers accepted in peer reviewed journals and were invited to write a chapter in a forthcoming book.

And we wrote in clear language. A lot.  Last year, we published 28 new ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries. This year summer we completed 44 summaries that will be posted in our online searchable database which already contains 170 ResearchSnapshot. In June, we committed to writing about social determinants of health. We are pleased that 21 of the 44 completed research summaries deal with issues related to social determinants of health, those social factors such as poverty, immigration, disability, education that contribute to health inequities. This collection will be a valuable resource for our recently awarded grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to undertake community based knowledge brokering for social determinants of health.

In addition, we have written clear language summaries of research from the University of Victoria and have collaborated with our York University KMb colleagues at the Homeless Hub to produce some of their research summaries in the ResearchSnapshot format. One example is the research produced in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that is summarized in the ResearchSnapshot “While home ownership has increased, more people are at risk of homelessness in the cities.”

Read More

Reaching Out on Climate Change: PICS Offers Online Climate Change Course / Tendre la main en matière de changements climatiques: PICS offre un cours en ligne sur les changements climatiques

Dale Anderson (RIR – University of Victoria)

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) recently announced the launch of an innovative series of online climate change short courses for civil servants and British Columbians. Throwing the old-fashioned textbook approach out the window, “Climate Insights 101” uses a combination of animation, interviews and click-thrus to engage people on the basic concepts and findings of climate science research.

Le Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) a récemment annoncé le lancement d’une série de brefs cours en ligne portant sur les changements climatiques. Innovante, cette série est conçue à l’attention des travailleurs du secteur public ainsi que des Britano-Colombiens. À mille lieues des traditionnels manuels, « Faits saillants sur le climat 101 » combine à la fois animation, interviews et annonces afin d’interagir avec les participants au sujet des concepts fondamentaux et des découvertes issus de la recherche en sciences du climat.

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) recently announced the launch of an innovative series of online climate change short courses for civil servants and British Columbians. Throwing the old-fashioned textbook approach out the window, “Climate Insights 101” uses a combination of animation, interviews and click-thrus to engage people on the basic concepts and findings of climate science research. The first of four planned modules in the series is available online at These courses, targeted for civil servants but available to anyone online, are the first of their kind.

PICS Executive Director Dr. Tom Pedersen says the courses provide a vital bridge between the scientific community and BC’s 26,000 civil servants who help inform and shape the province’s policies and planning. “People who don’t work in science are often intimidated by it, so these courses will go a long way towards demystifying the physics of the climate change we are seeing. It makes traditionally tough subject matter accessible as well as entertaining.”

Module One’s content has been provided by climate change experts Pedersen and Dr. Francis Zwiers, director of UVic’s Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributor. Environment Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment have also provided input.

Pedersen says the courses have a strong BC context but the global scope of the science makes it relevant to a wide audience. “I anticipate that schools, media and general society, as well as the target audience of people working in local government or ministries, will find the series invaluable for clarifying what is too often seen as a difficult or complicated issue.” Module Two (regional climate change and its impacts), Module Three (adaptation) and Module Rour (mitigation) are currently in production and are planned for release next year by PICS.

PICS is hosted and led by the University of Victoria in partnership with BC’s other research-intensive universities.

For more information and to take the course yourself, please see

Deux pas en avant pour la mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) à l’UQAM / Two Steps Forward for KMb at UQAM

Luc Dancause et Jérôme Elissalde (RIR – UQAM)

Au cours de la période 2010-2012, l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) accueille près de 200 nouveaux chercheurs. Dans une optique de mobilisation des connaissances, l’UQAM lance coup sur coup un nouveau site et un guide destinés à mieux soutenir les chercheurs dans leurs activités.

In 2011-2012, almost 200 new researchers will join UQAM. In an effort to provide more support to these newcomers regarding knowledge mobilization, UQAM is launching a new website and a researcher’s guide.

Profitant de l’effervescence de la période du retour en classe, l’équipe du Service de la recherche et de la création (SRC) de l’UQAM a présenté deux nouveaux outils qui s’avèreront fort utiles dans le futur. Dans un premier temps, le SRC a lancé son tout nouveau site web. Le contenu de ce dernier a été complètement restructuré et enrichi afin qu’il devienne et demeure un outil indispensable et convivial pour toute la communauté de recherche et de création de l’UQAM. Les chercheurs peuvent y trouver  l’ensemble des ressources et des informations dont ils ont besoin pour mener à bien leurs projets de recherche et de création.

Dans un deuxième temps, le SRC a lancé, en collaboration avec le Service des Partenariats et du Soutien à l’Innovation (SEPSI) la première version d’un guide intitulé « Guide de la recherche et de la création à l’UQAM : Outils et ressources pour mener à bien vos projets ». Ce document se veut un outil pour aider les chercheurs à se repérer parmi les services de soutien offerts à l’UQAM lors des différentes étapes du développement d’un projet de recherche etou de création, de la recherche initiale de financement à la gestion du projet, en passant par la  mobilisation des connaissances. Conçu à la base comme un document électronique, le guide est appelé à évoluer au gré des besoins des chercheurs et chercheures de l’UQAM.

Du point de vue de la mobilisation des connaissances, le lancement de ces deux produits permet à l’UQAM de rappeler que toute une gamme de services de soutien est déjà offerte à travers ses diverses composantes (facultés, services, etc.). Le Bureau du vice-recteur à la recherche et à la création a d’ailleurs mis en place un programme de soutien à la mobilisation des connaissances, regroupant des professionnels du SRC, du SePSI et du SAC afin de rendre cette offre plus accessible et de la bonifier.

Le programme de soutien à la mobilisation des connaissances de l’UQAM

  • Services-conseils sur la valorisation des connaissances (diffusion, transfert, etc.)
  • Identification d’opportunités (financement, partenariat, etc.)
  • Soutien au développement de collaborations

Dans un prochain billet, nous aborderons les coulisses de la conception du Guide « Recherche et création à l’UQAM : Outils et ressources pour mener à bien vos projets » qui constitue en soi une intéressante expérience de mobilisation des connaissances à l’intérieur même d’une université.

CanAssist Boosts Independence for Seniors, People with Disabilities / CanAssist accroit l’autonomie des personnes âgées et de celles ayant un handicap

By Dale Anderson (ResearchImpact, University of Victoria)

CanAssist, a university-based organization dedicated to developing and delivering technologies, programs and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs, and just received $3.5 million to continue its work—a shining example of knowledge mobilization in action at UVic.

CanAssist est une organisation liée à UVic dont le mandat est de développer et de fournir des technologies, des programmes et des services améliorant la qualité de vie de ceux qui ont des besoins spéciaux. Elle vient tout juste de recevoir 3,5 millions de dollars afin de poursuivre ses activités – un exemple éclatant de mobilisation des connaissances à UVic.

CanAssist is a university-based organization dedicated to developing and delivering technologies, programs and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs. It is a shining example of knowledge mobilization in action, and has just received funding to continue its innovative KMb work.

Recently, BC Premier Christy Clark announced $3.5 million for the University of Victoria to support an innovative project by CanAssist that will help seniors and people with disabilities remain as independent as possible while still living at home. Premier Clark had the opportunity to test CanConnect, an online tool that is helping seniors connect with care providers and children with special needs in remote communities connect with family and friends. CanConnect is a simple and user-friendly enhancement of Skype that allows people who are normally unable to use computers to make free telephone calls and have face-to-face chats in real time over the Internet.

By 2031, almost a quarter of B.C.’s population will be over 65 and the number of individuals with disabilities or who face serious barriers to employment and inclusion is expected to increase in the next 20 years. It is estimated that thousands more families in B.C. will benefit from today’s announcement.

Most of the $3.5 million will support an innovative partnership between CanAssist at the University of Victoria, Tyze Personal Networks and the PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship. These partners will combine their expertise to create Connect for Care, new online tools that will help connect clients with their families, caregivers and health care providers. The remaining $500,000 will support CanFITT, a partnership between CanAssist and the Vancouver Island Health Authority to prototype the use of customized technologies to improve the quality of life for clients receiving services through the Choice in Supports for Independent Living program.

CanAssist has helped hundreds of families in B.C. since it was established in 1999. Over 4,500 students, 200 university faculty and more than 400 volunteers have participated in CanAssist, including retired physicians, machinists, seamstresses and engineers.

“CanAssist is a great example of a faculty member’s initiative that has grown to make UVic a national leader in the development of innovative technologies for people with disabilities,” said University of Victoria President David Turpin. “With this generous support from the B.C. government, CanAssist and its community partners will continue to create practical and empowering tools to help special needs individuals and their families overcome the challenges they face.”

Visit the CanAssist website for more information.

KMb Advice for Americans / Conseil sur la MdC pour les américains

By David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York)

Thanks to @KTExchange for giving David Phipps (RIR-York) the chance to speak to Americans about the Canadian KT (=KMb) secret. American citizens, community agencies and lawmakers can learn from their Canadian counterparts.

Merci à @KTExchange d’avoir donné la chance à David Phipps (RIR-York) de parler aux Américains à propos du secret canadien en matière de TC (=MdC). Les citoyens américains, les agences communautaires ainsi que les législateurs peuvent en apprendre de leurs vis-à-vis canadiens.

“Develop an engaged community sector and elect a government that will listen.”

Those were my parting words to the audience at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media in Atlanta as we gathered to debate if the (hypothetical) Canadian KT secret is exportable to the US. I developed some preliminary thinking about this in a recent blog where I proposed the US needs a social Bayh Dole Act to mandate KT on American campuses.

A social Bayh Dole Act would focus on public good as an outcome. It would not encourage the false promise of private gain from the commercialization of university research inherent in Bayh Dole mediated technology transfer. A social Bayh Dole Act will require a paradigm shift of engagement in civic and academic America. We heard from the audience that US Foundations and charities are fragmented, do not speak with a unified voice and do not collaborate on funding research projects. We also heard that in a commercialized and competitive health care system there is not a culture of sharing and collaboration, both necessary antecedents of successful KT.

The health charities in Canada were critical in the transition from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It is because of Canadian health charities that CIHR has the 13 Institutes it has.  It is because of the health charities that CIHR has a legislated KT mandate. Because of the health charities, run by citizens engaged in their health causes, the Canadian government (via CIHR) now invests over $800M per year creating new knowledge and translating that knowledge new health services, policies and products.

The US can benefit from a social Bayh Dole Act. To get there it will need the advocacy of an engaged and coordinated community sector that demands a public return on public investments in research.  It will also need a government that listens to Americans and acts as the Canadian government did in 2000 when it passed the CIHR Act.

All the US needs to do is develop an engaged community sector and elect a government that will listen.

Stephen Linder (The University of Texas School of Public Health) and David Phipps (RIR-York) giving KMb Advice to Americans