Friday, June 4, 2010

Ivory Towers and Applied Research

Many people in industry criticize academia for being out of touch with reality, stuck in their ivory towers. The Polytechnics Canada and it consortium of colleges including Conestoga College and SAIT Polytechnic address this issue directly. They are dedicated to "enhancing the productivity and competitiveness" of Canadian industry. By engaging in research to discover solutions to real problems being encountered in industry, the polytechnic institutions are directly fueling the growth of the Canadian economy.

Conestoga College has been involved in an applied research initiative with ComDev over the past 2 years, designing automation for one of ComDev's manufacturing lines. SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary partnered with Conematic in developing protoypes and standardized components for an innovative hot water boiler.

These examples are encouraging indications that some of the academic institutions are not stuck in ivory towers. Rather, they are engaging in the real problems of the workplace.

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