One of the great privileges and responsibilities of being an engineer is the ability to bring new ideas to life. Our Faculty’s strong connections with industry partners are key to our success in transitioning innovation from the laboratory into practice.
Our Faculty collaborates with more than 300 industry partners through sponsored research, educational programming and other initiatives. These companies gain access to some of the world’s brightest minds and top research facilities, and the intriguing questions they pose open up new avenues of investigation. These relationships also enable us to access new sources of funding. For example, we have more than doubled the amount of support we receive through NSERC’s industrial partnership programs in the past ten years.
Corporate collaborators also help us nurture the next generation of engineers by providing students with experiential learning opportunities through applying their technical competencies to industrial challenges. Each year, undergraduate and professional master students work on industry-sponsored projects through the University of Toronto Institute for Multidisciplinary Design and Innovation (UT-IMDI). More than 780 of our undergraduate students are currently working with leading companies worldwide as part of Professional Experience Year (PEY) placements. Many of our students go on to found their own companies through The Entrepreneurship Hatchery.
We will further enhance the connections between industry and academia when the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE) opens in 2017. The new building will contain a number of spaces for students, faculty members and corporate collaborators to meet and discuss ideas, build prototypes and move projects forward. By providing a home on campus for our partners, the CEIE will create a unique environment that catalyzes innovation to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.
I hope you enjoy reading more about our industry partnerships in this issue of The Engineering Newsletter, and that these stories inspire further fruitful collaborations in your own work.