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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Survey says partnering with universities benefits small and medium businesses

Faculty, staff, business leaders and government representatives networked and learned about the benefits of partnerships between universities and the private sector at this year's Open Doors, Open Knowledge event.
Faculty, staff, business leaders and government representatives networked and learned about the benefits of partnerships between universities and the private sector at this year's Open Doors, Open Knowledge event.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reap many benefits when they partner with universities, according to a recent survey commissioned by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

The survey, conducted by the university’s Social Research Centre, examined how well the university is partnering with SMEs – organizations with fewer than 500 employees – that had engaged with the university in the past five years.

“Partnerships present many positive opportunities for all parties involved,” said Lindsay Coolidge, Manager, Government and Community Relations. “Businesses gain access to students and graduates; subject-area expertise through university researchers; and specialized equipment, facilities and services. Students and researchers, in turn, get an opportunity to work on real-world problems, processes and policy issues, which inform university research, teaching and curriculum.”

Survey findings:

  • Respondents reported being very satisfied with all of the various aspects of their engagement with the university. They were especially satisfied with the professionalism of and interpersonal interaction with faculty and staff.
  • The most highly rated reasons for engaging with UOIT include the university’s good reputation, and a feeling of mutual trust between an organization and the university.
  • Respondents said they would definitely recommend engagement with UOIT specifically, and with Canadian universities in general.
  • A majority of respondents indicated that having access to students was the best part of engaging with a Canadian university.

The results of the survey were presented at the university’s recent Open Doors Open Knowledge (ODOK) – Big Ideas for Better Business event, part of a Canada-wide initiative established by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Faculty, staff, business leaders and government representatives had a chance to network and learn how partnerships between universities and the private sector strengthen the economy; create jobs; drive innovation and research; and prepare students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

ODOK also included a panel discussion where partners discussed opportunities in:

  • Experiential learning: Chelsea Martin, Energy Systems Engineering student, class of 2015, said the university’s Career Centre played a key role in connecting her with Bruce Power in Tiverton, Ontario and preparing her for a 15-month internship. “The Career Centre helped me with interview preparation,” she said. “Their help was very valuable, and the interaction with them was more than I could ask for.”
  • Student employment: Chandra Howe, Office Manager at Fast Enterprises’ Oshawa, Ontario location, said partnering with UOIT gives her company access to well-prepared Computing Science, Computer Programming, Engineering and Mathematics graduates. “The encouragement students receive from Career Centre staff is evident,” she said. “You can tell they have taken the time to prepare students and give them the confidence and tools to succeed.”
  • Research: Dr. Fraser Shein, President and CEO, Quillsoft Ltd., collaborated with Dr. Christopher Collins, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Linguistic Information Visualization, Faculty of Science and three student researchers to develop the iWordQ reading assistance mobile application – a touch-based reading and writing interface for tablets designed to support vocabulary acquisition, text comprehension and reduction of reading anxiety. “This was not just an academic exercise, but a real-life experience,” said Dr. Shein. “The students were learning and doing things that actually had an application.” After the project ended, the research group wrote a paper, entitled Interaction for Reading Comprehension on Mobile Devices, which was presented in September at MobileHCI 2014, an international conference on human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services.
The panel was moderated by Joan Wideman, Vice-President, Corporate Services, Lenbrook Group of Companies.