SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

April 13, 2016 17:44 ET

Great cities need great universities

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon addresses business community in Chamber of Commerce speech

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - April 13, 2016) - Universities need more, not less, engagement with business and community.

This was the message delivered by University of Calgary President and Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon to community and business leaders in a speech hosted by the Chamber of Commerce today.

"Universities play a pivotal role in driving prosperity, diversity, and innovation," said Cannon. "We train our province's future leaders, creators and entrepreneurs. To do this, we must closely collaborate and partner with industry and our community."

The university will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its founding starting April 29 and Cannon took an opportunity in her speech to thank the Calgary community for its enduring support, without which, many of the university's greatest successes would not have been possible.

"Here in Calgary, particularly during these difficult economic times, collaboration between universities, industry and government is more critical than ever," said Cannon. "Looking forward to the next 50 years, universities need more, not less, engagement with the business community. I believe that's a good thing."

She added: "We must prepare our graduates for the world of today and tomorrow and ensure that they have both the academic credentials, and real life experiences to make an impact."

Across Canada, universities account for more than $12 billion in research and development annually (as of 2014), that's 40 per cent of total Canadian research and development, according to Universities Canada. Nearly 1,500 companies and government labs are located in 26 university research and technology parks. They employ 65,000 people and generate $4.3 billion in GDP.

The University of Calgary has become a powerhouse of research innovation and commercialization with over $358 million in sponsored research funding last year alone. Currently, the University of Calgary has more than 1,600 distinct agreements for research projects with entities outside the university. Cannon emphasized that this collaborative work is a vital way to address and accomplish goals that benefit people, the environment and the economy.

The University of Calgary is among the Top 5 research intensive universities in Canada based on the number of invention disclosures for patents. These research successes have been growing. In 2010, the university documented 40 invention disclosures, in 2012 that number increased to 77, and in 2014 it reached 124 disclosures.

About the University of Calgary 
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' 

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