NSCAD, Saint Mary's to collaborate on research
November 23, 2011

A water-quality monitoring toolkit. A shelter for victims of natural disaster. An advanced film camera.

All of the projects listed above were developed through the ingenuity of NSCAD University professors and students. And now that research will go even further thanks to an agreement with the Saint Mary’s Industry Liaison Office which will allow NSCAD’s research initiatives to be advanced where commercialization is an objective.

“We believe there is a tremendous advantage to our partnership with the Saint Mary’s Industry Liaison Office,” says James Moy, Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at NSCAD University.

“Their experience will help us advance projects with commercial potential and develop new opportunities with industry partners.”

Saint Mary’s ILO, a member of Springboard Atlantic, inked a similar partnership with Mount Saint Vincent University in 2005. Springboard Atlantic is a network with the mandate to support the commercialization of research in Atlantic Canada—transferring knowledge and technology developed at the region’s universities to the private sector.

“Very complementary expertise and talent exist among smaller institutions and it seems fitting that we should pool our resources and work together,” says Gina Funicelli, director of Saint Mary’s ILO.

Prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between Saint Mary’s and NSCAD University last month, the two universities collaborated on a pilot project—the commercialization of the WET-Pro water quality monitoring toolkit. It was developed by a NSCAD design team including Glen Hougan, Gord Morrison and students in association with Cathy Conrad, professor of geography at Saint Mary’s. The WET-Pro toolkit aids community groups across Nova Scotia in generating credible, consistent data on local water bodies. A training program has also been developed to assist volunteers in conducting reliable environmental monitoring.

Jason Blackburn, coordinator of Research Services at NSCAD, says he expects even more inter-university collaborations to emerge.

Other projects that could benefit by the agreement include the “e-Home”—e standing for environment—a simple, low-cost shelter for families in the wake of natural disaster, and a next-generation film camera developed by Sam Fisher, associate professor with NSCAD’s film program.