Innovation is what happens when we consider multiple disciplines in a non-traditional way. It is truly a preferred position to be in, when the synergies of post-secondary, business and government sectors intersect.
“Universities are agents of developing a lot of new knowledge and fundamental discovery… [this is what] happens when universities and industries connect.”
~ Dr. Max Blouw, President, Wilfrid Laurier University at Milton Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Event, November 29, 2012
Laurier’s commitment to the Milton Education Village (MEV) is well known in the local community and beyond. A Memorandum of Understanding has been in place between Laurier and the Town of Milton since 2008 that enables the university to explore the possibility of establishing a university campus on a 150-acre site within the MEV.
Laurier’s strength as a multi-campus university was brought to the forefront with its pre-budget submission to the Province of Ontario in September 2012, highlighting its relationship to Milton and its plans to meet demand for university access in the Greater Toronto Area.
The MEV partnership program, signed in 2011, also included the invitation to Sheridan College to become a partner in the MEV.
When Universities and Industries Collide>
Now that the Town is moving forward quickly with the establishment of the innovation centre as an early experience to the MEV, Laurier has established itself as a founding partner in the innovation program. This partnership can bring a number of benefits to the community:
- The intersection between industry and academia will inevitably lead to innovative, new ideas, and a university presence in the innovation centre will be a fundamental piece to enabling such a collision;
- Laurier’s presence in Milton will mark the beginning of a cultural shift within the community, as it begins to embrace the “town and gown” notion of housing a post-secondary campus;
- The innovation centre will meet demand arising from the shift towards a knowledge-based economy.
Laurier is already providing learning experiences to the community through the Laurier Milton Lecture Series, which is currently in its fifth season.
Now, Laurier’s commitment to the innovation centre will strengthen Milton’s evolutionary path that continues to embrace a culture of innovation and creativity.
Read Dr. Max Blouw’s writings on education/innovation and a Milton campus: