Principal’s Innovation Fund welcomes creative ideas
Queen’s faculty, staff and students have submitted close to 30 proposals to the Principal’s Innovation Fund (PIF) since its launch last year.
The proposed projects include 3D modeling of buildings to improve their energy efficiency, on-line language instruction, centralized advertisement purchasing, and the use of solar photovoltaic cells on campus buildings. Of 27 proposals submitted to date, 14 have been funded, and three with similar themes have been merged.
“The range of innovative ideas received from a variety of departments and units is very encouraging,” says School of Business professor Tina Dacin, chair of the PIF advisory committee. “We see that people are becoming open to completely different ways of doing things, which represents a real culture shift at Queen’s.”
“The proposals show the benefits of taking a calculated risk,” Dr. Dacin notes. “We look forward to receiving even more examples of innovative thinking and collaboration.”
Established as a pilot project in 2009, the fund provides seed money for ideas that will generate revenue or reduce costs for the University. Individuals or groups start by submitting a one-page concept paper to their dean or senior manager. The next step is the development of a more detailed business plan.
Help in creating the plan is available from fourth-year commerce students under Dr. Dacin’s guidance. The advisory committee encourages collaboration to generate a wide spectrum of ideas, from which the most promising ones may be put into action.
Although proposals must be viable, “we’re looking for game changers, too,” says Dr. Dacin. “If you have a great idea, but aren’t sure how to apply it, we may be able to find a partner who will champion it.”
A series of innovation workshops is planned for the coming year to bring together faculty, staff and students. Further information and links to submission forms are available online.