Queen's principal lauds successes in innovation

Article Date: November 7, 2016

By Michael Lea

A collaboration between all sectors of the community is necessary to continue the successes in innovation seen recently on the Queen's University campus, principal Daniel Woolf said.

Speaking during the annual principal's community breakfast, a chance for the university and the wider community to gather together for a morning to network and share success stories, Woolf focused on innovation and the need to keep the lines of communication open.

"Ontario's universities want to hear from people across the province about how we can best prepare students for success and how universities can help to build a strong economy for a prosperous future," he told the audience at the Holiday Inn.

"The success of our province depends on the capacity of people from many different sectors to work together to answer big questions and solve challenging problems."

He said innovation is "an important topic for both Queen's and the city of Kingston," and added the university is proud to be able to support the research of the future.

"We are all accomplishing a lot of great things together."

Over the next year, the university will be looking to its community members to share their expertise and help define a vision of the future, he said.

"We also want to have a conversation about what university research and the expansion of human knowledge and invention can do to help propel businesses and contribute to the success of economies, communities and sectors."

He said the university works hard to support the innovative activities of students, professors, entrepreneurs and Canadian companies.

"We have committed to providing Queen's community members with greater access to the resources, networks and mentors they require to broaden their horizons and transform their ideas into products and services."

He believes "creative minds will yield benefits not only for the region but nationally and globally as well."

Because of these commitments, innovation at Queen's is "really gaining momentum."

He discussed recent provincial and federal funding for Queen's, including money for an innovation hub to be built that will encourage students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

"What we know at Queen's is that if we support our students and our faculty with a capacity for creativity, a tolerance for risk and an interest in entrepreneurship, corporate or social innovation, great things are going to happen."

After years of driving investments into those areas, "we really are beginning to see the benefits all around us."

He cited businesses that began through research at Queen's as examples of how a strong innovation system is growing in the city.

Woolf also congratulated Mayor Bryan Paterson on his vision of Kingston as a smart and livable 21st-century city.

He praised Paterson's commitment to partner with educational institutions, associations, local entrepreneurs, businesses and the various levels of government.

"Together we can establish Queen's and Kingston as leaders attracting, supporting and retaining the next generation of influencers, innovators and entrepreneurs."