The University of Manitoba will become an even stronger engine for economic growth if the provincial government invests strategically and if the business community and university collaborate to reduce red tape to speed up research progress, University of Manitoba vice-president (research), Dr. Digvir Jayas told a Winnipeg business leaders conference this week.
During his address at the Manitoba Bold conference, Jayas challenged the provincial government to invest as much as $60 million annually at the university in six key areas of strength over the next decade.
“We need to focus investments and resources in areas of strength where we can further assert ourselves as national and international leaders,” Jayas told the conference organized by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
That new investment would make the university an even more attractive destination of choice for world-class researchers conceiving and developing world-class ideas.
Jayas also challenged business to work with the university to develop a standard agreement on collaborative research to ensure researchers’ ideas move more easily to the marketplace and less time is spent at the negotiation table.
“We also need to reduce the time it takes to take good ideas and bring them to the marketplace to generate real wealth and economic opportunity,” Jayas said.
In addition to these measures, Jayas also challenged government to provide the investments needed to double the number of graduate students on campus from 3,000 to 6,000.
This growth in graduate student enrolment would ensure there are more talented and highly skilled people the economy needs to innovate, lead, create and successfully market ideas.
Jayas noted the ideas he proposed at the Manitoba Bold conference are already proven to work. Currently, the University of Manitoba is home to nearly 900 research projects with a value of more than $93 million.
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