Visits to the UWindsor campus this month will serve to remind Canadian policy-makers about the critical role the University plays in important areas of research, and the need for support in its work to build a foundation for discovery and innovation.
Chemistry professor Simon Rondeau-Gagné, one of the organizers of the tours, says they will highlight accomplishments in fields as varied as protecting the environment, enhancing workplace experiences for Aboriginal Canadians, facilitating international trade and border safety, and improving health and patient care.
He says the project arose in response to a report commissioned by federal science minister Kirsty Duncan: Investing in Canada’s Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research.
“This review indicates Canadian research enterprise has eroded in recent years due to decreased federal support and that federal re-investment is badly needed, to the tune of $1.3 billion over the next four years, to prevent further decline,” says Dr. Rondeau-Gagné.
He says he is looking forward to discussing with politicians how academics can work with them to ensure greater funding.
“We are committed to focusing on a wide variety of quality research that really matters to the health, welfare, and future of Canadians,” says Rondeau-Gagné. “The growth of a knowledge-based community in Windsor-Essex is fuelling improvements to healthcare, our environment, economic diversification, innovation, and employment, with more than $25 million in research funding annually providing training for several thousand undergraduate, graduate and medical students in our region.”
Two one-hour visits will allow researchers to share stories of what funding dollars did for their projects, from Trevor Pitcher’s new hands-on research facility committed to restoring the Great Lakes, to Rondeau-Gagné’s exploration of synthetic polymers to create stretchable electronics, as well as achievements by researchers in kinesiology, psychology, and the Cross-Border Institute.
Dean of science Chris Houser encourages faculty and students to promote their research successes to @ScienceMin and @JustinTrudeau using the hashtags #WindsorResearchMatters and #SupportTheReport.