Our ambition is that the synergistic effect between teaching and research in the work related to cross-cutting topics will promote rapid appropriation of new knowledge in our teaching, allow us to modernize our training programs, and favour a concerted and integrated approach to enhance interdisciplinary training. This cross-sectoral development is a veritable laboratory of innovation and will provide professors and students who wish to adopt an interdisciplinary approach with effective support to increase and facilitate the sharing of expertise, encourage the emergence of original approaches, and strengthen the links between research and studies.
The Innovation Laboratory is also a useful instrument for developing an entrepreneurial culture around the production of research knowledge. This approach will increase the social impact of UdeM’s output and further our community involvement.
The work of the Innovation Laboratory will span over the 2017-2021 period. Continuous performance and impact assessment of the project-based approach will allow us to adapt our modus operandi in such as way that the desire to connect knowledge remains a fundamental and unifying element of institutional change.
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Project 1 — From Data to Action in Health
Recognized hubs of excellence in data science and artificial intelligence come together at the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), which has received a $93.6 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. IVADO contributes to the advancement of knowledge and to training the next generation of data scientists at the cutting-edge of operational research and deep learning, and promotes the development of a new economy evolving around massive data processing to support decision-making.
The project From Data to Action in Health, in conjunction with IVADO, aims to increase research and training opportunities at the interface between artificial intelligence, operational research, and life sciences. The project will bring together the best of research in oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. It will create or strengthen links between data science, biomedical sciences including therapeutic innovation and drug discovery, “omic” approaches, personalized health, imaging, patient expertise, health systems, ethics, and legal aspects, with the goal of adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the valorization of health data, in a perspective of social acceptability.
Project 2 — Understanding and Creating. Creating to understand
Understanding and Creating brings together the humanities and social sciences and arts and letters in an interdisciplinary perspective and provides an opening to intersectoral cooperation. The initiative is based on the premise that research and teaching can be an extraordinary way to empower people and communities based on their needs, strengths, and aspirations. The project was born from a firm desire to promote university-community permeability. It advocates the co-creation of knowledge and practices as well as research-creation as a space for dialogue and reciprocity with communities. The approach may involve the creation of a piece of work, a product, a material or virtual environment, a training activity, or a service, among other things.
Within the framework of Understanding and Creating, objects may include experiential knowledge, memory, culture, heritage, digital humanities, narratives, and the relationship between the arts, society, and the environment.
In addition to generating new teaching and research initiatives that may take such forms as interdisciplinary summer schools, field-based training organized around missions or challenges from the public, and innovative co-creation or research-creation projects, the project will develop new ways of interacting with the community, in particular, through the establishment of a platform for interaction with the public.
Project 3 — Building a Sustainable Future
Building a Sustainable Future brings together sectors of excellence from the fields of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, public health, political science, and law — with a special purpose: to work in a coherent and concerted way to equip citizens and decision makers to confront socio-environmental and humanitarian challenges in a sustainable way.
The project will foster, among other things, closer links between our hubs of excellence in the areas of new materials, energy, transportation, public health, microbiology, animal welfare, biodiversity, land-use planning, and related regulatory mechanisms. The project will also build on the success of on-going interdisciplinary and inter-institutional initiatives, including IVADO, as well as our hubs of excellence in operational research and artificial intelligence.
Project 4 — Life Rethought
This project brings together the strengths of research in neuroscience, mental health, vision, rehabilitation, development, aging, and computational neuroscience to increase opportunities for innovation through the collision of ideas and expertise. The project is rooted in our hubs of excellence in both human and animal health and embraces life from beginning to end. It promotes exchanges between teams interested in early life and childhood, and seniors and end of life.
The project enables collaborations that touch on both the physiological mechanisms of development and aging and the social, organizational, and political interrelationships underlying the demographic changes that characterize 21st century society. Thus, by considering life from beginning to end, and its organization, this project calls us to review our fundamental understanding of thought, language, memory, movement, and learning, as well as individual and collective mechanisms and technologies of adaptation.