OCAD University

OCAD University included among Top 50 Canadian Research Universities

Institution grows research income by 2,317.5%

(Toronto — October 19, 2010) For the first time in its 134 years, OCAD University (OCADU) is featured among Canada’s top 50 research universities by Research Infosource Inc. Even more impressive, the institution has experienced a growth in research income of 2,317.5% between Fiscal 2008 and 2009, more than any other Canadian university.

“Our inclusion in the Top 50 Research Universities list for the first time is a testament to OCAD University’s importance as a research university,” said Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, Associate Vice-President, Research and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. “A greater focus on research was a major objective of our strategic plan, Leading in the Age of Imagination 2006 – 2012. OCADU’s position on the list demonstrates that we have arrived as a major player amongst Canadian universities. Our research culture incorporates undergraduate and graduate students, enriching their experience at OCADU, and contributes to the knowledge and creative economy of Ontario, Canada and the world.”

Among dozens of faculty and graduate student research projects, OCAD University has several major ongoing research initiatives underway now. These include:

  • The addition of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) to its campus (the IDI is funded by an $18 million grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ministry of Research & Innovation;
  • The Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV-DDD) led by York University in partnership with OCAD University, working to develop the next generation of data discovery, design, and visualization techniques by developing new computational tools, representational strategies, and interfaces ($11.5 million in combined funding from the Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Program, industry and institutional partnerships);
  • A multidisciplinary strategic foresight project called 2020 Media Futures, designed to understand and envision what media may look like by the year 2020 (funded by Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund, industry partners and OCADU, totaling $226,500);
  • The founding of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit organization that supports design leadership, innovation and applied research in Canada's mobile and wireless industries;
  • The Fluid Project, an initiative of the Inclusive Design Institute, creates web application building blocks that infuse accessibility and inclusive user experience design into the software ecosystem. Fluid components are part of the software toolkits broadly used to create interactive Web programs, thereby ensuring they are accessible to users with disabilities (funded at $1.26 million USD by The Andrew M. Mellon Foundation);
  • The Inclusive Design Institute’s Accessible Digital Office Document project, supported by UNESCO and the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, is developing international guidelines for creating accessible office documents including spreadsheets and presentations;
  • FLOE (Flexible Learning for Open Education), a project of the Inclusive Design Institute and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is creating a global infrastructure to address the learning needs of learners, including learners with disabilities, by matching each learner's individual accessibility needs and preferences with a learning resource that meets those needs;
  • OCADU participates in the National Centres of Excellence-funded Graphics, Animation and New Media initiative (NCE-GRAND), a research program engaging fifty network investigators to understand underlying technologies from the new media, animation, and games sectors, and to make selective advances in a coordinated, multidisciplinary setting that lead to social, legal, economic, and cultural benefits for Canadians;
  • Biomapping: Mobile Experiments in Self-computation and Spatial Aesthetics, a project by OCADU Associate Professor Paula Gardner; and Exploring Urban Resistance: street vending and negotiations over public space livelihoods in the Philippines and Vietnam, a project by Professor B. Lynne Milgram, both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

For more information about OCAD University’s ongoing research initiatives visit http://www.ocad.ca/research.htm. To read more about Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities, visit http://www.researchinfosource.com/top50.shtml.

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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