By Bobinec, Greg on March 10, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge is launching a new platform for collisions between faculty members, students and industry leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that could pave the way to creating new collaborations.
STEM Fusion, a conference to connect STEM professionals with commercialization, innovation and entrepreneurship, took place last Thursday and featured a series of guest speakers, panels, networking opportunities and lab benching sessions, all designed to bring people together to foster ideas and connections.
“There is so much that can be done through community engagement,” says Jackie Rice, associate vice-president research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, in a news release. “Through this conference, we hope to stimulate collisions between industry and academia. Giving people knowledge about what is available to them, and connecting them with the right people, is a very powerful tool. The University of Lethbridge is about enabling growth and innovation, which is reflecting in the goals of STEM Fusion.”
STEM Fusion presented students with the opportunity to network with industry representatives, learn about potential career pathways and showcase their research. Faculty members were able to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with industry partners looking for collaborative opportunities and the chance to learn about patent and intellectual property regulations, while industry leaders had access to new talent and fresh ideas.
“Now, more than ever, technology is advancing, and opportunities abound to build our network of resources and progress on the world stage as competitors in numerous markets,” says Brandie Lea, grants facilitator for the university’s Officer of Research & Innovation Services. “Without the exchange of knowledge between our experts and the local for-profit and not-for-profit world, how can southern Alberta expect to break through boundaries, discover new solutions and bring new innovations to market?”
Throughout the day, STEM majors, faculty members and industry partners were able to take in speakers with a range of topics from artificial intelligence to biopharmaceutical development, neuroscience, intellectual property law, crop protection, bioinformatics and more.