Exhibit Highlights KTT Program, Successful Partnerships

February 10, 2011 - News Release

How does the University of Guelph work with government, community and industry to apply research knowledge and address societal problems? Come and count the ways next month at a special event in downtown Guelph.

An exhibit in the main corridors of the Quebec Street Mall will highlight U of G collaborations making a difference, including the University’s partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The event will take place March 1.

“The University works with government, community agencies and the private sector in various ways to address complex issues,” said Linda Hawkins, director of U of G’s Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, a research centre operated by the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences.

“This event is intended to showcase these efforts and help others learn by example how to set up successful partnerships and achieve positive outcomes.”

Funding for Hawkins’s "Partnership Practices" event was provided by the Agri-Food and Rural Link Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) program under the University/OMAFRA partnership. Eleven new research projects received more than $635,000 in KTT funding in January.

“It’s very fitting that support for a project that will draw attention to the many benefits of University partnerships came not only from the OMAFRA partnership but also from a program designed to put research knowledge and findings to practical use,” said Rich Moccia, U of G’s associate vice-president (research).

Carol Mitchell, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, said putting research into practice "helps contribute to a strong and sustainable future for our farmers, food processors and rural communities. The McGuinty government is proud to support innovative agricultural research.”

The KTT program sets aside funds for projects that improve the impact of research by transforming knowledge into use for different audiences across the agriculture, food and rural sectors. It also provides new and improved networking and collaboration opportunities among researchers and public- and private-sector partners.

Last fall, more than $1 million was awarded in the first round of KTT allocations. The submission deadline for a third proposal round is Feb. 28. Successful projects will be announced in the spring.

More rapid research translation was emphasized in 2008 when U of G and OMAFRA renewed their partnership for 10 years, Moccia said. Under the partnership begun in 1997, the University manages research and education programs and related facilities. The agreement’s economic impact is estimated to exceed $1.15 billion a year.

“It’s an incredible return on investment," he said. "The partnership also encourages innovation and collaboration that have tremendous social, economic, environmental and health benefits for all Canadians.”

The U of G/OMAFRA partnership is among the success stories to be featured during the “Partnership Practices” showcase at the Quebec Street Mall. The exhibit will highlight community-University alliances, federal government partnerships and multi-college projects. Representatives will be available to answer questions and provide information.

“We felt that there was a need to let people know just how many partnerships there are and to hear about the impacts and experiences,” Hawkins said. “It’s also important for people to understand how they are managed, how they help meet strategic priorities and best practices for success.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or dhealey@uoguelph.ca.

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