Health researchers will come together on November 14 in the province’s first SPARK Night, a networking and matchmaking event, to identify areas of collaboration and joint interest in their research. The event is organized and hosted by Innovation Saskatchewan, with sponsorships from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, VIDO-InterVac, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and the Canadian Light Source.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is very proud of the province’s high-quality, world-class researchers and research institutes,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Steven Bonk said. “We have a rich legacy of groundbreaking research and SPARK Night will help increase further partnerships by identifying common areas of interest and additional opportunities.”
Bringing Innovation Saskatchewan’s funded research institutes together for an interactive session, SPARK Night is designed to:
- Encourage collaborative research between Saskatchewan’s universities and research institutes;
- Provide seed funding for eligible collaborative projects emerging from the event; and
- Create connections within Saskatchewan’s academic community.
“We see opportunity for some of our research institutes to work together on similar projects, and we hope that SPARK Night will help spark this collaboration,” Innovation Saskatchewan Chief Executive Officer Wes Jickling said. “Through the seed funding, Innovation Saskatchewan’s goal is to incentivize researchers to initiate joint projects, cover the cost of preliminary research work and support their applications for further funding from provincial and federal sources.”
The theme for this first event is health. Researchers from the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and other research institutes funded by Innovation Saskatchewan will participate in a networking and matchmaking-type program to connect those scholars with similar areas of interest in the healthcare field. Researchers will also be able to identify other areas of interest for further exploration.
Following the matchmaking event, researchers will submit proposals with at least one other partner from a different institute. Innovation Saskatchewan will evaluate the proposals at the event, and award seed funding of $5,000 to each of the top five project proponents.
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