In February 2016, The Conference Board of Canada’s Quality Network for Universities (QNU), a platform for university leaders to explore issues critical to their institutional missions (see “Quality Network for Universities”), conducted a study tour to San Francisco and the Bay Area. The goal was to learn about and build connections relating to research innovation, commercialization, and best practices in universities working with industry.
Participants were able to identify ways in which Canadian universities could improve based on the insights they acquired on the trip. Included in Quality Network for Universities: Insights From the 2016 Innovation Study Tour to San Francisco are some examples, by no means exhaustive, of where Canadian universities are well ahead of the curve. Opportunities for growth include collaborative, interdisciplinary research and teaching; strong interactions with industry start with strong basic research; and the need to embrace change, disruption, and failure.