Professor Sandra Schillo’s collaboration with the research organization Fraunhofer is translating into new opportunities for knowledge exchange between Canada and Germany on science and innovation systems. Schillo, assistant professor in innovation and entrepreneurship at the Telfer School of Management, and her counterpart Rainer Frietsch of the Fraunhofer ISI, were co-organizers of the workshop “Science Systems in Canada and Germany: Structures, Policies and Changes” in Berlin on November 29. It was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and held at the Canadian Embassy in connection with the 22nd Meeting of the German – Canadian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
Workshop participants heard presentations from, among others, Mona Nemer, Vice-Dean Research at the University of Ottawa; Elizabeth Dowdeswell. O.C., President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, Mo Elbestawi, VP Research and International Affairs at McMaster University; and experts from the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the German Science Council. The panel discussions led to valuable dialogue on what makes Canada and Germany similar or different – or even distinctive – with regard to research environments, science in universities, assessment of science and innovation, science and technology priorities and science policy, and technology transfer. Also on the agenda were the models of collaboration that Canada and other countries have developed with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – Europe’s largest applied-research organization, with institutes spread throughout Germany.
The workshop identified the paramount importance of internationalization strategies and joint programs; framework conditions for research organizations; optimization of existing partnerships; adaptation to new frameworks for innovation within the academic system, and new approaches to the assessment of science and innovation. The opportunity to share knowledge on these issues and to further develop the Fraunhofer-Telfer School of Management-University of Ottawa partnership will be explored in a follow up workshop planned for spring 2014 in Ottawa.
Sandra Schillo joined the Telfer School in 2012 and her work focuses on the challenges of public research systems. She completed her doctoral studies at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, University of Kiel, Germany. She obtained her Masters' degree in Engineering Management from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.