1 Université de Sherbrooke Summary of the Strategic Plan for Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and CFI 2012 Strategic vision and objectives In September 2010, Université de Sherbrooke adopted its Strategic Plan, Réussir , which identifies five research priorities: To open and expand our borders through internationalization and decompartmentalization of traditional approaches and disciplines; To renew our distinctive approach in research and creation (student co-op program, partnerships); To focus the university community on student success; To contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of Quebec (partnerships and entrepreneurship); To build a quality living environment. Réussir has a fundamental objective regarding research development: to position the University favorably in the new context created by the emergence of open innovation and governmental innovation strategies. This objective is complementary to the decompartmentalization of research in a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and interfaculty perspective. The synergy between basic and applied research and the will to pursue strategic partnership opportunities with private or public partners are key elements of our approach. Thus, the Université intends to increase its research collaborations (1) to reach the critical mass needed to develop major projects, (2) to play a major role in the national system of innovation at the regional, national and international levels by ensuring an efficient flow of knowledge transfer from the laboratory to the user that provides a maximum of opportunities, and (3) to improve the training and work-force readiness of highly qualified and innovative students. Selection of Key Themes The selection of key research priorities or «strategic themes», whether it be by the faculties or the Université, and the creation of a critical mass of professors to address these key themes are crucial if we are to increase the scientific and socio-economic impact of the research carried out at the Université. This need to choose is also evident in the recent changes to the funding agencies programs and the Canadian research funding ecosystem. To be strategic, the selection of key themes must take into account the following factors: socio-economic relevance, multidisciplinarity, a just equilibrium between basic and applied research, and alignment with governmental objectives. These themes must fall into line with the priorities of both the Quebec Strategy for Research and Innovation and
2 the Canada Science and Technology Strategy. We therefore need to make choices that will position the Université favorably on the chessboard of national and international research without neglecting those areas of excellence that have made our reputation. The selection of strategic themes to increase the impact of the research made at the Université is described as an institutional priority in Réussir In 2012, all nine faculties identified their key themes, from new, emerging endeavours to areas where a well established critical mass exists. A list of these key themes is given in Table 1. Some key themes are characterized by their interdisciplinary nature, often touching several sectors, such as aging, health technologies, functional materials for the future, cancer biology, prognosis and diagnosis, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular complications (these two themes are largely based on medical imaging), inflammation and pain, sustainable development, the environment, and governance. Other key themes come from more disciplinary areas where groups of researchers are recognized as international leaders, such as quantum information. And other key themes will allow researchers to make a major impact in emerging fields, such as personalized medicine. High-performance computing is not a key theme as such but it plays a prominent role in many research projects and is a recognized strength of the Université across the country. Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé Faculté des sciences Faculté de génie Faculté d éducation physique et sportive Faculté de théologie et d études religieuse Table 1 KEY THEMES (MARCH 2012) Diagnostic et pronostic du cancer Inflammation et douleur Diabète, obésité et complications Le vieillissement Santé des populations, pratiques exemplaires et organisation des soins de la santé Mère-enfant (thème en émergence) Matériaux fonctionnels du futur Information quantique Chimie pharmaceutique et médicinale Environnement et écologie Biologie moléculaire et génétique Assistance intelligente pour le bien-être d une société d avenir Matériaux Énergie Santé (nouvelles technologies) Transports Développement durable Sécurité Neuromécanique du mouvement humain Intervention éducative en activité physique et santé Kinésiologie, santé et vieillissement Étude du religieux contemporain
3 Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines Faculté d administration Faculté d éducation Faculté de droit Dynamiques communautaires et réseaux sociaux Culture, langue et rapports interculturels Gouvernance, éthique et pouvoir Observation et modélisation de l'environnement Vieillissement Développement international, économie publique et fiscalité Entrepreneuriat et innovation Gestion de la marque et consommation responsable Gestion financière responsable et développement durable Intelligences compétitive et d affaire Organisation du travail, santé et sécurité au travail Intervention éducative et socioéducative Pédagogie de l enseignement supérieur Gestion des organisations scolaires Difficultés de comportement et d adaptation sociale chez l enfant et l adolescent Transitions et apprentissages tout au long de la vie Éducation scientifique, technologique et mathématique Continuité des apprentissages en lecture et en écriture Parcours professionnels et pratiques enseignantes en formation professionnelle Vulnérabilité et protection des personnes vulnérables Gouvernance Démocratie, justice et vie sociale Environnement et développement durable
4 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) distribution Thèmes porteurs de recherche Nombre de CRC* Niveau 1 Niveau 2 Sciences et génie Matériaux fonctionnels du futur 4 Transports 1 Sécurité 1 Santé (nouvelles technologies) 1 2 Environnement et écologie 3 Énergie 2 Biologie moléculaire et génétique 1 1 Sous-total 8 8 Santé Santé des populations, pratiques exemplaires et organisation des soins de la santé 1 Diagnostic et pronostic du cancer 4 2 Vieillissement 1 2 Inflammation et douleur 1 1 Diabète, obésité et complications 1 Mère-enfant 2 Sous-total 8 7 Sciences humaines et sociales Vieillissement 1 Culture, langue et rapports interculturels 1 Intervention éducative et socioéducative 1 Difficultés de comportement et d adaptation sociale chez l enfant et l adolescent 1 Sous-total 1 3 TOTAL * As of March 31, 2012, taking into account plans for renewals and an allocation of 37 CRC (2 CRC in sciences and engineering have yet to be assigned). All of the Université s CRC are linked to the key themes. The selection of CRC candidates follows an open and transparent process that promotes the recruitment of chairholders of the highest quality. All candidates must be approved by the Université s Executive Committee and half of the new chairs are offered to external candidates. The Université expects that the applications meet the equal employment opportunity requirement for women. Considering the limited resources of the CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund, the Université recommends that only new CRC holders apply to this program, with the priority given to those who require major equipment.
5 Research Development A number of major projects have been identified for the implementation of this strategy. The remarkable collaboration between researchers in health sciences, engineering and sciences positions the Université favorably in the fast emerging field of personalized medicine, which is based on the integration of knowledge and expertise coming from a wide range of disciplines. The development of this area is prioritized by the Université de Sherbrooke and its affiliated centers, who are working toward the creation of a Pavilion for Personalized Medicine (SPP). Réussir emphasizes the importance for the Université to play a major role in the social, economic and cultural development of Quebec. Partnerships with the private sectors are essential to this objective. Examples of such include the creation of (1) the Advanced Technology Centre BRP - Université de Sherbrooke and (2) the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) in the Parc Innovation de Sherbrooke. The 3IT aims to increase university-industry synergy by offering worldclass research facilities to public and private organizations interested in achieving technological developments, particularly in the areas of health, information and communication, transportation, and energy. A third major partnership is the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre in Bromont, the largest investment made by governments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Finally, the Université is working on the creation of an Energy and Renewable Resources Studies Centre in the Parc Innovation. Several areas of research excellence will soon require upgraded equipment in areas such as medical imaging, treatment of pain, high performance computing, and characterization of materials. Planning Process Réussir is the result of the most open and collegial consultation ever known by the Université since its creation in More than a thousand people participated, individually or in group meetings, through an Internet survey or as part of focus groups during an institution-wide forum. During this process, members and partners of the university community were invited to express their points of view and exchange with others to build the future of our institution.