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U of T showcases social innovation research prowess

New catalogue spotlights projects that solve problems, fulfill needs

U of T is working on a food choice study with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre and the University of Western Ontario. (Wiki Commons photo)

An ambitious new census of social innovation research at the University of Toronto shows that there are 700 faculty members working in this area across 17 faculties, schools and institutes.

The project has yielded a social innovation catalogue that spotlights the depth and breadth of the university’s reach in terms of research that grapples with social problems and fills societal needs.

Produced by the office of the vice-president (research) in consultation with the social innovation research community, the catalogue organizes social innovation research on campus into three themes: liveable societies; institutes, governance and prosperity; and human development. It’s intended to be a resource for members of the academic community: it will allow researchers to make connections and be of interest to potential graduate students considering coming to study at the university.

Professor Paul Young, U of T’s vice-president (research) hopes the catalogue will also help educate the public about what goes on at U of T. “We have a reputation for excellence in medicine and in the sciences”, he says. “That reputation is justified, but many don’t realize that the University of Toronto is also a world leader in social innovation research. We have researchers solving problems ranging from tracking the liveability of cities around the globe to preventing bullying. This is research with a potentially enormous impact on the way we live.”

The Social Innovation Catalogue is available here.

The fourth catalogue produced by the Office of the vice-president (research), it joins previous offerings  focused on information and communications technology, health and related life sciences and technology, and energy and the environment. All catalogues are available here.

A fifth catalogue, humanities, arts & cultural innovation, will be available soon.