The Impact Centre within the University of Toronto
The Impact Centre has been an independent institute within the University of Toronto since 2013. We are committed to supporting the University’s mandate to be a leading research university with undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs of the highest quality. We are also dedicated to supporting Ontario’s vision for postsecondary education, which sees universities as drivers of “creativity, innovation, knowledge and community engagement through teaching and research” (quotations from University of Toronto’s Strategic Mandate Agreement).
U of T has formulated a number of priorities for the coming years to support job creation, innovation, and economic development in Ontario – and the Impact centre strives to support these efforts. Entrepreneurship and knowledge translation are important elements of this strategy. The Impact Centre is continuously expanding entrepreneurship and other experiential learning opportunities for students, including co-curricular activities such as internships and research projects offered through our courses (e.g., IMC390 and the ERP program). These initiatives help create “wonderful energy and nascent expertise while the students gain an understanding of how to apply their insights and ideas to real-world settings.”
The University has also defined “student engagement” as a top priority. At the Impact Centre, we strive to enhance the student experience through activities, networking, and learning opportunities that foster communication and interaction among students. Our programs also enrich the curricular course offerings of the University by helping graduate and undergraduate students complement their studies with industry-relevant skills.
Another strategically important piece for the University is research excellence. And just like our Strategic Mandate says, we also believe in boundless research, i.e., that “societal, academic and economic benefits are more consistently realized based on the University’s excellence in research.”
At the Impact Centre, we go a step further. We believe that great research drives innovation, and we actively support initiatives that accelerate the development of products and services based on science and engineering. Our team is made up of entrepreneurs, mentors, and academic experts who are dedicated to creating impact through research .
Within the University of Toronto, the Impact Centre is the only independent unit specializing simultaneously in the translation of research, entrepreneurship, and student training. We have created an ecosystem based on our holistic interpretation of how science should be moved from the university to the world, and this holistic framework spans start-ups, industry partnerships, and supplemental student training.
More information about the Strategic Mandate of the University of Toronto can be found here.