Oakville, Ontario: The Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC) has been awarded $2.3 million over five years through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, an initiative of the federal government.
The award-winning project is titled “Aging in Place: Optimizing Health Outcomes through Technology, Design and Social Innovation” and will focus on enhancing the quality of life of older Canadians and their families.
“In nations around the world, older adults are the fastest-growing age group, and Canada is no exception,” says Pat Spadafora, Principle Investigator and Project Director of SERC. “By 2031, adults aged 65 and older will comprise nearly 21% of all Ontarians, and 23-25% of all Canadians. While we celebrate the success of longevity, we must also respond to the challenges of providing appropriate care and support to older adults.”
The “Aging in Place” project will see SERC collaborate with small and medium-sized companies in the research and design of technology applications that promote cognitive health and social inclusion. Ten founding partners will work together with Sheridan researchers, faculty members and students; the partners include Acclaim Heath and Community Care Services, Cerebral Vortex, pigeon* branding + design, PointerWare Innovations, Posit Science Corporation, Recreational Respite, the Region of Halton, Retire-at-Home, Schlegel Seniors Villages and Symetric Productions.
“This is an important announcement for SERC, Sheridan and the broader communities we serve,” says Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan’s President and CEO. “By collaborating with regional companies, we can help to foster innovation and economic development at a local level.”
The Sheridan Elder Research Centre, opened in September 2003 provides a unique environment for the conduct of applied research into areas of practical concern and immediate relevance to older Canadians. SERC researchers develop innovative approaches and creative interdisciplinary partnerships to focus on enhancing the lives of Canadian seniors. Located at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville, Ontario, SERC benefits from Sheridan’s institutional strengths, the diversity of its programs and a friendly, accessible research environment where older adults from the community not only participate in research but contribute to its direction.
The College and Community Innovation Program is a collaborative initiative between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Established by the Government of Canada in Budget 2007, the program enables colleges to develop or expand research transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.