June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
14.580.1 - 14.580.9
Entrepreneurship Curricula and Competitions at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ottawa
Engineers Canada has identified entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity as one of the five core sets of values for the engineering profession in Canada. According to the Canadian Academy of Engineering, creativity and innovation are indispensable qualities for engineers. Over the years, Canadian engineering schools have developed a number of curricular and extra- curricular activities and programs in order to increase the exposure of engineering students to these important topics.
The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ottawa is a medium-size (by Canadian standards – 1,800 undergraduate and 600 graduate students; 115 regular faculty and 65 staff members) school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a number of engineering disciplines (biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical, software) and in computer science. Because of the bilingual nature of the University of Ottawa, students can choose to complete their studies in either one, or both, of Canada’s official languages. At the undergraduate level, the Faculty offers an option in engineering management and entrepreneurship in six (6) of its eight (8) engineering programs. In 2006, the Faculty established the $2-M Entrepreneurship and Innovation Endowment Fund (EIEF), thanks to an initial $1-M donation from an anonymous alumnus. Operating under the guidance of an expert Advisory Board, the EIEF has allowed the Faculty to create a bi-annual lecture series on entrepreneurship and innovation (Entrepreneurship Bridges Lecture Series) as well as two entrepreneurship competitions for undergraduate and graduate students respectively.
Entrepreneurship has long been recognized as a key contributor to economic growth (Hulsey et al. 1986; Wadhwa et al. 2008). Successful entrepreneurship ventures rely on creativity and innovation, where innovation must be considered as the combination of both invention and commercialization (Brzustowski 2006). Because of their educational background that increasingly includes exposure to business, communications, humanities, and social sciences in addition to the traditional scientific and technical components, engineering professionals are uniquely positioned to engage into innovation ventures (Canadian Academy of Engineering 1998). A well-known example of a successful entrepreneur in Canada who has relied on his engineering education to achieve world-scale success is Mr. Mihalis Lazaridis, founder and co- CEO of the technology giant Research in Motion. Quoting Brzustowski (2008), ‘Canada has achieved excellence in science and engineering just as this is becoming the key to prosperity.’ Therefore, it is not surprising that Engineers Canada has identified ‘entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity’ as one of the five core sets of values for the engineering profession in Canada (Engineers Canada 2009).
D'Amours, C., & Laguë, C., & Mellor, F. (2009, June), Entrepreneurship Curricula And Competitions In The Faculty Of Engineering Of The University Of Ottawa Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4665
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