High marks for Brock on research funding national report

A national company that tracks Canada’s research and development performance has ranked Brock University first place out of 21 universities in its category for corporate research income growth.

The value of Brock’s research grants and contracts received from corporate sources grew 134.5 per cent from fiscal years 2019 to 2020, says Research Infosource’s latest report, released Tuesday, Jan. 25.

“Brock is certainly on the right track,” says Ron Freedman, CEO, Research Infosource Inc. “The University has a long history of partnerships with local industry. This year’s result is evidence of that.”

Brock’s research income totalled more than $15.5 million in 2020, according to the Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2021 report.

Corporate research income, or sponsored research, comes from a variety of sources. Agencies such as Mitacs, FedDev and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Alliance Grants program leverage funding to Brock obtained from the private sector.

These programs, funding from the Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc. (OGWRI) and other grants and contracts negotiated between Brock and industry accounted for the rise in sponsored research between 2019 and 2020.

For Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon, the increase in sponsored research reflects the University “making good on an institutional, shared aspiration.”

“People come to Brock’s researchers seeking a solution to a specific problem,” he says. “They are looking for support, for partnership, and they find it at Brock. It’s about building bridges and the difference our research makes in our community and beyond.”

Kenyon says it is important for Brock and other universities to diversify their research funding pool beyond the federal government’s Tri-Agencies: NSERC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The Research Infosource rankings follow Brock’s recent ranking as the best Canadian university for chemical sciences, according to online education platform Erudera. Erudera says it aims to have the largest and most updated database of chemical sciences PhD programs available in Canada, including 64 chemical sciences PhD programs available at 31 schools and universities across the country.

In the Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2021 report, Brock University also scored highly for publication growth.

In a section of the report called “20-Year University Spotlights,” Brock ranked second place out of 21 universities for international collaboration publication growth, with an 826.9 per cent rise from 2000 to 2019.

Also, Brock’s total university research publications jumped 308.3 per cent from 2000 to 2019, putting Brock in third place. Brock ranked fifth place for university cross-sector collaboration publication growth, increasing 480 per cent from 2000 to 2019.

Research Infosource Inc. tracks and ranks research performance in a wide variety of areas in universities, corporations, hospitals and colleges. The research consulting and publishing firm specializes in the areas of policy, research, business intelligence and analysis on science, technology, innovation and the Canadian research and development ecosystem.

Brock University appears consistently on the yearly Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List. The firm has placed Brock and other comprehensive universities in the ‘undergraduate’ category based on the proportion of graduate to undergraduate programs.

In addition to its undergraduate programs, Brock has had graduate programming for more than a decade and offers nearly 50 master’s and doctoral degrees.

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