Acadia Researchers Impacting Regional Development

Acadia University has launched a new website and a new name for its Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI). Now called the Office of Industry and Community Engagement, ICE will act as a single entry point for industry and community interactions.

"Acadia is truly making a difference in the region through its work with community and industry partners," says Leigh Huestis, ICE director."We want to ensure that the broader community knows we are here for them and that we are open for business."

With the launch of its new website, ICE hopes to expand its outreach model, which connects community and industry to its student and faculty researchers in the form of academic, community, commercial, and research initiatives.

"Industry partners are playing an increasingly important role in Acadia's research environment," explains Huestis. "Acadia has more than tripled its industry research contracts during the past four years by focusing our efforts on areas of specific expertise, or research clusters."

One example of a research cluster is tidal energy research led by Acadia's Centre for Estuarine Research (ACER). In recent months, the centre and its industrial and research partners have received two significant grants to assess the tidal energy scope in the Minas Passage. From assessing the amount of energy available to studying the environmental impact, the university is working with industry on what has been identified as the leading site for tidal energy in North America.

The university is also working closely with the wine industry through a recent conference of key national and international stakeholders and a variety of research projects for the Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS) as well as independent wineries - from the development and testing of new products, to insect mitigation strategies and chemical analysis of wine.

"Undergraduate and graduate students have been involved in all of these research projects," says Huestis. "It is a wonderful opportunity for them to work closely with their faculty and community members to make a real difference."

With the assistance of ICE, Acadia faculty, students, and staff have also had considerable success commercializing innovative products, with a three-fold increase in royalty income in recent years. Some examples include:

  • skating simulator training product (SkateSIM®) used in the NHL
  • virtual classroom training product for new teachers now being used by education students across Canada, Managing to Teach (M2T)
  • multimedia corporate executive database for business students being used across Canada, the Acadia Pearson Business Insider Series

"Since its founding, Acadia University has played a significant role in regional economic development," says Huestis. "With the new ICE office, we believe that Acadia's research will have an even greater impact - supporting industry growth and innovation while providing an incredible opportunity to our student and faculty researchers."

Huestis explains that the new ICE website will detail some of their success stories and provide useful information and contacts for researchers as well as community and industry members.

To learn more visit:


For more information, contact:

Leigh Huestis, Director
Office of Industry and Community Engagement (ICE)
Acadia University
Phone:  902-585-1425
Fax:  902-585-1096

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