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SUBJECT: Memorial University’s Harris Centre to strengthen linkages with regional stakeholders through on-line database, workshops
DATE: Sept. 7, 2006

Two new projects at Memorial University of Newfoundland will provide one-stop, on-line access to resources available through Memorial University.  This initiative will provide communities with the knowledge and information for economic and social development.The Memorial University Regional Inventory (MURI) and the Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Regions in Newfoundland and Labrador project are designed to enhance collaboration between Memorial University and individuals, communities and organizations in the province. MURI will be a web-based database of university initiatives taking place around and about communities in the province. It will benefit from Regional Workshops organized with Regional Economic Development Boards to identify existing and new teaching, research and outreach opportunities. The Mobilizing Knowledge project will work with the Regional Councils of the Rural Secretariat to determine research needs for regional planning and match these with existing work at Memorial and the College of the North Atlantic.”
            The Harris Centre is partnering with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Economic Development Association, the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, the College of the North Atlantic and the Rural Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
             “This innovative project will have a real impact in the community,” said Stan Shapson, interim president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. “Among more than 80 applications submitted in the first year of the Knowledge Impact in Society program, this project is one of 11 chosen that demonstrated potential for creating new ways to disseminate research and information. This project will strengthen partnerships among academia, communities and organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador and will create many new opportunities to use academic knowledge in practical contexts.”
            Mr. Michael Alexander, regional executive head, Service Canada, Newfoundland Region, said his department is pleased to provide support for the Harris Centre’s research activities through the Labour Market Partnerships component of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement. “This research will be a useful tool for dealing with labour market issues affecting many areas of our province,” he noted.
            "The Rural Secretariat is proud to partner with Memorial University on these important initiatives. These projects will assist regional councils in developing visions for the region, make the resources of the university available to community stakeholders and contribute to evidenced-based decision making,” said Ms. Alison Earle, assistant deputy minister, Rural Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.           
Memorial University President Axel Meisen noted that “both these projects draw on the wealth of activities that Memorial faculty, students and staff are already doing throughout Newfoundland and Labrador; “he said. By building on this work through regional workshops and web-based tools to connect the university with new opportunities, Memorial will contribute even more to the social, cultural and economic development of the province.”
            “Both of these projects enhance the outreach capacity of Memorial University and are core programs of the Harris Centre,” said Dr. Robert Greenwood, director of the Harris Centre                                                                                                                
 “They will greatly assist the Harris Centre in fulfilling its mandate by creating linkages between university faculty, staff and students with community stakeholders, and stimulating knowledge transfer between partners. The creation of linkages and partnerships made possible by these projects is critical in the economic and social development of the province; these projects will also create synergies between organizations in addressing key labour market issues within the province.”
            The total budget for MURI is $555,761, with $489,385 coming from the federal/provincial Labour Market Development Agreement, $38,376 from the Harris Centre of Memorial University, and an in-kind contribution of $26,000 from MURI project partners. The project will be completed by Dec. 31, 2007. 
            The budget for the Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Regions in Newfoundland and Labrador project is $555,570, with a $277,785 contribution from Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), $166,671 from Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies and Vice-President (Research), and $111,114 as part of the Service Canada commitment to MURI. The project will be completed by March 31, 2009. 
            Full details on each project can be found in the attached backgrounders.
The Harris Centre
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development (The Harris Centre) was approved by the Memorial University Board of Regents on September 8, 2004, and announced October 1, 2004. It is named in honour of Memorial University scholar and former president, Dr. Leslie Harris. Dr. Harris exemplifies the contribution of Memorial University to regional policy and development in Newfoundland and Labrador.
            The Harris Centre is tasked with co-ordinating and facilitating the university’s educational, research and outreach activities in the areas of regional policy and development. It works with all faculties and departments within the university and serves as a reliable point of access for all stakeholders seeking to work with the university in activities related to regional policy and development.                                      
Memorial University
Memorial University of Newfoundland is the only university in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the largest university in Atlantic Canada. With a main campus in St. John’s and one at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, Memorial has a student population of approximately 18,000, a faculty complement of 1,000 and 1,500 staff in six faculties (Arts, Science, Education, Medicine, Engineering and Applied Science, and Business Administration) and seven schools (Graduate Studies, Nursing, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics; Social Work, Continuing Education, Music and Pharmacy).
            Courses are also offered through the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, as well as through an international campus at Harlow in England. As well, there are a number of special divisions offering support to the university’s primary mandates of research and teaching, and providing services to urban and rural communities in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as nationally and internationally.

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