8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 8 - Promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Teaching and Learning:
- Students in a Grenfell Campus entrepreneurship course travelled to Flat Bay recently to tour current and prospective tourism infrastructure there. Billy Newell, a faculty member with Grenfell’s business program, states "The goal of this particular student project is to develop business models that would encourage the development of a sustainable tourism industry in the area, which not only promotes and celebrates the local Indigenous heritage, but also provides a potential source of revenue for the band to fund other local community services".
- Memorial offers a new master of applied science program in safety and risk engineering, the first of its kind in Canada. "Students will gain a deeper knowledge on safety and risk engineering design and operational parameters and become highly skilled in safety and risk engineering practices."
- Memorial offers interdisciplinary master’s program in occupational health and safety (MOHS). "Graduates will be well-equipped to step into professional and administrative positions in the health and safety branches of government departments, in regulatory agencies such as compensation commissions, in industrial and commercial firms, and in representative organizations of industry and labour". More qualified safety personnel will help create safe working environments for all workers.
- The Functional Foods Sensory Laboratory and the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre receive support from government to increase their capacity as supports for Newfoundland and Labrador.
- A team of researchers at Grenfell are working on a pilot program related to intercropping, "the practice of cultivating two or more crops together on the same farmland." One of the benefits to this is higher biomass production. Improving the agriculture industry can also help to improve the province's economy.
- A faculty member at Memorial’s business faculty has received national funding to address an important gap in research on gender stereotypes in the workplace. The results could help employers, employees and organizations become more aware of how bias arising from the lack of fit with gender stereotypes affects hiring and rewards practices.
- A research team in the Faculty of Business and Administration—led by Dr. Tom Cooper—is examining the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal entrepreneurs in accessing financing from mainstream banking institutions. The research indicates financial institutions may need to adapt their approach in working with Aboriginal entrepreneurs and band-owned enterprises.
- A partnership between Memorial University and SmartICE is providing young people in the North and at Memorial with opportunities to learn and grow. Inuit youth from the community are hired to support the manufacturing of SmartBUOY monitoring devices. The up-skilling support provided through SmartICE increases workplace skills and employability. The students also help with developing policies, improving the technology and shaping programming.
- A new project on sea urchins on the Baie Verte Peninsula hopes to develop food security and advance natural resource development. Feed from Norway helps the sea urchins produce more roe, "a highly prized delicacy in Japanese, American and European markets." "Dr. Gagnon says the aims is to find out if the Baie Verte Peninsula communities can avail of this “great potential.” If smaller fish plant owners can start a small production, this can create new jobs for people in the area and help to retain youth in the community.
- Partnership between Marine Institute and Indonesia (the INVEST Co-op Indonesia Project) has the ultimate outcome of providing "improved sustainable, gender-equitable, economic well-being for female and male small-producers through co-operatives in Indonesia, Malawi, Mongolia, and Peru". There is also a hope to enhance "farmer’s growing practices, improve the quality of their products and help them eventually diversify to more valuable products."
- Dr. Jamie Skidmore, a professor in the Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, is working on his Thriving Regions project, titled Storytelling through Shadow Puppetry on the Southwest Coast. "Dr. Skidmore’s project involves creating shadow-puppet plays based on local stories, gathered from community members, and helping the communities put off the shows to attract tourists and generate revenue." He believes there is "potential for great economic gains through an arts-based tourism structure."
- A little more than a year after Genesis announced its $775,000 microfund for clients of its Enterprise program, the fund is proving that access to early money results in new jobs, increased revenues and more investment opportunities. Genesis calculated that 18 companies that each received $20,000 from the fund collectively created 84 jobs, secured $4.5 million in private investment, and generated $5.1 million in revenues. The microfund is greatly contributing to the Newfoundland economy.
- In early 2017 representatives of Memorial’s Department of Human Resources and InclusionNL met to discuss ways the department could increase accessibility and inclusion. This included a review of application processes and building disability confidence training sessions. Human Resources will offer a building disability confidence training session during October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to the article, "For a workplace to be disability confident, it means ensuring that people with disabilities have the same access to programs and positions as an individual without a disability."
- A $7 million contribution from Emera Inc. is "specifically directed at students via a funding model that will sustain and enhance student innovation and entrepreneurial programming". Emera's investment will bridge partnerships between government, business, post-secondary institutions and citizens and will greatly aid in growing the knowledge economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- PanGeo Subsea Inc, with B.C.-based partner Cellula Robotics and the Marine Institute of Memorial University will work together to reconfigure PanGeo’s Acoustic Core with Cellula’s robotic system. "This game-changing innovation will provide a three-dimensional volumetric interpretation of the sub-seabed geology with enhanced resolution and increased competitiveness for the global offshore renewable energy sector." This project will help to advance Canada's blue economy, open up new market opportunities, create new economic activity and support the path to net zero.
- New program to be offered to support youth who have been in foster care. The program will provide financial support including full-time undergraduate tuition and other required institutional fees, for a maximum of four years and up to eight semesters. This will help to reduce the proportion of youth not in education.
- Genesis is Memorial University’s innovation hub for high-potential, high-growth technology companies. Established in 1997, the centre’s clients and graduate companies have since created more than 1,100 jobs and raised more than $94 million in private investment. Genesis also works with the federal government to help immigrant entrepreneurs who have great business ideas establish roots in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2017, MUN's St. John's campus also launched the "Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Social Enterprise.
- Over the last decade at Memorial, existing entrepreneurial support entities were strengthened and new centres and funding opportunities created. Genesis supports entrepreneurs through all stages of idea development – from pre-incubation and business model development to investor readiness. Since 2010 Genesis graduated 24 companies through its flagship Enterprise program. Collectively, these companies created more than 1,000 jobs, raised over half a billion dollars in private capital and generated over a half billion dollars in gross revenues. Genesis also started two new programs to increase diversity among the start ups it supports. In 2014 the Women in Tech (WIT) program was introduced to address the lack of female representation in the technology and entrepreneurial sectors. Since then Genesis client companies grew from zero female founders to 31 per cent with a female founder or co-founder. Genesis also started the Startup Visa Program, which allows immigrant entrepreneurs to live and work in the province as a means to attain their permanent residency. Currently, Genesis companies have 35 per cent immigrant founders in their portfolio, with many looking to stay in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- A $40,000 investment from Mel Woodward Cup, a pitch competition for student entrepreneurs at Memorial University, will help student-led hearing loss and health tech companies. The funding will help the two businesses, Audyse Technology and Bx Medical Solutions, further develop their companies.
- Corner Brook will soon be home to a centre that will support research and development, business diversification and a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Funding from multiple parties is making this renovation and research initiative possible for Memorial's Grenfell Campus and CNA. The centre will support local and regional economic growth through innovation, research and training and will serve as the hub of the regional innovation system.
- Emera invests $7 million for entrepreneurship programming at Memorial. The contribution from Emera will create a funding model to sustain and enhance student innovation and entrepreneurial programming. The funds will be directed primarily to the MCE, the Centre for Social Enterprise (CSE), Genesis and other innovation initiatives.
- Memorial University has a new entrepreneurship centre (The Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE)) that aims to support early-stage entrepreneurs to develop and launch their own businesses. The centre offers individual coaching and mentorships, entrepreneurial work terms, startup funding programs, a student ambassador team, events and networking opportunities. Encouraging and supporting innovative thinkers will contribute to economic success and growth.
- Approximately $300,000 was available in 2017-18 and it was directed towards student employment opportunities through MUCEP, GradSWEP, and the Centre for Social Enterprise.
- Workforce Innovation Centre/NL Forestry Industry Association funding of $334,000 was received to support research to develop and promote the new opportunities in the bioeconomy and ensure skilled workforce training particularly among underrepresented groups.
- A partnership between Memorial and Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) will expand post-secondary programs available to learners in Nunavut with the expressed purpose of increasing Inuit employment.