For those of you that do not know me I have been involved with the GPRC Centre for Research & Innovation for a number of years dating back to the days when it was known as the Innovation Network. Over the years I have been a staunch supporter, a client, an innovator ambassador, and in some fashion or another adjunct staff of the CRI. Perhaps it is only fitting that my next role with them will have the potential to influence the CRI of the future while at the same time bridging things through this transition.
With Bob Hall taking on the role of Technology Development Advisor for the Northwest Alberta Region that not only gives the CRI a more ‘robust suite of services to existing businesses’ as Bob so adeptly put it in his blog post A Time of Change for Innovation in Northwest Alberta, but it also offers the opportunity for the CRI to take a real hard look at who they are and if it is really who they need to be. While it’s important to continue to take on new clients and service current clients one should also take the time to evaluate things in this time of transition.
As I sit at my desk in my new office at Centre 2000 I can’t help but ponder on where the CRI will be one year or even two years from now. How can the CRI position itself in this constantly evolving field of applied research, commercialization and innovation in general to best service the people of the Peace region and Northwest Alberta? Ultimately the success of an organization such as ours comes with some measurement of accomplishment in economic development for the region. Maybe it’s as simple as asking the question ‘How does the CRI better facilitate new products reaching the market faster?’
I’m really looking forward to the next couple months, meeting existing clients and new clients but just as important I’m going to be asking the question; What is your vision for the CRI?’