President Diamond's statement on Budget 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

OCAD University congratulates the federal government for its support of research, skills and innovation with a variety of measures that will ensure that the Canadian economy remains internationally competitive and that innovation is inclusive. 

 “OCAD U is pleased to see the budget recognize the strategic importance of design and creativity. Design is a source of economic value and social good, raising firms’ profitability and productivity while contributing to national economic competitiveness and performance,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Design thinking and creative imagination are critical to experimentation and the development of new services, products and business methods. We will work with our partners in industries across Canada and with our university colleagues to ensure that design and design thinking can reinforce the success of all clusters through the Canadian Design Initiative.”

The focus on industry-driven partnership-focused superclusters, and investment in Mitacs internships will provide OCAD U students access to experiential learning in important sectors of the economy. This helps our students gain key innovation skills while applying knowledge learned in their programs, and ensures our graduates will be able to find meaningful employment. 

The focus on creativity as a driver for inclusive innovation will ensure that the social and economic development of Canada benefits from the diversity we are known for, while supporting varied approaches to emerging industries. OCAD U commends the budget's measures to address gender inequity in emerging technology sectors. 

Our faculty collaborate with many industry and community partners, and we welcome the further development of Canada 150 Research Chairs, funding for the National Research Council and the development of a national Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The budget provides funding support that will strengthen our leading research in digital technologies, big data visualization, Smart Cities planning through urban and cultural analytics, design for health and other design research.

OCAD U endorses the federal government's investment in Indigenous student access to post-secondary education and measures to strengthen the Canada Student Grants and Loans system. 

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s new investment of $300 million for Cultural Spaces Canada will be a tremendous boost to our emerging artists and innovators, allowing them new and improved space to connect, collaborate and engage with the public. 

OCAD U graduates work in every sector of the economy, providing much-needed creativity, technical skills and design thinking. As Ontario’s only and Canada’s largest and most comprehensive art, design and digital media university, OCAD University promotes art, design and media research as providing significant value to the provincial and national economy.