Vancouver-based startup accelerator GrowLab has announced a partnered research project with Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Five students attending the Vancouver-based school will join GrowLab to form an innovative design research team that will focus on developing a new methodology for connecting design to startup companies.
The partnership appears pretty cool right off the bat: it’s fusing startup culture with some of Canada’s most talented young artists and design students, and should make for some fruitful returns for GrowLab startups in need of some awesome front-end help.
A release similarly boasted that “with Emily Carr’s research assistants engaging directly with product innovations as they emerge within the iterative, accelerated research and development processes – literally, bringing design-thinking into the mix – expect the bar to be raised.”
“Successful startups have a hustler, a hacker and a designer,” said GrowLab’s Len Brody. “We’re excited about this partnership with Emily Carr, students will have opportunities to make an impact in real-world projects and take away valuable experience. And, for our cohort companies, this partnership will be a compelling example of the difference good design can make.”
Led by Associate Professor Haig Armen and SIM Centre Director Kate Armstrong, the project is funded by an Applied Research and Development Grant (ARD) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
“This is an exciting initiative in which Emily Carr can strengthen ties with the startup community and advance our goals as a world leader in design,” said Armstrong. “There’s been a huge amount of interest in this project from our students, who recognize the importance of entrepreneurship and the massive impact that design has on innovation.”
Emily Carr’s research centres are communities of applied academic researchers with a common purpose. As virtual research clusters they focus on areas of research interest that may include faculty from different disciplines, and on applications where Emily Carr is making significant national and international contributions. The common purpose of the Centres is to ensure applied research activities at the University are connected to collaborators and partners especially in the private sector, and to provide
students with opportunities to work on applied projects as part of their studies.