• Category: SmartCity

Halifax Welcomes over 3,000 International Students

The blue banners hanging on the MacDonald Bridge to welcome international students brings me back to the first day I came to Halifax. 

It was on Aug 20, 2005. I landed at the Halifax international Airport around 11pm and everything was new and exciting to me.  Friendly smiles and warm greetings of “welcome to Halifax” from strangers put me at ease and made me feel right at home.

I have loved Halifax since then, and I now work as the Coordinator of the International Student Connector Program at the Partnership. I work with international students to help them expand their networks and deepen their attachment to our community. This increases their chances of finding employment in their field and building a career here in Halifax. The employers I work with benefit from connecting to skilled, and highly motivated, individuals with global perspectives and experience - helping them access new talent and tap into international markets. 

I’m so fortunate to be part of this year’s Welcome International Students Campaign, greeting 3,200 international students from over 140 countries who have come to study here.  International students bring diversity and creativity to classrooms, communities, and workplaces. They contribute $200 million to our economy annually, making Halifax a more global and competitive city. They are Halifax’s ambassadors to the rest of the world, and they will be the part of solutions to our pending labour shortages.

Top Reasons to Hire an International Student

  1. Bringing investment opportunities and connections to global markets
  2. Bringing new ideas, new perspectives and enthusiasm
  3. Canadian educated and accustomed to life here
  4. Multilingual skills and international work experience
  5. Hiring is easy and free
  6. Addressing labour market needs
  7. Contributing to our cultural diversity and strengthening our communities
  8. More people contributing to our economy

    How to Connect and Hire

    Hiring an international student or graduate is easy. International students can work in Canada on-campus, off-campus, as part of a post-secondary program, and after graduation.  Once a student has obtained a work permit, the process is the same as hiring domestic students and regular employees.

    The International Student Connector Program can connect you to international students looking to expand their networks and start a career in Halifax. By opening your business to an international student, you’ll reach across borders, find new opportunities, and help make Halifax a more diverse and welcoming city. 

    For more information on hiring international students or to become a Connector visit www.welcometoHFX.com, call 490-6000, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

     

    Jackiespic1 Jackie Guo is the Coordinator of International Student Connector Program. In addition to his work at the Partnership, Jackie is an active volunteer for Halifax United Way.

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/C3lNhyUdme8/halifax-welcomes-over-3000-international-students-.html

    • Category: SmartCity

    SmartCity Business Show - Episode 13 in Review

    Bravo! This episode of SmartCity really had me laughing. Craig Layton didn’t hold back when he took to the streets of Halifax to talk with visitors and residents. We asked the same question we’ve been asking throughout this series, “Why Halifax?” Haligonia-title-still.jpg_190

    The kind nature and approachability of residents truly showcases what it is like to live, work and play in Halifax. Simply from watching the final episode of this series of SmartCity Business Show, you can see that this holds true. Although, apart from the friendly people, Halifax certainly has a lot to offer.

    We’re building a reputation of talent, hospitality and growth, and Halifax is being noticed all around the world for these attributes. It’s no wonder why we’re so proud to call this city home. When I say I'm from Halifax, I say it proudly; when I ask a visitor what they think of Halifax, I only expect to hear great things; and when I leave to visit another city, I can’t wait to come home.

    If you want to get to know Halifax, simply take a walk along our boardwalk, through our parks or down Spring Garden Road – you will find friendly faces, inspiration, talent or an opportunity for growth in every corner. With six highly regarded universities, beautiful scenery, growing industries and a busy harbour - Halifax has it all. Craig says it best, “Can’t get much better than that!” This was a fantastic way to end the series; the voice of Halifax confirms that we truly are a smart city.

     

    Bri

    Brianna Colford, Marketing & Communications Co-op Student

    Brianna is with the Partnership on a four month work-term. She is in her final semester of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and spent the past 14 months working with Emera Inc. as a Communications Assistant. Born and raised in Halifax, Brianna enjoys the downtown atmosphere of the city she loves to call home.

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/395lvqqI9Ok/smartcity-business-show-episode-13-in-review.html

    • Category: SmartCity

    SmartCity Business Show – Episode 12 in Review

    Making connections is all about shaking hands - least that’s what I always say. Everywhere you go in Halifax, you see people achieving, innovating and growing their networks. Whether it is the Halifax Farmer’s Market, or the new Central Library, it takes the work of a community to achieve these milestones.

    Craig asked Mount Professor, Leslie Brown, what is social capital? Leslie described it as an emphasis of relationships and networks.  I couldn’t help but relate this to my co-op experience. I wouldn’t be writing this blog post if it wasn’t for the MSVU’s Co-operative Education staff connecting me with the Partnership.

    If you want to see where social capital is working for Halifax, look around!  It’s connecting our students to businesses, our businesses to investors, our investors to infrastructure. Derek Estabrook from Farmers Dairy reiterated BALLE Nova Scotia’s belief that local businesses, economies and communities will be more sustainable if we support each other - I couldn’t agree more.

     

    Brianna Colford, Marketing & Communications Co-op Student

    Brianna is with the Partnership on a four month work-term. She is in her final semester of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and spent the past 14 months working with Emera Inc. as a Communications Assistant. Born and raised in Halifax, Brianna enjoys the downtown atmosphere of the city she loves to call home.

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/ifj_4MKYgQU/smartcity-business-show-episode-12-in-review.html

    • Category: SmartCity

    SmartCity Episode 12: Social Capital

    Video: This week we visit The Hub Halifax to find out more about 'Social Capital' and it's impact on the community and businesses of the HRM. Guests include Professor Leslie Brown of Mount Saint Vincent University, Shannon MacLean of BALLE Nova Scotia and Derek Estabrook of the Farmers Dairy. 

    Read more

    • Category: SmartCity

    Post-secondary impacts smarts, health and happiness

    We know Halifax is smart – we have the numbers to prove it. But what do those numbers mean to our communities? The impact of post-secondary education on local and regional economic development can easily be linked to a number of things: the impact of direct spending, increased individual earnings and a better skilled work force. Simply put, we’re all benefiting from post-secondary education. To measure the social and cultural benefits however, is not quite as simple.

     Being home to over 30,000 students, you may not always see the positive relationship between the university system and Halifax. A study by The Association of Atlantic Universities shows that people with post-secondary degrees have a higher life expectancy, an improved quality of life and increased social status. When you compare the student population of Halifax with these positive spin-offs, we really should thank our post-secondary institutions for not only making us a smart city, but a happy, healthy city too.

    The benefits of post-secondary institutions have a domino effect that stretches out to our communities and beyond.  For instance, Dalhousie University has more than 200 charitable community service initiatives. The Dalhousie Dentistry Clinic provides dental care for seniors, students, families, refugees and many others who can’t afford these services. DAL also brings in nearly $80 million in health studies research funding each year.

    Not only are our post-secondary institutions helping to improve the health of our communities, they are also providing support and resources to local businesses and organizations. Mount Saint Vincent University’s Centre for Women in Business provides entrepreneurs with the tools they need to get going. Not only that, the Centre also showcases outstanding women entrepreneurs at their annual awards ceremony.

    These positive spin-offs are felt by all ages throughout our communities. The presence of our post-secondary institutions promotes education at a young age and gets students thinking about their future. Saint Mary’s University strongly believes in the researchers and innovators of tomorrow and hosted the 2009 Team Nova Scotia Showcase for the winners of the year’s regional high school science fairs.

    These contributions are only a mere fraction of the amount of community support that is provided by the Nova Scotia university system. Being a volunteer myself, I take pride in my efforts to get involved and lend a hand where needed. And I’m not the only one; more than 17,000 members of the region’s university community were involved in charitable undertakings in 2009.

    For a working student, there are always opportunity costs to committing a Saturday to volunteering, but whether it is standing on the side of the road collecting change for Shinerama or the simplicity of generating a smile, the outcomes certainly outweigh the costs.

    Dalhousie has between 5,001-10,000 volunteers alone. So maybe the next time you hear a ‘celebration,’ think that maybe these students are celebrating a victory, or the success of an event. For Atlantic Canada, education surrounds us; it is instilled in us at young age and is supported and promoted throughout our adult lives. These social and cultural benefits are what bring universities and communities together.

     

    Halifax is Canada’s smart city.  We have one of the largest concentrations of universities and colleges in North America and one of the best educated workforces in all of Canada.  This series explores and celebrates the numerous post-secondary assets in Halifax; the sector’s impact on our economy and community; research and commercialization; and partnerships between post-secondary and business.

    This post was written by Brianna Colford,  the Partnership's Marketing & Communications Co-op Student. She is in her final semester of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University and spent the past 14 months working with Emera Inc. as a Communications Assistant. Born and raised in Halifax, Brianna enjoys the downtown atmosphere of the city she loves to call home.

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/7USb2yUK4Lw/more-than-just-a-smart-city.html

    • Category: SmartCity

    Bringing Research to Life

    Transforming great ideas and innovations into commercially viable products can be challenging without the right supports, connections and partnerships.    

    Bringing Research to Life Recognizing this issue, Atlantic Canadian universities partnered six years ago to create Springboard Atlantic, a strategic network that maximizes the commercial potential of the research coming out of the region’s universities, and also links higher education expertise and facilities with the region’s industries.

    Today the successes are evident and Springboard has expanded and evolved to include 19 university and college partners with an increased emphasis on industry collaborations that will bring innovations to the marketplace. Springboard participants include about 50 professionals who have a mix of industrial and research expertise - typically staff or heads of university or college technology /industry liaison offices.

    Two local success stories – one from Dalhousie University and the other from St. Mary’s University – demonstrate the Springboard effect.

     

    Just-in-time-Support

    MARC Dalhousie University’s Measurement of Accuracy when Resin Curing system (MARC) is a good example of Springboard Atlantic’s commercialization mission in action.  

    Developed by Dr. Richard Price, a practicing dentist and professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie, and his assistant, Christopher Felix, MARC provides a solution to a problem that has troubled dentists for decades – getting just the right amount of energy from a bright blue UV light to cure and harden filling resin. MARC solves the problem by using custom-designed software to measure the light output, factor in variables like tooth location and the resin type, and calculate the precise output.

    Dr. Price knew that MARC could be a very valuable instrument but he didn’t know all the steps to get it into the hands of dental professionals.  He approached Dalhousie University’s Office of Industry Liaison and Innovation, and Director Kevin Dunn was able to mobilize funding quickly from Springboard just in time to produce high-quality prototypes to take to a major U.S. dental conference.  Springboard also supported the formation of a new venture, Blue Light Analytics, to develop and market MARC.

     

    Expecting the Unexpected

    Bringing Research to Life Retired St. Mary’s University economics professor Andy Harvey, spent over 30 years studying the movements of people in cities.  The Halifax Space-Time Activity Research (STAR) project began in 2005 with Dr. Harvey as the Principle Investigator. It collected data from more than 2,000 households across HRM using GPS technology to learn more about neighborhoods, including the nature, timing and location of the activities of residents.

    With ACOA funding received through its Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) program, the STAR project team developed a complex suite of geographic information systems (GIS) software that had serious commercial potential.  That’s where Nova Scotia-based IT solutions company Britech Information Systems came in.

    Britech recognized the potential of STAR right away. With assistance from Springboard Atlantic and St. Mary’s Industry Liaison Office, Britech is packaging STAR as a traffic-flow management system for the trucking and transportation business and is considering other commercial applications. The suite of products is being sold under the brand name Nomad.

    The partnership between Saint Mary’s and Britech exemplifies a level of collaboration that benefits both organizations.

     
    Springboard’s Strengths and Success Factors

    • identifying new ideas and concepts that have real potential as products or services
    • making  direct connection between industry and higher education research and facilities
    • being at the front end of the innovative process
    • working with a number of innovation partners, including the federal research funding councils (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC), the National Research Council, and Innovacorp
    • marketing and licensing technologies to industry and entrepreneurs
    • supporting the creation of new companies based on platform technologies

       

      Halifax is Canada’s smart city.  We have one of the largest concentrations of universities and colleges in North America and one of the best educated workforces in all of Canada.  This series explores and celebrates the numerous post-secondary assets in Halifax; the sector’s impact on our economy and community; research and commercialization; and partnerships between post-secondary and business.

      This post was contributed by Springboard’s Central Office Team in Halifax, located in the InnovaCorp Enterprise Centre, at a new building on the Dalhousie Campus.. For information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/-FLrD8cC8Mw/bringing-research-to-life.html

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