• Category: SmartCity

A+ for innovation and industry partnerships

At Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), we take the “community” in our name to heart. We serve the province through a network of 13 community-based campuses and offer about 120 programs in five academic schools – including nearly 4,200 students at three HRM campuses. These programs reflect the labour market needs and opportunities of the provincial economy and set graduates on a course for career success.

As an organization, we believe that life-long learning is the key to sustainable prosperity. Likewise, the College must continue to evolve the programs and services we provide. Collaboration is essential. NSCC works closely with industry partners and experts to help us develop and deliver educational opportunities that align with the advanced skills they need to compete.


Innovation  is critical to placing Nova Scotia at the leading edge of the global economy. It increases productivity, supports emerging sectors and responds to our changing environment. NSCC’s applied learning model has students collaborating with businesses and communities every day to find solutions to real-world challenges. NSCC research scientists are mapping coastal flood zones, designing tools to help businesses become more efficient, creating devices that improve mobility and quality of life for individuals – all while fostering the thrill of discovery in the students working at their sides.

At NSCC, we’re also evolving the way we deliver our programs to meet more learners where they are in their lives and in their careers. That means designing flexible programs that blend online and applied learning; it means delivering customized training to industries and communities when and where it’s needed. 

We also know that learning does not begin and end with a credential. It happens over a lifetime and in many different ways. We work with students to transfer what they’ve learned through work experiences, volunteer activities and on-the-job training to the NSCC program they’ve entered – giving credit where credit is due. Our students also participate in service-learning, which integrates active, meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. Service-learning is often featured in the portfolios that every NSCC graduate must build as part of their studies. Employers will see more than a skill-set in an NSCC graduate – they’ll see someone with a demonstrated record of team work, initiative and adaptability.

More and more in the 21st century we need educated citizens who have the skills, knowledge and imagination to ignite the possibilities before them – making this happen is not the responsibility of one, but rather a community.


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.


Don Bureaux Picture Don Bureaux is the President of Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). He is an experienced leader dedicated to the education of adult learners throughout Nova Scotia.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/UDM9fI2wjCw/setting-the-course-for-success-.html

  • Category: SmartCity

Post-Secondary Education: Cornerstone of Our Knowledge Economy

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.

Universities and colleges are economic drivers of communities where they are located.  This is well understood in the United States with its Ivy League schools, private universities, research institutes, and business incubators but less understood in Canada.  Colleagues of mine in the United States with a major university nearby consider themselves lucky because with a bit of work these institutions become growth engines. 

In Canada for example, some observers think of universities as cost centres, forgetting that the public contribution to universities has been falling for decades in real terms and that more and more, they are funding themselves through tuition and externally financed research.   Local governments may at times think of them as a nuisance because of the occasional exuberance of youth or parking or traffic issues, forgetting the residential and commercial tax base that post-secondary institutions shore up.


Drivers of Prosperity & Innovation

Fact is, these institutions grow economies in unique ways.  A 2011 economic impact analysis focused on Dalhousie University points this out in specific ways.   These institutions are big employers, in Dalhousie’s case 5,400 jobs on-campus support another 10,000 jobs off campus. Dal pays close to $300 million in direct wages driving big volumes of personal spending and investment in Halifax.  Add to this, capital spending, much of which flows to local companies and the impact is huge.

Students also spend money, in Dalhousie’s case; $88 million is spent every year by 17,000 students.  Universities also provide services to the community…in the case of Dalhousie…a whole range of medical services drawn from health practitioners in training. Dal’s dentistry school serves, 12,000 people. Medical residents and student nurses keep our hospitals running.

Universities in particular also draw vital research dollars into the community.  Dal alone drew in $132 million in research last year.  This has huge potential benefits for spin-off activity and new business start-up. Big Nova Scotia head-officed companies like Ocean Nutrition Canada and ImmunoVaccine Technologies had their start in university partnerships. 

Talent Magnets

Students on Hill Perhaps the most important role universities and the community college plays in Halifax is their role as talent magnets.  About 40,000 post-secondary students are currently in classrooms, labs, coop terms, and apprentice postings in Halifax.  These emerging professionals represent a vital competitive advantage for business in Halifax.  Because of these institutions, Halifax business have access to one of the best and deepest labour pools in the country. As the impact of demographic change washes over our economy this resource will become even more important.  However, this advantage doesn’t belong to us by right. As the competition for skilled people heats up companies from across the country and around the world will be trying to capture this talent. 

So post-secondary education is clearly a cornerstone of the Halifax economy, the driver of knowledge based industry and our biggest and best competitive advantage.  These places of higher learning have never been more important to us and their value is on the rise. What we do with it is up to us.

Universities Economic Impact: Fast Facts

Atlantic Canadian universities’ direct contribution to GDP was $2.6 billion in 2008 (a 31% increase since 2004). In Nova Scotia alone, our 11 universities (six of which are in Halifax) contribute:

  • $1.2 billion to GDP
  • Employ 8,079 people (over 6,000 jobs in Halifax)
  • Generate $220 million in tax revenues
  • Responsible for 50% of provincial R&D
  • Generate over $860 million in personal income
  • Attract more than $150 million in annual funding 

* Figures from The Association of Atlantic Universities, The Economic Impact of Universities in Atlantic Provinces: The Current View 2006 - 08,  May 2010



Fred Morley is the Executive Vice President and Chief Economist at the Greater Halifax Partnership.


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/LhVRrTnfZ50/post-secondary-education-in-halifax-cornerstone-of-our-knowledge-economy.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Business Show – Episode 11 in Review

With over 30,000 students in Halifax, it’s hard not to notice the strong post secondary presence. Halifax is home to six universities, which is not only a selling feature for local students, but international students too. In this episode, Dr. Colin Dodds, President of Saint Mary’s University, talks about how this is a real advantage for Halifax.

Craig Layton asked the question, what keeps students here? And I think Dr. Dodds said it best, “There is everything here that you could possibly want.” The academic programs, faculties and support staff along with our mixture of urban and rural lifestyles are just a few things that not only attract students to Halifax, but keep them here as well.

Episode 11 in Review - Picture

Being a student myself, I know firsthand that Halifax has everything to offer. The Public Relations program at Mount Saint Vincent University is what really sold me. I’m currently on my third work term and I’ve already made many connections with businesses and experienced professionals all over the city. It’s the close connections and opportunities like this that make Halifax home-sweet-home to me.

Look for the next episode of SmartCity Business Show as Craig takes it to the streets to hear what Haligonians have to say!


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/ffabcXbDBUo/smartcity-business-show-episode-11-in-review.html

  • Category: SmartCity

Our Smart Ocean

Living in Halifax, it’s pretty hard to go a couple days without catching a glimpse of the ocean. Our history and culture are carved from the ocean. Yet there’s much we don’t know about it.

Aquatron 023
Recently, the Halifax Research Marine Institute (HRMI) was launched. While it’s not a physical building, the institute is a powerhouse of super smart people working in the ocean sector.  The new institute will connect global, national and regional companies with talent, expertise and infrastructure, including world-class facilities like Dalhousie University’s Aquatron Laboratory. 

This is a huge advantage for Halifax because there are several federal research labs, multiple universities and a growing private sector focused on oceans. The HRMI is about building partnerships to expand and attract additional research capacity, inform public policy and help build a stronger, more robust commercial sector in marine products.

Aquatron That’s how the HRMI will benefit the increasing number of private sector companies who are about to discover even more business opportunities. Companies such as Ocean Nutrition (the world's largest supplier of Omega-3 EPA/DHA ingredients) and Secunda Marine Services who manages a fleet of offshore support vessels servicing oil and gas companies worldwide.

The Province of Nova Scotia recognizes this and committed $1.75 million over the next 5 years to the HRMI. Already, oceans activity brings $5 billion in revenue to Nova Scotia, and that number is about to grow. As Martha Crago, Dalhousie University’s Vice President of Research says, “it will help increase exports, grow high value jobs, increase GDP and grow the economy.”Aquatron 016

Halifax has one the highest concentrations of PhD’s in marine science in the world. Nova Scotia is home to the largest concentration of oceans researchers in Canada. Since my childhood dream of being an oceanographer will never be realized, I look forward to the innovation and opportunities that lay ahead for the ocean sector.

Watch a visit to Dalhousie's Aquatron Laboratory in a recent episode of SmartCity Business Show.

Our Smart Ocean Maria McGowan is the Internet and Marketing Specialist at Greater Halifax Partnership. She's always on the look out for contributors to this blog. Interested?


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/K5j6loqFz6E/our-smart-ocean.html

  • Category: SmartCity

Fresh perspective, determined work ethic

Chances are slim you will hear an immigrant say they are looking for ‘work/life balance’ in an interview.  Our Canadian-born graduating sons and daughters may be saying that, but immigrants?  Not so much.

In the past several months, I have had the opportunity to interview six immigrants who have found gainful employment through the Partnership’s Halifax Connector Program.   All of them – students or mature adults – are articulate, thoughtful and smart.  Their command of the English language, both written and oral, is astonishing.  They learned their English at school, in the same manner our children learn French (not immersion) as a core subject.  I wonder if my children, after core French, could study Commerce in French and then emerge fluent enough to land a job in France?  Perhaps.  That not only takes smarts but a wonderful quality called perseverance.

Sisley, who appeared earlier in this series, said, “It’s expensive for us to come here so we have to study hard.  Due to the high costs of being an international student, a student arriving here takes that seriously and plans to succeed.”   And that work ethic follows her right to an employer.

Zahra, another international student, was so dedicated to learning English before she left Tehran that she studied it at the language school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday to Friday.   She would then return home to study every night from 3 to 11 p.m. for 90 days before writing the internationally recognized Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

What employer wouldn’t want this kind of dedication on the job?

“Many immigrants leave their countries simply because they want to use their education and experience in a nation that welcomes diversity,” says Margie Casallas, the Partnership’s Coordinator, Immigration Employer Support Program.

Being welcomed means immigrants bring another wonderful quality to the table about living and working here that we too often take for granted:  Gratitude for what we have.  Things like fresh air, open spaces, and that it’s not too crowded. 

The people I interviewed are deeply thankful for the new beginnings Halifax has offered them.  Being here is good.  Being here with a job aligned with one’s expertise and education is better.  Being here with a meaningful career and welcoming communities – at work and in the neighbourhood – is best.

We know that ‘like hires like’.  In 2011, stretch.  Go beyond your comfort zone.  Become a Connector and share your network.  Better yet, interview an immigrant for an opportunity, one aligned with their expertise and education.  They will bring their experience and more – their perseverance, tireless work ethic and gratitude for a new and fresh beginning.

Kelly1blog Kelly Hennessey, ABC, is an accredited public relations writer and consultant.

You can find Kelly at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/kellyhennesseyabc or contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmartcityBlog/~3/sTJmaL_lJBc/fresh-perspective-determined-work-ethic.html

  • Category: SmartCity

SmartCity Episode 11: Post-Secondary Education

Video: The SmartCity team go to St Marys to meet Dr J. Colin Doods who is the President of St Marys University. Host Craig Layton asks the big questions. Where does the money come from? How do we get talent into the city? And how do we keep it here?

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