I may be just getting old so allow an old geezer a reflection. When I was finishing high school and doing the obligatory review of potential universities I distinctly remember UNB positioning itself as one of Canada’s top computer science schools (this is circa mid 1980s).
Economic development usually happens in cycles and it seems to me that many of the top universities in the C.S. area (Waterloo comes to mind) back in the 1980s were catalyts for the development of a significant IT clusters in their communities.
Did UNB play this catalytic role in the creation of a large IT cluster in Fredericton? I know there are a few firms such as CARIS but are there dozens of world class companies emerging from the research at UNB?
I really don’t know the answer here. Just asking the question. Someone remarked to me offhand the other day that UNB CS has been woeful at spinning out IT startups and leveraging research. That same person suggested that something like half of all UNB CS grads over the last 20 years have left New Brunswick to work elsewhere.
Anybody know more about this?
You, of course, realize my interest. I think that universities should be critical players in a community or province’s economic development. If we want to build a cluster in – you pick the topic – UNB should be at the front end of the value proposition for that cluster – churning out students, setting up research chairs, attracting global companies as research partners, incubating spinoff companies, playing a key role selling the community/province to investors, etc.
I guess all this stuff I was told about UNB and its computer science faculty troubled me.