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Startups

University of Waterloo releases landmark report on innovation

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Waterloo - If you’ve ever used a smartphone, worn contact lenses or been inspired to quit smoking, innovation from the University of Waterloo has had a hand in changing your life.

A landmark report, released yesterday, reveals Waterloo’s impact on the global innovation landscape and defines the path for the University to cement its position as the leading innovation university in the country.

The State of the University Report report comes as Maclean’s Magazine ranks Waterloo the top university in Canada for innovation for the 24th consecutive year.

“Innovation is in the DNA of this University. Our founders redefined higher education as experiential, entrepreneurial and partnered with industry,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “We continue to define innovation today for Canada’s university system. This University is providing the talent and ideas that are fuelling one of the world’s top innovation ecosystems.”

In another recently released study, Compass – a San Francisco-based company that provides reporting and benchmarking software to startups around the world – recently named Waterloo in the top 5 startup ecosystems for talent. The Compass study cites the University as the reason that the regional ecosystem ranks high in talent quality, availability, and cost.

The University’s Defining Innovation report reveals that co-op students at Waterloo earned more than $250 million in 2014/2015 and that 182 entrepreneurs from the University have raised $2.6 billion in venture funding worldwide. In fact, PitchBook ranks Waterloo the top school in Canada for venture-capital backed entrepreneurs.

In addition to delivering unmatched experiential education and exposure to leading entrepreneurship programs such as Velocity, students at Waterloo have access to some of Canada’s premier research faculty members. The State of the University report shines a spotlight on researchers who are working on innovations that will shape the world’s future. These include:

Professor Paul Spagnuolo, who has discovered a lipid in avocados that combats acute myeloid leukemia by targeting the root of the disease – leukemia stem cells.

Professor Zhou Wang, who is developing next-generation ways to measure and enhance how we view the quality of video and who won an Engineering Emmy® Award for developing computational models that accurately and consistently predict how people view image and video quality.

Professor Zhongwei Chen, who is developing technology to make batteries for everything from portable electronic devices to electric cars substantially smaller and longer-lasting.

The Maclean’s annual ranking of Canadian universities saw Waterloo move up one spot to second overall in the Comprehensive category in addition to leading the innovation category.

Maclean’s ranks 49 universities in Canada across five broad-based performance indicators. Echoing the University’s performance in international rankings, Waterloo ranked at the top of Maclean’s faculty and research performance indicators.

In September, Waterloo rose into the top 200 universities in the world placing 179 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and rose 17 spots to 152 in the world according to UK firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). QS also ranks Waterloo 20th in the world for its work in Mathematics, 24th for Computer Science and 48th in the world for Geography. The Academic Ranking of World Universities also ranked Waterloo 47th in the Engineering field.

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