A bold approach​ to partnerships​

Deeper community integration​

A bold approach​ to partnerships​


The University of Calgary has released its plan, Unstoppable, to keep its Eyes High ambitions to be a great research university at the heart of a resilient community.

One of the big ideas within this plan is a bold approach to partnerships and innovation at the University that will see more – and deeper – community and industry partnerships. These partnerships will advance learning objectives, further our research enterprise, improve our business operations and generate revenue – all within a University framework that ensures academic integrity and community value.

The University of Calgary has always been deeply integrated with our community. This integration and sharing of expertise has provided significant benefits – everything from guest lecturers to the ability to test academic theory in an industrial setting.

This commitment to integration and results – seen in everything from co-op programs to a water research facility integrated in a City waste treatment centre - is part of what makes the University of Calgary special.

These partnerships have often been ad hoc and have often occurred in spite of systems and processes, not because of them.

We will be building a University of Calgary playbook for community partnership. It will give scholars, departments and faculties the tools and guidance needed to foster cooperation and further integrate with the community in a way that provides value to both sides. This approach provides a roadmap from one-off collaborations to institution-wide integrated partnerships.

UCalgary Partner Playbook

Central to this approach is the further development of our innovation ecosystem, partnership training and a partnership playbook that explains how – and under what terms – partnerships can be struck in a way that adds value to the university while protecting our academic integrity.


How we get stronger partnerships

All actions are subject to further development based on community feedback and University of Calgary governance processes.

Develop the “UCalgary Partnership Playbook”​

Develop: Sep - Dec 2020         
Governance: Winter 2021

Secure fully integrated industry and community partnerships​

Develop: Sep-Dec 2020         
Implement: Spring/Summer 2021


Pursue integrated partnerships and recognize scholars for engaging in industry/community partnerships.​

Grow innovation ecosystem​

Develop: Ongoing
Implement: Ongoing


  • More strongly position the Hunter Hub in the innovation space. ​
  • Establish Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership.
  • Foster ​and incentivize commercialization through programming in UIQ, etc.​

We have heard that one of the hesitations scholars have with increasing the number of partnerships is uncertainty as to what is or is not appropriate behaviour. This document – and accompanying training – will define the rules of engagement through which partnerships can happen at the University of Calgary and give guidelines for transparency, what is or is not an appropriate transaction and how benefits should be distributed. We will be removing unnecessary barriers to the partnerships and providing more individual freedom to explore and curate partnerships.

The approach to partnerships also includes the curation of the startup environment at the University of Calgary. We will more strongly position the Hunter Hub in the innovation space and support its work through a Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership.

What this means for you

For students, such partnerships mean more internship and post-graduate employment opportunities, more current and relevant curricula, more exposure to industry or community experts and – ultimately – more out of your time at the university.

For faculty and staff, these partnerships mean funding, validation of research, access to the knowledge that rests outside of our walls and the opportunity to bring our innovations to the world.

For our community, it means easier, deeper access to the expertise of the university, more ability to provide feedback on programs and connections to new graduates.

How we will measure success

Measurements under consideration or development 

  • number of integrated partnerships
  • number of new enterprises created by students, faculty and alumni
  • percentage of faculty and staff who have been trained on the “Partnership Playbook”
  • percentage of students, faculty, staff and broader community who agree that the university emphasizes partnerships in its approach to scholarship