Challenges in interdisciplinary research: leadership, funding and industry needs

Moderator: François Gagnon

With expanding R&D activities there come state-of-the-art methodologies, industrial problems and interdisciplinary research opportunities that are not necessarily well communicated between researchers, developer and end-users in different disciplines. On the other hand most recent technical advances are of broad systemic nature and this has been recognized by funding agencies for a number of years. For example, Canada's research funding agency the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council has specific interdisciplinary committees to evaluate proposals and even a top prize for these projects. However, researchers are most often recognized by association with a specific discipline and it is hard to find a leader with a broad expertise. This panel will address some of the key dilemmas observed in the academic and industrial R&D, and will attempt to discuss various considerations researchers and executives should give when planning or pursuing their R&D activities. The panel members will share with the audience their key decision factors in problem identification and problem solving, and will also describe the challenges they faced, if any, upon their decisions.

  • Location: Grand Salon
  • Time: 9:45am to 11:15am - April 30, 2012


  • Eniko Megyeri-Lawless - NSERC
  • Andrea Benoit - NSERC
  • Patrick Champagne - Esterline
  • Alessandro Astolfi - Imperial College London
  • Vahid Tarokh - Harvard Uinversity
  • David Plant - McGill Uinversity


       Important Dates:

  • Tutorial/workshop proposals (extended) December 9, 2011
  • Notification of acceptance: February 24, 2012
  • Author's Registration: March 9, 2012 Match 16, 2012
  • Advance Registration: March 30, 2012