CIRPÉE's New Aims: Internationalization and Bringing Research and Society Closer Together

May 27, 2008

CIRPÉE—the Inter-university Centre on Risk, Economic Policies and Employment—continues to move forward and has set new objectives for internationalization and for bringing research and society closer together. Its new director, Michel Normandin, a full professor at HEC Montréal’s Institute of Applied Economics, is enthusiastically looking forward to his three-year term, confident that the Centre can build on its assets and raise its profile on the national and international scenes

Recently, CIRPÉE was very favourably ranked in the FQRSC1 strategic grouping program and obtained more than $1.5 million in funding for 2008-2014. With its critical mass of researchers and strong scientific reputation six years after it was created, the Center has now set higher itself objectives, in line with the new funding structure of the FQRSC program.

In the near future, CIRPÉE therefore intends to conclude 15 partnerships with organizations with which it already has agreements in principle and, in many cases, has already worked with. These partnerships will involve universities for the internationalization component. The network of partners to bring research and society closer together will consist of organizations, transfer centres and government institutions.

“CIRPÉE is the only centre of excellence in its field in Quebec,” explains Mr. Normandin. “It currently has 43 regular researchers, as well as associate members, professionals, guest researchers and others. Today, we’re ready to coordinate a network of high-profile partners to ensure productive scientific collaboration. This way, we’ll increase our impact in research and training in our areas of expertise, to the benefit of graduate students. We will also have a greater impact on people in the field by stimulating dialogue with economic and social players.”

A wide-ranging program of activities

In the area of internationalization, CIRPÉE and its partners will be organizing annual conferences that will address most themes in its five areas of research. The first conference, which took place in February, focused on economic development. It was presented jointly with BREAD, the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, the most prominent international grouping of researchers in development economics. Programs with guest researchers, student exchanges and co-direction of doctoral students will also be introduced. In addition, graduate students will be invited to a series of seminars that will explore studies of risk management and financial markets by researchers within the network.

Four types of activities will serve to bring research and society closer together. Major conferences will take place twice yearly: the first, which examined prosperity and productivity, was held in January. As well, specialized symposiums on financial and real risks, social and employment policies, and international development will be presented. A scholarship program will be created so that students can complete research and study internships with the partners. The CIRPÉE newsletter, published twice yearly, will become a newsletter for transfer and liaison in order to better publicize the achievements of the Centre’s members to the professionals in the field, the general public and the media.

CIRPÉE’s five research areas are:

CIRPÉE’s three founding institutions are Université Laval, Université du Québec à Montréal and HEC Montréal, which will take turns assuming the directorship. Professor Michel Normandin is CIRPÉE’s first director from HEC Montréal. In six years, the number of regular researchers from HEC Montréal has increased from six to 14. Most of these professors are with HEC’s Institute of Applied Economics and Department of Finance.

  1. FQRSC: Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture

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