The research is aimed at supporting Toronto’s pandemic recovery
Ryerson University joined seven other universities and colleges as part of a COVID-19 research collaboration with all three levels of government, Mayor John Tory announced Monday.
The partnership brings together students and faculty from Ryerson University, Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College, OCAD University, Seneca College, the University of Toronto and York University. The eight institutions will work on eight research projects, seven of which Ryerson will be involved in.
“From the early days of this pandemic, Canada’s universities and colleges have stood up to support our country’s recovery and restart efforts,” said Mohamed Lachemi, president of Ryerson University. “This unique partnership will be a role model for collaboration between public and private sector organizations and will provide new avenues for faculty and students to help support the COVID-19 recovery through important and urgent research.”
The pandemic created a need for research and innovation to understand its impact on the city, said Tory, adding he was pleased to help create a partnership with the colleges and universities to meet those needs.
Not only will Ryerson be involved in all but one of the eight projects, it’s also the sole partner on four projects, more than any other university.
Ryerson will study socio-demographic characteristics of COVID-19 rates to discover inequities in resources, as well as economic and labour trends to predict what effects the “new normal” will have on Toronto in the long term. It will also study N95 mask decontamination to help conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), in addition to the greenhouse gas emissions of a city of home-based workers and their impact on climate change. That study is coupled with a look at the impact of teleconferencing on employee performance in the hope that incentivizing greenhouse gas reductions can be tied to higher employee performance.
Ryerson and the University of Toronto will together tackle changes in air pollution and air quality to figure out how the shift in transportation, energy use and industrial and business operations are affecting the city’s climate change action plan.
Ryerson will partner with Humber College, Seneca College, the University of Toronto and York University to study the digital divide in the pandemic to help eliminate barriers to access at a time when most basic services have moved online.
Ryerson and York University have already completed a study on the disruption of PPE equipment in the face of the global pandemic, which found that Toronto did well overall in managing its supply of PPE in the face of a global shortage.