By Dr. Frederick Peters, Visiting Scholar at CITY
The City Institute at York University (CITY) accepted an invitation to join an international consortium of scholars and area experts to answer one of the Migration Calls of the EC Horizon 2020 program in a project called “Innovation for Inclusive Migrant Integration: Adaptive Public Service Support Platform,” or, “Im-NOVATE,” for short. Linda Peake, Director at CITY recognized this instantly as a fantastic opportunity for our institute to foster collaboration across the Atlantic, teaming up researchers and grad students at City with colleagues in Istanbul, Athens, Seville, London, and Brussels. City Insitute affiliate Professor Ranu Basu gave the team major bench-strength. Our EU based colleagues recognized the Canadian experience as a valuable comparison-point to efforts made around migrant settlement and integration in Europe. The EC Horizon 2020 program partnered with the Canadian Social Science research granting body, the SSHRC to support Canadian scholars in forming vital partnerships of their own with Europe based colleagues on important projects for all concerned.
The aim of Im-NOVATE is two-part: first, to understand recent migrant experience in Europe and Canada and where information and communication technology (ICT) has proven useful to efforts of the migrants towards integration into their new societies; and second, to develop – from that understanding – more useful tools, leading practices and areas where public services and migrant support (including social entrepreneurial support to assist migrants) could become more helpful through the assistance of ICT. The main objective is to support building a new generation of public services where governments, NGOs, entrepreneurial immigrants and host communities are empowered through technologies.
Thanks to the great support of York University’s Office of the Dean, LAPS, and the Office of Research Services, the application was signed, sealed, delivered, like in the song.