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Partnering with the University of Waterloo

Brian Zubert  Director, Thomson Reuters Labs, Waterloo Region

Brian Zubert  Director, Thomson Reuters Labs, Waterloo Region

One of the main reasons I joined Thomson Reuters Labs a little over a year ago was the commitment to engaging with the ecosystem. We take the view that innovation can be sourced both through internal development and through external partnership.

Earlier this year, we discussed an engagement with a startup working in open data, and just recently announced a wide-ranging collaboration with the University of Waterloo. The opportunity to partner with academic institutions and the business leaders of tomorrow to conduct world-class research and help grow enterprises is exactly what I signed up for.

Growing academic partnership

The collaboration with the University of Waterloo spans many faculties and serves many goals. Through it, we’ve established the foundation for what looks to be a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between our two institutions. We’ve been involved with some of the University’s marquee events, including the Velocity Fund Finals, the Waterloo Innovation Summit, and Waterloo Hacks. And together through this new collaboration, we’ve taken some exciting steps and have set some ambitious goals.

The highlight of our recent engagement is a Thomson Reuters-funded Research Chair in Data Cleaning from Theory to Practice, a research position that will result in more than 5 years of research in integrating and curating data, increasing accuracy, and ultimately helping businesses make better use of their data.

Providing real-life learnings

The other major commitment we made to the school was in providing students and researchers at the University’s Faculty of Mathematics and the School of Accounting and Finance at Waterloo with access to Thomson Reuters Eikon (our desktop and mobile solution for financial analysis), giving them access to a tool of the trade and the opportunity to put financial theory into practice before they enter the workforce.

We’re also jointly collaborating on the Problem Lab, the brainchild of the University of Waterloo’s top economics professor Larry Smith and delivered in partnership with the University’s startup accelerator, Velocity. The Problem Lab bridges a common challenge facing students entering into entrepreneurship (not having exposure to real-life problems truly worth solving) and a common challenge facing industry (they can’t possibly pursue every opportunity brought to them), creating the potential to grow a startup, and potential business partner, from the ground up.

Additional collaborations

Other ways we’re collaborating? We’re working together on research in the field of e-discovery, on three capstone projects for Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) and Master of Digital Experience Innovation (MDEI) programs, along with continuing our sponsorship of the Waterloo Innovation Summit again this year.

Rounding out the engagement is Thomson Reuters Labs™ – Waterloo Region’s participation in the University of Waterloo’s famed co-op program, hiring both undergrad and graduate level students for semester-long work terms, fulfilling roles in data science and startup ecosystem management, as well as hiring full time data scientists both in the Lab and in the new Thomson Reuters Technology Centre opening in Toronto.

These are the kinds of partnerships that can make a real impact both in the near term and in the long term – it’s exactly what was promised when I first joined, and it’s exactly what we delivered.

Learn more

Visit Innovation @ to learn more about how we are pairing technology with human expertise at Thomson Reuters Labs™.