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International recognition for District 3

Concordia’s District 3 Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship wins two awards in Brussels
September 29, 2014
By Laurence Miall

For 20 years, the International Partnership Network (IPN), which brings together education, business and community partnerships worldwide, has been encouraging collaborative learning and global networking.

Its international conference, held in Brussels on September 10-12, provided an ideal venue for Concordia’s District 3 Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to showcase its strengths.

Carmela Cucuzzella, an assistant professor in the Department of Design and Computational Arts, and a long-time District 3 collaborator, was the university’s ambassador in Brussels. “This was a very important opportunity for District 3 because it was a recognition of our mandate,” says Cucuzzella.

Carmela Cucuzzella, with the two awards District 3 won in Brussels Carmela Cucuzzella, with the two awards District 3 won in Brussels. | Photo by Global Best

Over 80 other participants from around the world also took part in the two-and-a-half day proceedings. District 3 clinched two awards: the Thematic winner for North America Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills and Overall Thematic winner for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills.

“I was thrilled with the result,” says Cucuzzella. “And so was everyone who is a part of District 3. It’s a real validation that not only does District 3 help nurture business excellence, but that the organization model itself is a global leader.”

Deborah Dysart-Gale, the Provost’s Fellow for Innovation, as well as the Chair of the Centre for Engineering in Society, helped bring District 3 to this auspicious moment many months ago when she and District 3 Director Xavier-Henri Hervé first entered the competition at the suggestion of Provost Benoit Bacon.

She explains, "We realized that District 3's focus on student demand for experiential learning and innovation makes it a strong contender for recognition in innovation, creative partnerships and student entrepreneurship.”

The evolution of that idea has led to District 3 collaborating with approximately 100 entrepreneurs and assisting 50 start-ups, three of which have led to full-scale enterprises that are active today.

“It is always inspiring to work with District 3,” says Cucuzzella. “As the Centre continues to grow and prosper, I’m very optimistic that we’ll continue to transform the educational experience for many students.”

Find out more about District 3.

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