Researcher working in lab

Research underway at Canadian universities today will change the way we live tomorrow.

Research2Reality, a new social media and television campaign by six of Canada’s top research institutions — including the University of Waterloo — aims to bring high-impact university research to the living rooms and laptops of millions of Canadians.

“Right now many Canadians don’t understand the scope of cutting-edge work being done in our backyards,” says Research2Reality co-founder and award-winning professor Molly Shoichet. “This initiative will bridge that gap between researchers and the public.”

The campaign, which will grow to include six public service announcements airing on the Discovery and Discovery Science channels, looks at the ways Canadian research impacts issues that matter deeply to Canadians, including health, technology, natural resources and sustainable energy.

Raymond Laflamme, director of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing, shines a light on the remarkable potential of quantum information science and quantum devices in one of the first-to-air public service announcements.

Philippe Van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in ecohydrology, is profiled in another, focused water research as a key to our future health.

In addition to the television spots, which began airing on May 11, the campaign features interviews with more than 50 Canadian researchers discussing the long-term potential of their work — including nine from the University of Waterloo. The interviews videos will be rolled out in stages over the coming months, supported by a Canada-wide social media campaign.

Founded by Molly Shoichet, Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto, and Mike MacMillan, founder and producer of Lithium Studios Productions, Research2Reality’s founding partners include University of Waterloo, University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, McMaster University, the University of Toronto and Western University — along with the Ontario Government and Discovery Networks. Discovery Science is the official media partner.

Waterloo researcher participating in Research2Reality:

  • Raymond Laflamme, Faculty of Science, Executive Director, Institute for Quantum Computing 
    Quantum computers and quantum information systems
  • Philippe Van Cappellen, Faculty of Science, Canada Excellence Research Chair, ecohydrology​
    Ecohydrology — when groundwater, surface water and land features meet
  • Chris Eliasmith, Faculty of Arts (philosophy) and Faculty of Engineering, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience
    Creator of SPAUN — world’s largest virtual model of the human brain
  • Melanie Campbell, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, School of Optometry and Vision Science, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.
    Developing a definitive test for Alzheimer’s, based on the presence of certain proteins at the back of the retina
  • Frank Gu, Faculty of Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.
    Advanced targeted drug delivery systems. Use of nanomaterials in water treatment to remove pollutants.
  • Michele Mosca, Faculty of Mathematics, Deputy Director, Institute for Quantum Computing
    Quantum cryptography
  • Daniela O'Neill, Faculty of Arts, Director, Centre for Child Studies
    Early childhood language development
  • Jatin Nathwani, Faculty of Engineering, Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy
    Meeting future energy requirements for the world
  • Chris Bauch, Faculty of Mathematics
    Applied mathematics to real-world problems, including infectious disease and ecology