Nipissing partnering in delivery of new micro-credential addressing knowledge gaps in growing neurotech industry
North Bay, ON – Nipissing University is pleased to partner in the delivery of a new program led by Queen’s University designed to address knowledge gaps in the growing neurotech sector, a field gaining increasing prominence with initiatives such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink and Meta (formerly Facebook) Reality Lab’s use of neural signals to enhance virtual reality applications.
The NeuroTech Micro-Credential Program – the first of its kind in Canada – will provide individuals already working in the industry, and those transitioning or beginning a career in neurotech, the opportunity to upscale their skills and improve their understanding of foundational neuroscience and ethics.
The program received significant funding from the Ontario Micro-Credential Challenge Fund ($300,000), including its Community Impact Award (nearly $1 million), which supports the creation of micro-credentials throughout the province. Queen’s has partnered with Nipissing University, Western University through its Western Institute for Neuroscience, and York University, to deliver an in-person capstone project course designed to foster hands-on skills using a variety of neurotechnologies.
"Building on the strong tradition of teaching and research in the areas of neuroscience and psychology in the Faculty or Arts and Science at Nipissing University, we are thrilled to join the team offering this innovative micro-credential in neurotech,” stated Dr. Andrew Weeks, Psychology Program Chair, Faculty of Arts and Science, Nipissing University. “We look forward to enhancing regional access to the broader North Bay, Nipissing and Northeastern Ontario communities, by hosting a capstone project course, a key part of the micro-credential, on our campus in the coming months."
“Our government is pleased to see that local students will have the opportunity to participate in this innovative new program,” said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing. “With a few hours a week of specialized training or re-training, learners can upscale their skills for the workforce.”
The NeuroTech Micro-Credential Program is a partnership between the Queen’s Centre for Neuroscience Studies and Canada-based NeuroTechX, the leading non-profit organization for neurotech enthusiasts worldwide, which also hosts the most active neurotech-focused job board. The program is also supported by an Industry Advisory Board including the Ontario Brain Institute and a growing list of established neurotechnology companies, including the Ontario-based Kinarm Labs (Kingston) and InteraXon Muse® (Toronto).
The neurotech industry requires an interdisciplinary mix of specialized skill sets, such as hardware and software development, for sensing and modulating brain signals. Potential beneficial applications include therapies e.g., deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and major depression, health monitoring (sleep tracking, mental state monitoring), and optimization of advertising (neuromarketing). Furthermore, this technology is enabling breakthroughs in fundamental neuroscience such as how information is processed in the brain.
The suite of online micro-credentials focuses on foundational neuroscience; measurement, processing, and modulation of brain signals; visualization of brain structure and function using imaging; behavioural assessment techniques; ethical, legal, and regulatory frameworks relevant to neurotechnology. The final capstone neurotech project course includes in-person, hands-on training in cutting-edge neurotechnology labs - funded by the Ontario government - that will be made available at the Queen’s Centre for Neuroscience Studies and partner institutions like Nipissing.
Applications for the NeuroTech Micro-Credential Program are now open, with online courses becoming available starting January 2023.
For program information, visit: https://neurotechmicrocreds.com.
(705) 474-3450 ext. 4035