posted on Dec. 15: New e-commerce research centre reaches for the top


McMaster's School of Business has taken its first steps to become the top e-commerce research centre in Canada.

This week University Senators and Board members approved a proposal by the business school to establish the McMaster E-Commerce Research Centre. The blueprint outlined the financial, physical and human resources required to set up the centre, which will conduct leading-edge research for improving business operations with electronic commerce.

“The purpose of this centre is to generate research, advance education and provide outreach activities to professionals in e-commerce,” said Vishwanath Baba, dean of the School of Business, told Senate.
“We are seeking support from a consortium of businesses that are interested in e-commerce research and are also interested in the students associated with this centre for internships, co-op placements, and for ultimate employment.”

The centre will develop “highly qualified individuals” who can contribute to improved e-commerce initiatives in business and provide continuing education in e-commerce to help managers improve their organizations' competitiveness in the global economy.

Some of the areas of research will include modelling and empirical studies, agent negotiation and contracting methodologies, networked organizations and supply chain management, remote and real time interactions in the financial industry, marketing and customer relationship management and knowledge and intellectual capital management.

Funding for the centre will come from businesses, industries and government agencies and will include a business consortium whose members will be entitled to be on the centre's advisory board and make recommendations about research directions.

The National Bank of Canada has contributed $100,000 to the school which will be used for the research centre. Other funding and in-kind support is coming from the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (application submitted), Wayne C. Fox, CIBC, Canadian Pacific and IBM Canada.

The centre's director will be Norm Archer, a professor of management science and information systems.
The research centre will be housed in the new 15,000 sq. foot (1,350 sq. metre) e-commerce annex slated to be built by next fall.

It will draw on several School of Business faculty as well as researchers from the Faculty of Engineering's computing & software department and the Faculty of Humanities' multimedia computing centre.