Ottawa, Ontario, March 25, 2011 — Through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, the Government of Canada will support applied research projects in 11 community colleges that work with businesses to develop clean energy technologies, advance culinary innovation, and develop healthcare tools for professionals. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced new partnerships between colleges and business that will help create and promote a wide range of leading-edge technologies, as well as help transfer innovation into the marketplace.
"The projects supported by the College and Community Innovation Program create jobs, improve the quality of life for Canadians and strengthen the economy," said Minister Goodyear. "These new partnerships will provide skills training for the host communities, position Canadian colleges as a destination for top research talent, and give businesses in these communities access to the knowledge and resources they need to innovate."
The 14 projects announced today were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition. They will share more than $18 million over a period of up to five years. This announcement follows on other CCI investments announced in 2009 and 2010, bringing the total CCI investment to $98 million to date for 59 projects at 45 colleges. This collaborative initiative is jointly managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
"The CCI Program supports innovation at a community level by fostering collaboration between industry and post-secondary institutions," said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC, which administers the program. "When companies and colleges collaborate, everyone benefits. New jobs are created, industry expands and the community prospers."
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.
More information on the CCI Program, as well as the 14 funded projects, is available in the backgrounder below.
For further information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Media Relations Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613- 943-7618
The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
There are four types of grants available through the CCI Program:
1) Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grants are aimed at enhancing innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These grants support the direct costs associated with applied research and collaborations that facilitate commercialization, as well as technology transfer, adaptation and adoption of new technologies. Funding for the first two years is up to $100,000 per year (per project) and funding in subsequent years is up to $500,000.
2) Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants are intended to provide companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian colleges and to train students in essential technical skills required by companies. The grants support short-term and small-scale projects that range from six months to three years in duration, with project costs being shared by the company partner. ARD-funded projects can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum that is consistent with the college's applied research, training and technology transfer mandate. There are three levels of funding under ARD Grants: under $25,000; up to $75,000; and over $75,000.
3) Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grants support the purchase of research equipment and installations to foster and enhance the ability of colleges to undertake applied research, innovation and training in collaboration with local companies. These grants are one-year awards that assist in buying applied research equipment that costs between $7,000 and $150,000.
4) Technology Access Centre (TAC) Grants provide funding for the core operations of centres established by colleges to address the applied research and innovation needs of local companies. The centres are intended to enhance the ability of companies, particularly SMEs, to become more productive and innovative by enabling them to readily access college expertise, technology and equipment. This access to college capabilities is intended to enhance the productivity, competitiveness and innovation of the participating SMEs. TAC Grants provide five-year, renewable funding of up to $350,000 per year.
Including those projects highlighted in today's announcement, the CCI Program has awarded $98 million in funding to date to support 59 projects at 45 colleges across Canada.
Projects are selected through a rigorous peer review process that includes an assessment by Private Sector Advisory Board members. These members are leaders from the Canadian business R&D sector. The 11 recipients in this CCI Program competition will receive a total of more than $18 million for up to five years, from fiscal year 2009-10 to fiscal year 2014-15.
Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grants
Algonquin College (Ottawa, Ontario): Algonquin College's Full Spectra Centre (FSC) will leverage the Ottawa Region's strengths in information and communications technologies (ICT) and photonics. The FSC projects will allow Algonquin College to work collaboratively with industrial partners in applied research aimed at solving concrete problems, expanding markets, developing new products, and reducing time to market. By engaging college students in the projects, the FSC will provide real-life learning opportunities, create greater alignment between college curricula and industry needs, and stimulate job creation and economic growth in the Ottawa Region.
Cégep de Lanaudière (Lanaudière, Quebec): The Cégep de Lanaudière is seeking to expand its applied research capacity and develop specific expertise in the area of sustainable design. The CCI grant supports three projects: 1) reduction of the environmental impact of aluminum and steel powder-coating operations; 2) the creation of a sustainable Quebec design repository for manufacturing SMEs in the furniture sector; and 3) a sustainable design approach for integrating product end-of-life into product design. This project will promote productive relationships between professors in various departments, stakeholders in various design fields, and the college and regional manufacturing SMEs.
Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon (Lévis, Quebec): The Cégep Lévis-Lauzon and its technology transfer centre—the Centre de robotique et de vision industrielles (CRVI)—are key players in regional economic development. The CRVI works in several areas of computer vision, robotics and automation. Through its multidisciplinary team, the implementation of this CCI project will provide overall support to innovating companies that are working in the area of smart video surveillance and video analytics.
Cégep de Victoriaville (Victoriaville, Quebec): The Cégep de Victoriaville project aims to develop technologies and processes for organic agricultural enterprises. It has many anticipated benefits, including increased productivity and profitability of organic farms, reduction in the negative environmental impact of agriculture, and increased supply of local organic products.
Project Partners :
Centennial College (Toronto, Ontario): The Technology Solutions for Healthcare Management and Health Research and Promotion project focuses on developing communications technologies that address the need of healthcare professionals in time-sensitive situations (e.g., on the way to an emergency, in the operating room, etc.). Centennial College's track record with industry partners in health technology will provide a strong foundation for sustained research activities, as well as technology development and commercialization.
Collège Shawinigan (Shawinigan, Quebec): The Collège Shawinigan project is designed to improve the performance of industrial bioprocesses through the use of associations of several species of microorganisms whose joint action is more effective than that of a single species. Two industrial applications have been targeted—wastewater treatment and waste biomethanation.
Durham College (Oshawa, Ontario): Durham College expects to progressively increase its collaboration with local companies and community partners in order to meet renewable energy needs. The project will bring the faculty to work with industry partners to: 1) commercialize new technologies in the renewable energy field; 2) reach out to industry and community organizations to create awareness; and 3) develop applied research projects using promising technologies. Over the long term, Durham College's applied research initiatives will impact the economic development in the Region of Durham and surrounding area by creating new high-quality jobs based on know-how and technological innovation.
Niagara College (Welland, Ontario):This project will support the revitalization of the economy of the Niagara Region through a dedicated resource—the Niagara Food and Culinary Innovation Centre at Niagara College. Building on investments in facilities in food technologies and culinary training, the Centre will develop expertise in conducting industry-led applied research in the areas of raw ingredient innovation, food technologies, product research and development, and consumer preference testing. Innovative concepts and products will be piloted and tested in a full-scale demonstration site in Niagara Falls. These products and innovations will result in economic benefits for the food industry and rejuvenation of the downtown core through culinary innovations.
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary, Alberta) – First project: The college is advancing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that can be used to improve accuracy and efficiency in tracking and tracing assets and inventories in a wide range of industries. The technology creates a business advantage that becomes even more critical during slow economic times by helping companies establish and maintain a competitive advantage. The college's RFID Application Development Lab (RAD Lab) is well positioned to assist in the investigation, experimentation and development of new applications that will address a variety of gaps in the adoption of the technology.
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary, Alberta) – Second project: The massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlights the urgent need for effective energy, water and environmental technologies that form an important part of clean energy technologies (CET). The critical worldwide demand for CET presents a significant opportunity for Canada to become a global leader and demonstrate water treatment technologies from de-oiling to desalination for environmentally sustainable conventional oil and unconventional (oil sands) energy production. The Research Program in Produced-Water Treatment and Waste Water Remediation responds to the need for local technological solutions. This research will generate multiple benefits and tangible outcomes for industry and society, such as reduced fresh-water usage and overall efficiency to reduce the energy footprint.
Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants
Collège de Maisonneuve (Montréal, Quebec): Traditionally, pure water is used in industrial cooling systems and anti-corrosive agents are added to prevent damage to pipes and tanks. These practices and agents will soon be banned in the region, but this project will develop a process that effectively removes these agents from pure water reservoirs.
Cégep de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, Quebec) – First project: GDG Environment Group—a company that uses biological control methods to manage pests—is drawing on the expertise of the Cégep de Trois-Rivières to manufacture a commercially viable prototype for monitoring the activities of teams in the field. This GPS-based interface will allow users to input and save events and activities in the form of predetermined codes. The data will then be transferred to, and analyzed by, a Web portal. The Cégep de Trois-Rivières has been given a contract to create the interface and associated electronic circuits.
Cégep de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, Quebec) – Second project: The objective of this research and development project is to improve a new interface used by BlackBerry and iPhone smartphones to manage acknowledgements of receipt, and to create the functions for sending and confirming them. In developing the new algorithms and interfaces, the research team will try to use the full capacity of the RIM network to guarantee the client an acknowledgment of receipt and several other statuses on numerous types of outbound messages. The team will try to recreate the same reaction on the iPhone, but without the help of a secure network such as RIM's.
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary, Alberta):A local business is engaging expertise in the Industrial Water and Waste Water Laboratory of the Institute's Applied Research and Innovation Services to build a Hybrid Water Desalination System prototype. The prototype will be tested on coastal waters from various regions in the world. The project will help provide a sustainable and profitable business dedicated to providing high quality water for industrial and residential use through environmentally friendly advanced water treatment systems.