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Government of Canada Invests in High-Quality Jobs and Growth

New research partnerships between colleges and companies boost marketplace innovation

Note: The sentence on the allocation of an Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges grant to Sheridan College should have read as follows: Sheridan College received 1 million dollars for a new NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Mobile Computing.

Oakville, Ontario, May 8, 2012 The Government of Canada will support 35 community colleges and cégeps that will be partnering with businesses to conduct research projects in the areas of information and communications technologies, environmental technologies, natural resources and energy. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology made the announcement while addressing the Polytechnics Canada Annual Conference, hosted by Sheridan College.

"Collaboration between government, applied researchers and the private sector is vital to building an innovative economy," said Minister Goodyear. "The College and Community Innovation Program supports research collaborations between companies and colleges. It illustrates the importance our government places on creating the conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in this country."

A total of 60 innovative partnerships between colleges and businesses will be provided more than $36 million over a period of up to five years through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. The announcement includes 14 new Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges to support the development of longer term business-focussed applied research programs at colleges. Three new recipients of College-University Idea to Innovation Grants were also announced. These grants support collaboration between Canadian colleges, universities and businesses to improve or extend existing company technology or commercial products. Both were first announced in Budget 2011.

The projects announced today were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition. This announcement follows other CCI investments announced in 2009, 2010 and 2011; bringing total program investments to date to over $160 million for 248 projects at 62 colleges and cégeps.

Sheridan College received over $1.1 million for a new NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Mobile Computing. The Chair will focus on delivering innovative mobile computing solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Ontario. The Chair will also be supported by industrial partners Research in Motion Limited, Cisco Systems Canada, TELUS Corporation, and Xtreme Labs Inc.

The CCI Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"These investments provide colleges with access to the people, resources and tools they need to be at the forefront of innovation," said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "The ultimate goal is to create sustainable partnerships that will help sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on the bottom line of our country and industry."

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 postsecondary 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 about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.

More information on this program and the 60 funded projects is available in the backgrounder.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Michèle-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State for Science and Technology
Tel.: 613-947-2956

Media Relations
Industry Canada
Tel.: 613-943-2502

Martin Leroux
Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618
E-mail: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Backgrounder

College and Community Innovation Program

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 six types of grants available through the CCI Program:

  1. Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges (IRCC) Grants support applied research leaders and the development of business-focused applied research programs at colleges. The grants will help colleges to develop new, or significantly enhance, existing applied research efforts in areas that meet local or regional socio-economic needs. IRCC Grants will range from $100,000 to $200,000 annually and will be offered in five-year terms.

  2. College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) Grants intend to develop and strengthen research links between colleges, universities and businesses to accelerate the development of promising technologies and promote their commercialization in the Canadian marketplace. The grants support college and university participation in the improvement or extension of existing company technology or commercial products, processes and/or services. CU-I2I Grants are valued at up to $250,000 per year for the college and university participants combined, for up to three years.

  3. 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, and technology transfer, adaptation and adoption of new technologies. IE Grants are awarded for either a two-year or five-year period. The two-year grants include funding of $100,000 per year over two years. The five-year grants include base funding of up to $500,000 per year for the first three years and up to $400,000 per year for the remaining two years.

  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.

  5. Applied Research and Development (
People Discovery Innovation