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Government of Canada Invests in High-Quality Jobs and Growth

New research partnerships between colleges and local businesses to foster innovation

Winnipeg, Manitoba, November 13, 2012 — New partnerships between colleges and businesses or universities will lead to innovation in the areas of information and communications technologies, environmental technologies, natural resources and energy, and health sciences. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced the Government's support for these new research projects while visiting Red River College in Winnipeg.

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

In total, 50 innovative partnerships between colleges, universities and business partners will receive over $17 million in support over a period of up to five years through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program.

"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 the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (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."

The projects announced today were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition. This announcement builds on CCI investments announced in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012; bringing the total program investments to date to over $175 million for 321 grants at 69 colleges and CÉGEPs.

Red River College is receiving almost $1.7 million through the CCI Program to establish the A2I2: Advanced Aerospace Innovation Initiative. This new technology access centre is aimed at helping aerospace companies improve their products. The research will create new job opportunities in the Winnipeg area by providing support to businesses in the form of research expertise, training support, and access to the latest technologies, as well as giving them access to the college's state-of-the-art technology and equipment.

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

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 about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

More information is available in the backgrounder.

For further information (media only), please contact:

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

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

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

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-focussed 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- 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 (ARD) Grants are intended to provide companies that operate from a Canadian base with 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 Grant-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 between $75,000 and $150,000.
  6. 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 wit
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