Kingston, Ontario, May 31, 2010 — Twelve colleges will work with their communities and local businesses to get new innovations from campuses into the marketplace. These new partnerships will develop innovative environmentally-friendly technologies to reduce water contamination, advance emerging solar technologies and clean up heavy metals from residential and industrial soils. Speaking at St. Lawrence College today, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced funding for these and other projects.
"Our government supports innovation because it creates jobs, improves the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy," said Minister Goodyear. "We are supporting these projects in colleges across the country to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses, and enable young Canadians to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow."
The twelve new projects announced today will receive a total of nearly $15 million under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. At St. Lawrence College, researchers will work with businesses in the fast-growing sustainable energy industry in eastern Ontario and PARTEQ Innovations of Queen's University to create a Sustainability Energy Applied Research Centre. This partnership will develop new innovations in solar, geothermal, wind and biomass energy.
The College and Community Innovation Program is a collaborative initiative between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Established by the Government of Canada in Budget 2007, the program enables colleges to develop or expand research transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.
The twelve colleges were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition, and they will each receive grants lasting between two and five years. They join the 22 inaugural projects announced in 2009.
"The CCI Program builds on other initiatives that foster collaboration between industry and post-secondary institutions," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC, which administers the program. "This program encourages colleges to work with their communities, transferring their expertise for the benefit of the people and businesses in their areas. It will benefit the bottom lines of local companies, which play such a vital role in our economy, both through the people they employ and the goods and services they produce."
"The CCI Program works extremely well. It benefits colleges, employers and students, and creates jobs" said James Knight, President and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. "The doubling of the CCI Program reflects an understanding of the contribution of colleges to innovation, productivity and economic growth."
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28,000 students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The Council promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 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 College and Community Innovation Program and the twelve funded projects is available in the backgrounder.
For further information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program provides institutions with funding to stimulate applied research transfer in their communities. CCI supports projects in environmental science and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communication technologies.
The program, a joint pilot project of the three federal granting agencies, is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Acknowledging the pilot's success, the Government of Canada made CCI a permanent program in Budget 2007. The program currently supports 34 projectsat 31 colleges across Canada.
Projects are selected through a rigorous peer review process that includes assessment by a Private Sector Advisory Board, comprised of leaders from the Canadian business R&D sector. The twelve recipients in this fourth CCI competition will receive a total of almost $15 million for two to five years, from fiscal year 2009-2010 to fiscal year 2014-2015.
Douglas College, Coquitlam, British Columbia: This initiative will address research needs of the British Columbia agricultural sector regarding management of arthropod pests. In particular, the college and its industrial partners will conduct research on the use of arthropod predators and parasitoids for biological control of key pest species. Management of pests via biological control provides a sustainable ecologically-based alternative to the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. New biological control products will be developed, and existing products will be optimized to improve management of two key pests in greenhouse vegetable production: tomato psyllids and aphids. Technology transfer of new products and technologies will be optimized by direct involvement of the greenhouse and insectary industries.
Selkirk College, Castlegar, British Colombia: This project will focus on development of prototype applications that could allow local small and medium-sized forest enterprises to access, evaluate and analyse data and tools related to potential opportunities in forest carbon markets. The overall project goal is the development and deployment of several potentially transferable and commercializable decision-support tools for forest carbon management. A regional partnership, to be called the Decision Support Collaborative, will be established with forestry stakeholders to advise, collaborate with and guide the research team in its efforts to build applied research capacity.
Lakeland College, Vermilion, Alberta: Lakeland College plans to develop synergistic multi-component monitoring, diagnostic and control system arrays for renewable energy technologies. The college also plans to identify and adapt renewable technologies to efficiently store heat energy for seasonal and low temperature space heating applications in the region. The outcome of this program of research will be processes, technologies, prototypes and products of interest to our commercial partners.
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology , Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: This is a joint initiative between the Chemical Technology program of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and TEchnology and two local small and medium-sized enterprises. The objective of the research is to develop new technologies to reduce water contamination and to create value-added byproducts by recycling t