Innovation paves the road to success in the new global economy. The Synergy Awards for Innovation were launched in 1995 by NSERC to recognize partnerships in natural sciences and engineering research and development (R&D) between universities and Canadian industry. Since their inception, the Awards have honoured the most outstanding achievements of these collaborations in the natural sciences and engineering. By working together, award-winning companies and universities have proven that effective partnerships are the foundation of achievement. Their success has enriched the academic and research programs within Canadian universities while providing tangible benefits to Canadians.
New: In the same spirit, the Awards now include a category for colleges to highlight the impact and lasting benefits of their applied R&D collaborations with industry partners. Only nominations in the natural sciences and/or engineering will be considered.
Universities: The winner (principal nominee) in each category will receive a $200,000 NSERC research grant. Industrial partners each get the opportunity to hire an NSERC Industrial R&D Fellow for two years (with NSERC bearing the cost of the minimal industrial contribution of $15,000/year in addition to the standard NSERC contribution of $30,000/year), regardless of the number of partners included in the nomination.
Colleges: The winning institution will receive up to $100,000 for an Applied Research Tools and Instruments grant that can be used to purchase equipment to foster and enhance the ability of the college to undertake applied research, innovation and training in collaboration with local companies. The industrial partners will receive a $20,000 voucher valid for a cash portion of their required contribution towards any NSERC – College and Community Innovation Program grant. The voucher can be used throughout the three-year validity period and be shared amongst the industrial partners.
The Synergy Awards for Innovation showcase innovation and the benefits of pooling resources to make the most of Canadian ingenuity. The Awards are judged on:
Synergy Awards are offered in five categories:
For two decades, Leo Derikx was a driving force in building and developing university-industry partnerships in Canada. As Director General of Research Partnerships for NSERC, it was Leo Derikx who helped to create the Synergy Awards. Upon his retirement in 1999, the award for innovative models of long-standing interaction in the precompetitive stage of R&D was named in his honour.