Canadian colleges address local challenges through 59 research collaboration projects
News release Professors Students
December 8, 2023
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are supporting 59 applied research projects led by Canadian colleges. This support is made possible by an investment of $65.2 million through the tri-agency College and Community Innovation (CCI) program.
The CCI program is a key vehicle for funding applied research in Canada, strengthening research links and collaborations among Canadian colleges and partners from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, other colleges, and/or universities with a common goal of creating economic, social, health and environmental benefits for Canada.
The recipients announced today are receiving funding through two CCI grant types:
- $56.5 million over five years for 34 recipients through the Mobilize grants, providing flexible, long-term funding for college applied research programs to maximize student training and community innovation impacts.
- $8.7 million over three years for 25 projects through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), fostering community innovation by connecting the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of community organizations.
The funded projects will enable the colleges to increase their capacity to develop partnerships that foster innovation of importance to their communities, and increase the potential of their efforts to have broader impact across Canada. College students will also receive valuable and transferable training experience in essential skills that benefit local businesses and community organizations hiring new workers.
Examples of projects across the country include:
- Algonquin College, is receiving a $358,508 CCSIF grant to apply concussion recovery technology to support survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Each year, more than 100,000 Canadian women experience IPV, with as many as 90% of survivors having a concussion. In partnership with Neurovine, this project will use IPV survivor-led feedback to better understand the intersection of concussion and IPV. The project will connect survivors with an accessible and affordable recovery option and bring a trauma-informed approach to clinical settings.
- Capilano University, is receiving a $1,500,000 Mobilize grant to specialize in applied research on regional climate action in the public and private sectors. The new Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Sustainability will focus on sustainable tourism, biodiversity, and the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in business practices. Tangible results of the research activities will include new business standards, practices, products, technologies and services that will strive to balance social, economic and environmental needs alongside urban and rural development for the good health of the local communities and across Canada.
- Cégep de Victoriaville, is receiving a $359,966 CCSIF grant to promote food security for vulnerable populations and strengthen local food circuits. Approximately one million people suffer from food insecurity in Quebec every year. In collaboration with community organizations, the team will implement measures to increase purchasing power for people in financially precarious situations. The project will support stakeholders in co-constructing, testing and evaluating prototypes of a food voucher program to help people in need, particularly in rural areas of Quebec. The aim is to gradually scale up the program to the provincial level.
- Holland College, is receiving a $2,250,000 Mobilize grant to support research activities in bioscience, data analytics, and environmental management, through the college's established Applied Biotechnology Research Centre, Business Analytics Center, and John and Christine Andrew Centre of Excellence in Watershed and Aquifer Management. The novel EMBARK program will leverage unique interdisciplinary strengths to boost collaboration with Canadian industry partners, community groups, and government agencies, and lead to new advanced applied research projects to support economic prosperity in Prince Edward Island.
- Lakeland College, is receiving a $2,250,000 Mobilize grant to advance productivity, efficiency and sustainability in key commercial crop and livestock species in Alberta, and develop practical solutions to challenges facing the agricultural industry in Canada. With the ability to act on emerging opportunities, the research college's research activities will address the challenge of increasing crop and livestock yield, quality, and productivity through innovative technologies and best management practices while responsibly managing natural resources, which is key to meeting the world's growing food demands.
- Nova Scotia Community College, is receiving a $359,115 CCSIF grant to build community preparedness in well-water resource management. Approximately 46% of Nova Scotians rely on private wells which are increasingly affected by adverse conditions related to climate change. The project will build on advances in ultrafiltration and community engagement to develop an integrated water-monitoring system, with parameters and predictive capacity for both chronic conditions and sudden events. The project will empower municipalities and well owners in communities across Nova Scotia by increased risk assessment and management capabilities.
Canada’s colleges are crucial to helping business develop and adopt new technologies and processes. The College and Community Innovation program helps create partnerships with businesses, which allows college students to gain real-world experience in the workforce and provides companies access to the talent and the tools needed to develop innovative solutions.
Colleges, CEGEPs and polytechnics are key players in responding and adapting to the research and innovation needs of businesses and community partners across Canada. Through the College and Community Innovation program, they collaborate with local organizations to support their communities, strengthen their local economies, and train their students in essential technical skills to enter the workforce. On behalf of the tri-agencies, I look forward to seeing how the projects announced today will contribute to strengthening Canada’s innovation ecosystem.
- The CCI program has five distinct grant types to support colleges, CEGEPs and polytechnics across Canada to have a strong foundation for applied research, specialized centres in areas of identified need, and research projects driven by partner and societal needs: Applied Research and Development grants; Applied Research Tools and Instruments grants; College and Community Social Innovation Fund grants; Mobilize grants and Technology Access Centres.
- Earlier this year, total funding of $18 million was announced through the CCI program’s 2022 Technology Access Centre (TAC) grants to support 16 Technology Access Centres over the next five years.
- As announced in the 2023 federal budget, the CCI program received an investment of $108.6 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, for the expansion of the program. A portion of this investment has been allocated to the 2023 Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) grants competition and the 2024 College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grants competition. Further information on the allocation of this investment will be shared as it becomes available.
- The Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) grants 2023 competition is currently open. Applications must be submitted via the Convergence Portal by January 16, 2024 before 8:00 pm (Eastern Time).
- The College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grants 2024 competition was recently launched. Applications must be submitted via the Convergence portal by March 1, 2024 before 8:00 pm (Eastern Time).