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Government of Canada invests in innovative partnerships between colleges and businesses

Over $37 million for 37 applied research projects between colleges and companies to bolster innovation and commercialization across Canada

General news

May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

The Government of Canada recognizes that colleges play a valuable role in research and innovation in Canada. Strong ties with their communities place colleges in a unique position to collaborate with local companies to develop innovations that strengthen economic growth and create new quality jobs that help support a vibrant middle class. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to investing in partnerships between colleges and industry to help spur innovation and the development of new technologies that benefit all Canadians.

To demonstrate this commitment, the Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, today announced $37.4 million in new funding for 37 projects at colleges, institutes and CÉGEPs across Canada to support applied research and development activities with industry partners. The projects are funded through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program which supports applied research and collaborations that lead to commercialization and technology transfer while facilitating the development of new technologies and innovative collaboration in communities across the country.

Minister Duncan made the announcement at the Colleges and Institutes Canada Annual Conference, where hundreds of representatives from colleges and institutes from across Canada are gathering to celebrate their contribution in transforming communities and building a more prosperous and equitable Canada.  


“Our government supports investments that are helping to build an innovative economy, and will create quality jobs to support a vibrant middle class. Fostering strong partnerships between Canada’s colleges and industry partners leads to new, innovative ideas and transforms the results of R&D into new products that will benefit all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

”NSERC is proud to support applied research and technological innovation at Canada’s colleges and CÉGEPs. The CCI program is uniquely positioned to connect colleges with industry partners, allowing companies to access state-of-the-art facilities and applied research expertise that help accelerate product development and validation, and train the next generation of talent for the 21st century job market.”
– Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
  • Since its launch in 2009, the program has invested $393.7 million in 2,350 projects at 105 post-secondary institutions across Canada.
  • The program has helped dozens of college researchers strengthen their collaborations with industry that lead to commercialization, technology transfer as well as the adaptation and adoption of new technologies.

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Follow Minister Duncan on social media:
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

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Stéfanie Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Lucy Lai
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

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