Ontario Colleges urging Provincial Government to invest in college-based Applied Research

Northern College News and Events

Date Posted: February 1, 2016

Timmins, ON – Northern College, in collaboration with all public colleges across the province are calling for the Ontario government to make upfront investments of $30 million into market-driven research to promote industry clusters.

“Real-world research with the colleges plays a central role in allowing businesses to become more innovative,” said Northern College President Fred Gibbons. “The Ontario government establishing a $30-million, multi-year competitive fund for college-based key industry clusters would also support competitiveness and job creation.”

The federal government has increased funding for college applied research, however there is a need for increased provincial support for applied research, as Ontario colleges are increasingly playing a critical role in encouraging more businesses to innovate. Ontario colleges work with more than 750 companies yearly to pursue market-driven applied research activities, and with about 80 organizations on projects addressing provincial socioeconomic priorities.

Half of the businesses involved in applied research plan to pursue further research with colleges, and have reported significantly higher sales and new job creation, due to new and improved products and production as a result of their collaboration with the colleges.

“Investment in applied research will not only help strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy,” says President Gibbons. “But, by having research opportunities for our students, faculty and industry at Northern College it can help all of Ontario, along with enriching experiential learning for our students, it provides opportunity to stay in the north for studies, and to attract students across the province, and internationally.”

Applied Research funding from the Ontario government, along with industry partners matching funds, will allow colleges to be able to bring firms together to collaborate on new innovations. Investing in college-specific applied research projects will strengthen the export opportunities for Ontario.

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Jaret Dicks
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