Federal Budget 2012 enables increased college applied research collaboration with industry
OTTAWA, March 29, 2012 /CNW/ - In the context of a cost-cutting federal budget, Polytechnics Canada welcomes continued federal funding for collaborative college-industry research partnerships. Our members look forward to helping companies to innovate and grow, creating high-quality jobs that improve competitiveness and drive wealth creation for all Canadians.
Specifically, we welcome:
- the doubling of funding for the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), which benefits many of our small and mid-sized company partners;
- additional funding for the Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation - a key plank for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) industry-facing programs; and
- the new multi-year funding for the Canada Foundation for Innovation with its explicit intention to continue the very recent College-Industry Innovation Fund.
"These three new funding announcements indicate that the Government continues to place a priority on fostering collaboration between Canada's colleges, institutes and polytechnics and the innovative firms that need access to our talent, facilities and equipment," said Don Wright, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Chair of Polytechnics Canada. "We hope that NSERC moves swiftly to use today's new funding to make the pilot Technology Access Centre program permanent, building nation-wide capacity to assist companies that lack in-house R&D capabilities," he added.
Our western members particularly welcome the announcement of the Western Innovation Program and look forward to its implementation of best practices adopted from programs at other regional economic development agencies, including programs that help applied research and commercialization.
Miriam Tuerk, Co-Founder of Clear Blue Technologies and a member of Polytechnics Canada's National Strategy Group said, "Today's budget announcements focus on the resources firms like mine need to innovate. We look forward to working with colleges and polytechnics on collaborative applied research projects made possible by the new investments in business innovation." Clear Blue Technologies collaborated with George Brown College to develop an innovative smart controller for renewable energy systems.
Located in Canada's key economic regions, the current Polytechnics Canada members are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), SAIT Polytechnic, NAIT, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca and Algonquin.
Please see our website for other recommendations to the Federal Government: http://www.polytechnicscanada.ca/publication_resources.For further information:
Director of Policy