George Brown College applauds Federal Budget support for College Innovation

TORONTO, March 9 /CNW/ - As an institution committed to innovation through applied research, George Brown College today applauded the Federal Government's new investments in applied research, development and commercialization at the country's colleges and polytechnics.

The college was especially pleased to see increased support for the highly-successful College and Community Innovation Program (CCIP), a program, for which George Brown was one of 8 initiating institutions.

"This year's budget is recognition of the direct impact Canadian colleges and polytechnics can have in advancing economic development in our country through support for our industry partners," said Anne Sado, President of George Brown College and Board member of Polytechnics Canada. "The government clearly understands that research at Canadian colleges is an important driver of innovation - especially among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)."

As the federal government's flagship program for helping local Canadian companies to bring technology to market the help of college partners, the CCIP will continue to provide college and polytechnic students with hands-on applied research experience helping create a highly skilled Canadian workforce.

"The CCIP is a very important program that enables SMEs to work closely with the college and polytechnic sector to extend, test and validate our research and development," said Niall Wallace, CEO of Infonaut Inc., a small Toronto- based IT firm that is a partner of George Brown College on a CCIP project. "The commitment by the federal government is a wise investment in innovation that will lead to accelerated commercialization, growth and jobs in Canada."

The College and Community Innovation Program was allocated an additional $15M per year to support its expansion, doubling its annual capacity to $30M. The budget also included increased funding for NSERC's Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation and The National Research Council Canada's (NRC) regional innovation clusters program, which received an additional $135M over the next two years, and the continuation of the International Science and Technology Partnerships. Other key points include direction to the granting councils to encourage private sector innovation through applied research partnerships, and a review of federal funding for research and development to promote commercialization success and economic development in Canada.

Innovation is flourishing at George Brown College with a wide range of Applied Research projects currently funded across the college. Current projects include:

    
    -   Working on a real-time locating system based on Infonaut's
        intelligent platform for hospitals
    -   Design and efficacy assessment of the Mitigation Preparedness
        Response Recovery (MPRR) Pandemic / Emergency Preparedness and
        Response Management Toolkit with local Toronto-based SME Tenet
        Computer Group
    -   Recipe development for the community nutrition teaching model for
        ethno-specific diabetes education and prevention: a project conducted
        in concert with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the West
        Toronto Diabetes Education Program.
    

GBC is also active in green technologies, having recently received provincial funding for applied research into building construction, restoration, energy efficiency, product testing, and the development of innovative environmental building solutions. We emphasize multidisciplinary problem-solving and opportunity development for industry in our region, mobilizing our faculty and students to work on applied research problem solving with our many industry partners.

The 2010 budget also contains several strategic announcements that will advance college and polytechnic research for the benefit of Canadian companies:

    
    -   Doubling the support for research collaborations between colleges and
        local firms;
    -   Support and direction for the federal granting councils to accelerate
        the translation of knowledge into practical applications;
    -   Encouraging federal departments and agencies to adopt and use
        innovative prototypes from small and medium-sized Canadian
        businesses;
    -   Continued support for enhancing regional innovation and
        commercialization through funding for regional economic development
        agencies;
    -   Direction to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to partner with
        colleges in an effort to encourage private sector innovation, and
    -   A review of federal funding for research and development to ensure
        commercialization success and economic development in Canada.
    

About George Brown College

With nine out of 10 graduates getting jobs within six months of graduation, Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its three main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers 158 programs across a wide variety of professions. Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees. More than 22,000 students attend the College (full-time equivalent) with about 68,000 registered with the George Brown College School of Continuing Education. For more information, please visit www.georgebrown.ca.

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information: For further information: Shannon Morton, APEX Public Relations Inc., (416) 924-4442 ext. 253, smorton@apexpr.com


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