Investments into applied research promote economic growth

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - The Ontario government's 2009 budget investment
into applied research marks an important commitment to innovation that will
create new economic opportunities, the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry
Innovation (CONII) said today.
    "The government is to be applauded for recognizing and supporting the
value of applied research," said Katharine Janzen, chair of the CONII Steering
Committee and vice-president, research and innovation, at Seneca College in
Toronto. "The budget investment will help colleges and businesses to continue
developing research that can be commercialized, getting products to market
faster and helping businesses grow while providing value-added learning
experiences for college students."
    The recent 2009 Ontario Budget announced an investment of $10 million
over three years to CONII to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises with
hands-on applied research, technology transfer and commercialization.
    CONII is a network of 10 colleges - planning to expand to 16 colleges
this year - that conduct applied research and collaborate with industry to
provide quick responses to market opportunities and challenges. During the
past two years, and with Ontario government support, it has established 415
new innovation partnerships and 143 industry-led applied research projects.
    The research ranges from developing specialized software for 3D game
developers to designing and building innovative optical components or
developing more efficient light sources. It has led to innovations in
alternative energy, environmental technologies, health and life sciences, and
much more.
    The province's investment into applied research is particularly important
to small businesses that cannot easily conduct research and development
without help.
    "New innovations that help these businesses to grow are important,
particularly in this difficult economy," Janzen said. "The provincial funding
will help businesses and colleges to quickly turn innovative ideas into the
creation of new jobs."

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Katharine Janzen, Chair, Colleges Ontario
Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), Associate Vice-President Research and
Innovation, Seneca College, (416) 491-5050, ext. 7901,

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