Research contributions of Canada's polytechnics recognized in Federal Budget

OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Polytechnics Canada welcomes the Federal Government's Budget with its direct recognition for the role our members play in advancing Canadian innovation through our applied research and commercialization activities.

Budget 2010 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
    -   continued support for enhancing regional innovation and
        commercialization through funding for regional economic development
    -   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.

"Considering the fiscal context and the need to return to balanced budgets, Polytechnics Canada appreciates the federal government's new investments in applied research, development and commercialization, particularly the sustaining funding for the very successful College and Community Innovation Program (CCIP). This will be the federal government's flagship program for helping local Canadian companies, in all sectors, to bring technology to market with the help of our members. CCIP provides our students with hands-on applied research experience so vital for creating a highly skilled Canadian workforce," said John Davies, President of Humber and Chair of Polytechnics Canada.

Anne Sado, President of George Brown College and Board member of Polytechnics Canada said, "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."

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

"The continued support for regional innovation is very welcome. Funding for regional economic development agencies like Western Economic Diversification ensures that activities that support commercialization and drive regional economic growth can carry on. We also look forward to participating in the government's comprehensive review of all federal support for R&D to ensure that the contribution of polytechnic and college research conducted with Canadian industry partners to advance our innovative capacity is clearly understood," said Dr. Don Wright, President of BCIT and Vice-Chair of Polytechnics Canada.

"As a company that has benefited greatly from our research partnership with SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, we are very excited to see clear new investment in the CCIP program. We also welcome the launch of the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program, enabling companies such as mine to market our products to federal departments and agencies. These programs will greatly enhance the economic competitiveness of Conematic in these trying times, as well as allow us to hire more polytechnic graduates who contribute to our bottom line by their job-ready skills from day one," said Doug Smith, President Conematic Heating Systems, Inc.

"We are encouraged that the government and the Minister of Industry are sending strong signals to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to include college and polytechnic research needs for infrastructure and equipment to enhance private sector innovation," said Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnics Canada. "This budget makes clear that the research-ready colleges and polytechnics are now integral players in the innovation agenda of this country. Canada is moving beyond theoretical research into supporting industry-driven research that will create the jobs of tomorrow."

Polytechnics Canada is a national alliance of Canada's leading research-intensive, publicly-funded colleges and institutes of technology. Located in Canada's key economic regions, the current nine member colleges and institutes of Polytechnics Canada are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), SAIT Polytechnic, Olds, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca and Algonquin College.

SOURCE Polytechnics Canada

For further information: For further information: Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Polytechnics Canada, Tel: (613) 688-0899, E-mail:

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