Science and Technology Showcase Highlights Value of Polytechnic Research

Three Polytechnics Canada Members Win NSERC Grants

MARKHAM, ON, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Small and medium sized companies demonstrated the benefits of collaborating with polytechnics, colleges and institutes of technology today at the Fourth Annual Polytechnics Canada Science and Technology Showcase held at Seneca College.

The Showcase put a spotlight on the role students in college programs play in helping to solve commercialization challenges identified by industry partners. Speeches by Minister Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology and by the President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Dr. Suzanne Fortier, emphasized the need for partnership between the academic and industrial sectors in order to propel further innovation success in Canada.

"We bridge business needs with the highly qualified research capability of our students and faculty," says Nobina Robinson, CEO, Polytechnics Canada. "Organizations bring their concepts and R&D needs to our members. In turn, we form a team of experienced faculty and students to help companies improve their competitiveness and bring their ideas to market."

Ms. Fortier announced more winners for the College Community Innovation Program that funds research and commercialization activity for businesses to collaborate with colleges. This year's recipients, Seneca, SAIT and Algonquin join George Brown, Olds College and Sheridan in gaining recognition for their leading edge work with industry in key sectors of innovation growth, including health, aviation, digital media, environment, agriculture, information technology.

"There is great value in projects that support the partnerships of institutions like Seneca College with industry," says David Agnew, Seneca College President and board member of Polytechnics Canada. "This applied research funding will provide our students with important work-related experience, allow exciting new teaching opportunities for our faculty, and provide needed support to our economy."

Presidents of Polytechnics Canada member institutions presented recommendations in which government and industry can champion for the next federal budget. These notable ideas are designed to foster stronger industry innovation while recognizing the fiscal constraints on national spending. "Working with industry to solve commercial problems improves the employability of graduates. The College and Community Innovation Program gives all colleges more opportunities to expose students to industry-driven research. We are encouraged by Minister Goodyear's continued support of college and polytechnic-driven research," says John Davies, President of Humber and Chair of Polytechnics Canada.

Polytechnics Canada's budget recommendations relate to a commercialization voucher program for SMEs and sustaining funding for the College Community Innovation Program, while leveraging research infrastructure funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation. For more information see Polytechnics Canada's Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance's 2009 Pre-Budget Consultations at http://www.polytechnicscanada.ca/publications/

Polytechnics Canada is a national alliance of Canada's research-intensive, publicly-funded colleges and institutes of technology.

SOURCE Polytechnics Canada

For further information: For further information: Andrew Gemmell, Policy Analyst, Polytechnics Canada, (o) (613) 656-1241, (c) (613) 866-0655, agemmell@polytechnicscanada.ca


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