New Federal Support Deepens Industry Innovation Linkages with Polytechnics and Colleges

For immediate release:

September 7, 2016 – Winnipeg – Polytechnics Canada welcomes today’s announcement of funds for innovative polytechnic and college applied research projects, and for the infrastructure to support them. These federal investments are linked with industry demand and will directly impact Canada’s innovation performance.

“Canada’s polytechnics and colleges are proven innovation intermediaries that support small and medium-sized businesses in scaling up,” said Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada.  “These critical funds, provided by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) ensure that the government is utilizing public supports across the innovation spectrum to help Canadian firms become more innovative.”  Both programs featured today have long formed the core of Polytechnics Canada’s science and innovation advocacy.

Today at Red River College, Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk announced funding under two federal programs that support polytechnic and college applied research.  On behalf of Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, Minister Mihychuk announced awards under the College and Community Innovation Program (CCI) administered by NSERC, as well as the College Industry-Innovation Fund (CIIF), administered by the CFI.

Today’s CCI awards total more than $36 million for 32 applied research projects. The awards under the CIIF program are more than $6.3 million for 8 applied research infrastructure projects.   

The CCI is the only federal research granting council program that specifically supports demand-driven applied research activity at colleges and polytechnics and requires industry involvement. The CIIF enables the purchase of specialized research equipment for these projects.

Polytechnics Canada congratulates its members who will receive new funding for their collaborative research partnerships with industry.

  • Red River College – Innovation Enhancement Grant for Advanced Culinary Research
  • Red River College – Innovation Enhancement Grant for VTEC - Vehicle Technology and Energy Centre
  • SAIT – Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands In Situ Steam Generation
  • Conestoga College – Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Advanced Recycling Technologies for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Red River College: MotiveLab Vehicle Climatic Chamber Test Facility
  • Conestoga College: Food Innovation and Technology
  • NAIT: Nanomaterial Integrated Smart Technology Development for Energy Infrastructure Health Monitoring
  • George Brown College: George Brown College Food Science and Culinary Arts Applied Research Infrastructure
  • Sheridan: Advanced Multi-material Additive Manufacturing: Product and Process Innovation

“Each of these awards demonstrates the depth of pre-commercialization, productivity enhancement, and technology development services we offer to industry across the country,” said  Mrs.  Robinson.

Located in Canada’s key economic regions, the 11 members of Polytechnics Canada are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Red River College, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca, and Algonquin Colleges.


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For more information, please contact:


Robert South

Director of Public Policy and Advocacy

Polytechnics Canada


Tel.: 613-688-0690

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