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Government of Canada Invests in New Research Partnerships

Government of Canada Invests in New Research Partnerships for Colleges and Communities and Creates the Jobs of Tomorrow, Today

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2009) - Nine colleges will work with their communities and local businesses to get new innovations from campuses into the marketplace where Canadians can benefit from them. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced funding for the projects under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program.

"Our government supports innovation because it creates jobs, improves the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "These new partnerships will provide skills training for the communities in which they are based and give local businesses access to the knowledge and resources they need to innovate."

Today's $20.1 million in funding is provided through the CCI Program, a collaborative initiative among the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Established as a permanent program by the Government of Canada in Budget 2007, the CCI Program enables colleges to develop or expand research transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

The nine colleges were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition. They will each receive between $1.9 and $2.3 million over five years. They join the 13 inaugural CCI Program projects announced in June and February 2009. The funded projects focus on a variety of research areas, including forestry products transformation, green building technologies and the aviation training industry.

"The CCI Program builds on other initiatives that foster collaboration between industry and post-secondary institutions," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC, which administers the program. "The partners will be working on important, multifaceted Canadian projects with direct impact on their local communities. We look forward to helping them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators to the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28 000 students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11 800 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

More information on the CCI Program and the nine funded projects is available in the backgrounder.


College and Community Innovation Program

The College and Community Innovation Program (CCI) provides institutions with funding to stimulate applied research transfer in their communities. CCI supports projects in environmental science and technology; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technology; and information and communication technology.

The program, a joint pilot project of the three federal granting agencies, is managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Acknowledging the pilot's success, the Government of Canada made CCI a permanent program in Budget 2007. The program currently supports 22 projects at 21 colleges across Canada.

Projects are selected through a rigorous peer review process that includes assessment by a Private Sector Advisory Board, comprised of leaders from the Canadian business R&D sector. The nine recipients in this third CCI competition will receive an average of $2.238 million and a total of $20.1 million over five years, from fiscal year 2009-2010 to fiscal year 2013-2014.

Round III - 2009 funded projects:

Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario: Through its applied research program, Algonquin College collaborates with industry, government, hospitals, community organizations and NGOs in the area of User Experience Design to develop products, processes and services with human-machine interfaces. The college also provides applied research services to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ottawa's information and communications technology sector. Algonquin College is also providing clients with business development services with a focus on innovation.

Fanshawe College, London, Ontario: The Fanshawe College Centre for Sustainable Environments (CSE) will enhance the college's ability to conduct multi-disciplinary, industry-driven research and development in the area of sustainable environments. CSE will focus on industry-driven projects related to "green" building, energy conservation, alternate fuels, new agri-products, energy conservation, sustainable landscaping and urban design, and other initiatives. Grow Green, CSE's cornerstone project, will make use of collaboration between industry, faculty and students to develop an environmentally-friendly plant production system using reclaimed energy and material from municipal organic waste.

Red River College, Winnipeg, Manitoba: The college will establish a Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group to build on the experience of the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure, the college's first applied research centre. The group will work with Manitoba's emerging sustainable infrastructure cluster on collaborative applied research projects to provide project-related work experience for co-op students and interns, personnel exchanges and/or secondments for faculty and industry professionals, and knowledge transfer to SMEs and other players. This project will increase the number of graduates with applied research experience, create new and enhanced partnerships and improved building and construction technologies, and reduce energy consumption and waste/greenhouse gas emissions.

Seneca College, Toronto, Ontario: Seneca College, along with industry partners, is proposing research into the feasibility of using more simulation technology in pilot training. The research will respond to a decline in the number of student trainees and in the viability of pilot training schools, and to a gap in the skill sets of new pilots. Findings will help revitalize flight training businesses. The research will identify when and how to incorporate simulation into pilot training, the benefits of a move from prescriptive regulations to performance-based outcomes, and the necessity of ongoing "proof of concept" trials for operational efficiency and quality of newly trained pilots. The exercise will help Canada's aviation training industry become more competitive internationally.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Calgary, Alberta: Given that the design and construction industries are embracing green building technologies, SAIT recognized the need for new research to help these industries meet municipal green building targets while simultaneously addressing federal policies on greenhouse gas emission reductions, improved indoor air quality and improved building code restrictions. SAIT Applied Research and Innovation Services established a Green Building Technologies (GBT) program in 2008 with three main goals: to lead industry in implementing green building technologies; to provide training for students in these technologies; and to enhance commercialization of green technologies for Canadian industry. GBT's applied research program focuses on four main research areas: Net Zero Envelope and systems monitoring; architectural ecology; integrated renewable energy/alternative energy; and education and industry transformation.

Cegep de l'Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec: The project being carried out by the Cegep of Abitibi-Temiscamingue and its partners will help small and medium-sized businesses in the region to develop marketable products from quarry wastes. This project comprises four components, with the following goals: 1) to develop a process to avoid transporting waste over long distances; 2) to manufacture concentrates of muscovite (mica), garnet, kyanite and silica from quarry waste; 3) to manufacture finished products from the industrial minerals extracted from the waste; 4) to develop products from other types of industrial minerals found in quarry waste.

Cegep de Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec: Quebec's Bas-Saint-Laurent region has a number of small and medium-sized businesses that process forest products. The region is also a pioneer in wood heating and in certification of forest products. The project's research team will provide fair, suitable and sustainable solutions for developing the communities of this region. This project's objectives are as follows: to improve the fire resistance of wood construction materials; to improve the physical, mechanical and antifungal properties of soft woods; to use thermocompression processes to add value to soft woods; to manufacture natural insulation materials and sustainable ecomaterials from wood; to improve the process for manufacturing charcoal and to derive value from its by-products; and to conduct applied research on bioproducts and bioenergies.

Cegep de Saint-Jerome, Saint-Jerome, Quebec: Composites with a polymer matrix and fibreglass reinforcement are widely used to manufacture parts for a number of industries, including the transportation, construction, marine, sanitary services and recreational vehicle industries. However, at present, the solid wastes from the manufacturing of these composites are not reused, but are sent to landfills. In today's competitive international marketplace, environmental and occupational health and safety requirements are a central concern. The researchers at the Cegep of Saint-Jerome and its partners will, therefore, be conducting experiments in treating and reusing these wastes so as to reduce their environmental footprint.

Cegep de Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec: The Cegep of Trois-Rivieres, through its Integrated Foundry and Metallurgy Centre, plans to conduct R&D for the titanium and advanced-alloys industry cluster. The goal of this R&D will be to develop technologies and products with significant potential for technology transfer to suppliers in the aeronautical and medical markets. The Cegep and its partners have made a strong commitment to this project, because of its usefulness for technical-education purposes, its potential for retaining students because of the high-tech equipment that it involves and its role in the economic diversification of Quebec's Mauricie region.

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