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The Government of Canada Invests in the Jobs of Tomorrow - Today

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 31, 2010) - Twelve colleges will work with their communities and local businesses to get new innovations from campuses into the marketplace. These new partnerships will develop innovative environmentally-friendly technologies to reduce water contamination, advance emerging solar technologies and clean up heavy metals from residential and industrial soils. Speaking at St. Lawrence College today, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced funding for these and other projects.

"Our government supports innovation because it creates jobs, improves the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy," said Minister Goodyear. "We are supporting these projects in colleges across the country to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses, and enable young Canadians to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow."

The twelve new projects announced today will receive a total of nearly $15 million under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. At St. Lawrence College, researchers will work with businesses in the fast-growing sustainable energy industry in eastern Ontario and PARTEQ Innovations of Queen's University to create a Sustainability Energy Applied Research Centre. This partnership will develop new innovations in solar, geothermal, wind and biomass energy.

The College and Community Innovation Program is a collaborative initiative between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Established by the Government of Canada in Budget 2007, the 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 twelve colleges were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition, and they will each receive grants lasting between two and five years. They join the 22 inaugural projects announced in 2009.

"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. "This program encourages colleges to work with their communities, transferring their expertise for the benefit of the people and businesses in their areas. It will benefit the bottom lines of local companies, which play such a vital role in our economy, both through the people they employ and the goods and services they produce."

"The CCI Program works extremely well. It benefits colleges, employers and students, and creates jobs" said James Knight, President and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. "The doubling of the CCI Program reflects an understanding of the contribution of colleges to innovation, productivity and economic growth."

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28,000 students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The Council promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

More information on the College and Community Innovation Program and the twelve funded projects is available in the backgrounder.


College and Community Innovation Program

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

The program, a joint pilot project of the three federal granting agencies, is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Acknowledging the pilot's success, the Government of Canada made CCI a permanent program in Budget 2007. The program currently supports 34 projects at 31 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 twelve recipients in this fourth CCI competition will receive a total of almost $15 million for two to five years, from fiscal year 2009-2010 to fiscal year 2014-2015.

Round IV - 2010 funded projects:

Douglas College, Coquitlam, British Columbia: This initiative will address research needs of the British Columbia agricultural sector regarding management of arthropod pests. In particular, the college and its industrial partners will conduct research on the use of arthropod predators and parasitoids for biological control of key pest species. Management of pests via biological control provides a sustainable ecologically-based alternative to the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. New biological control products will be developed, and existing products will be optimized to improve management of two key pests in greenhouse vegetable production: tomato psyllids and aphids. Technology transfer of new products and technologies will be optimized by direct involvement of the greenhouse and insectary industries.

Selkirk College, Castlegar, British Colombia: This project will focus on development of prototype applications that could allow local small and medium-sized forest enterprises to access, evaluate and analyse data and tools related to potential opportunities in forest carbon markets. The overall project goal is the development and deployment of several potentially transferable and commercializable decision-support tools for forest carbon management. A regional partnership, to be called the Decision Support Collaborative, will be established with forestry stakeholders to advise, collaborate with and guide the research team in its efforts to build applied research capacity.

Lakeland College, Vermilion, Alberta: Lakeland plans to develop synergistic multi-component monitoring, diagnostic and control system arrays for renewable energy technologies. The college also plans to identify and adapt renewable technologies to efficiently store heat energy for seasonal and low temperature space heating applications in the region. The outcome of this program of research will be processes, technologies, prototypes and products of interest to our commercial partners.

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: This is a joint initiative between the chemical technology program of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology and two local small and medium-sized enterprises. The objective of the research is to develop new technologies to reduce water contamination and to create value-added byproducts by recycling the contaminants into a reusable form. The resulting technologies will be employed in municipal wastewater recycling, water purification, sewage treatment and wastewater management.

Cambrian College, Sudbury, Ontario: Researchers will undertake a variety of applied research projects which include, for example, Cambrian's Phytoextraction of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Sudbury Soils project which proposes to investigate the technique of phytoextraction for the clean-up of low to moderate concentrations of heavy metals from residential and industrial soils affected by mining and smelting. A second project proposes to develop and assess a more efficient design of an off-grid energy alternative for residential buildings in northern climates. Cambrian's final project aims to develop and optimize the design parameters and construct a prototype of a high efficiency heat battery that will allow the optimal storage of solar energy in thermal form and allow for its use, on demand, for residential application in northern regions.

Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario: The overall goal of the proposed two-year Mobilizing Technology Solutions project is to engage with industries in the Greater Toronto Area that focus on the area of health care communication technology. The researchers will work with this industry sector to model strategic processes and develop smart technologies to provide timely, accurate and concise data analysis. The result will provide technology applications that maximize the utilization and deployment of health care resources, and enhance situational resilience to decrease the recovery time from critical events.

Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology, Sarnia, Ontario: The Renewable Energy Conversion and Storage Research project will increase the capacity for Lambton College and its industrial partners to undertake applied research, development and commercialization activities in the areas of renewable energy generation, conversion, storage and supply. Research initiatives will explore how to buffer the resulting electrical output and how to use electrolysis for smart grid stabilization. The R&D activities at Lambton College will examine the integration of renewable energy generation technologies and will explore the viability of a hydrogen-based energy storage and production infrastructure.

Seneca College, Toronto, Ontario: Seneca intends to scale and grow the research capacity of Seneca's Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT) to meet the ever-increasing needs of our current and prospective partners. These large partners and potential partners are interested in having the college work with them to develop highly trained individuals for employment, to collaboratively leverage open source technology and to engage them in the network of open source collaboration that benefits the industry as a whole. CDOT will expand to include local small and medium enterprises.

St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Ontario: St. Lawrence College will expand its applied research activity in sustainable energy technologies over the next five years, creating a Sustainability Energy Applied Research Centre and partnering with Queen's PARTEQ Innovations for commercialization activities. The college will partner with eastern Ontario's fast-growing sustainable energy industries and with local university researchers. Projects will assist prototype development and field testing, improve efficiencies in new and existing technologies, and develop integrations of the variety of emerging technologies concerned with solar, geothermal, wind and biomass energy.

Cégep de La Pocatière, La Pocatière, Quebec: The Cégep de La Pocatière and its partners have undertaken a project focused on developing a virtual caregiver system with artificial intelligence. The system will incorporate a number of monitoring technologies that will automatically assume the burden of various tasks and offer significant respite and peace of mind to caregivers and health care workers.

Cégep de Matane, Matane, Quebec: The Cégep de Matane, in partnership with Simthetiq, proposes to carry out a digital imaging project for the town of Matane. The project includes three parts: (1) implementing a 3D mapping system that uses the GPS capacity of 3G cell phones; (2) generating a 3D model of the town of Matane that will become available through the Google Earth application; and (3) collecting relevant information about the Matane region to make it accessible through an augmented reality application to people who use 3G telephones. The project will allow the town of Matane to develop new services for tourists to help them discover the community through their cell phones.

Cégep de Thetford, Thetford Mines, Quebec: The project focuses on two principal paths, the development of bio-based technical thermoplastics, and the development of thermosets, with reduced environmental impact (biodegradable polymers resulting from biomass). Each axis includes several sub-projects intended to meet the specific needs of the industrial partners. This structure will facilitate exchanges between industries, research centres and the training centre, and will lead to the creation of a regional production stream for polymers having a reduced environmental impact.

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