Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

November 27, 2013 10:26 ET

A Boost for Canadian Business: New Online Tool Opens Doors to Some of Canada's Top Research Facilities

OTTAWA, OTTAWA--(Marketwired - Nov. 27, 2013) - Creating new and innovative products and services for global markets is a constant challenge for Canada's businesses. Research can help if companies know where to find it. A new online directory, launched today by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), will help companies identify, locate and connect with research expertise and cutting-edge facilities at universities, colleges and research hospitals across the country.

A first of its kind, the CFI Research Facilities Navigator is an easy-to-use search tool geared to businesses looking to establish research collaborations that will help them innovate. These collaborations can help the private sector prototype, develop and solidify proof-of-concept for products, or improve their services or processes.

"Our country's long-term economic prosperity depends on innovative companies with cutting-edge technology that create high-quality jobs and help improve our standard of living," says the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "This new online resource is yet another example of how our government is encouraging collaboration among the academic, public and private partners to drive innovation into every sector of our economy."

The Navigator is launching with 150 facilities; another 150 have registered to be included. The infrastructure and expertise available in these state-of-the-art labs address virtually every discipline, from biomedicine and health to materials engineering and digital technology.

"The Navigator is a repository of some of the country's most advanced research facilities that want to work with the private sector," says Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "It was developed primarily to give companies a leg up by allowing businesses of all sizes to quickly and easily connect with researchers and graduate students who have the ideas and state-of-the-art equipment to solve their research challenges."

The Navigator provides users with information on areas of expertise, research services, specialized equipment and contact information.

Visit the CFI Research Facilities Navigator at Innovation.ca/navigator, and see below for story ideas on how Canadian researchers are already connecting with business.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada's universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world's top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. For more information, visit Innovation.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

How research partnerships are boosting Canadian business

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator (Innovation.ca/navigator) is a searchable online directory of participating research labs and facilities at universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada that are open to working with business. It was created by the Canada Foundation for Innovation to help businesses connect with universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada as a first step towards establishing research partnerships and collaborations.

Many of the facilities listed in the Navigator have already partnered with the private sector. Here are original story ideas from across the country of how research has helped businesses gain a competitive edge. For more stories, please contact our media relations specialists listed above.

VANCOUVER: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in The Hobbit trilogy will dazzle moviegoers in early December with its high-definition, 3D imagery, thanks to a new film process called Variable Frame Rate Technology. Maria Lantin, director of the Intersection Digital Studio at Emily Carr University of Art + Design says her faculty shared their expertise in Variable Frame Rate with the film's producers. In addition to experimenting with new film techniques, she says the studio also works with companies in need of design, rapid-prototyping and 3D printing technology.

WATERLOO: Sports fans moan when a hockey or basketball player chokes in a make-or-break play, and the athletes often see it coming. Christine Purdon, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the University of Waterloo, helps athletes control those mental flashes of anticipated failure before they take the shot. Of the many professional mental health services Purdon and her colleagues offer at the centre, they are particularly interested in working with sports teams, musicians and even managers to control such "unwanted thoughts" so they can succeed when the spotlight is on them.

TORONTO: The holidays can be a high stress time of year for retail workers working long hours through the rush. But Dr. Jurgen Rehm of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says his Mobile Research Lab could come to the rescue. He says the lab can be "hired" by companies to gauge the mental health status of employees. Rehm's research team can also develop protocols to address some of the major mental health issues a workforce may be struggling with in the hopes of improving a company's overall productivity. So far, the mobile unit has rolled into several municipalities and Rehm says they conducted a conceptual study for airline companies, showing them how to curb rates of depression among frontline workers.

OTTAWA: While most people shiver through the winter, those working deep below the surface of the Earth are sweating buckets. As the head of the Human and Environmental Research Unit at the University of Ottawa, Glen Kenny works with major mining companies, such as Rio Tinto and Barrick Gold, to alleviate the extreme heat their miners feel during long shifts. He says he is helping these companies with the design and development of new, cool clothing and portable, personalized cooling systems. Kenny has also advised Health Canada, Toronto Public Health and the U.S. military on how the human body manages heat.

MONTRÉAL: "Boutique" is a buzzword defining much of Montréal's food, fashion and gaming industry. But according to David Thomas at McGill University, the city is also home to boutique pharmaceutical companies that manufacture drugs for what he refers to as "orphan diseases." Surprisingly to some, Thomas says Cystic Fibrosis is one of these diseases because it affects a smaller portion of the population than other, major illnesses such as cancer. Thomas and his colleagues are working with smaller scale drug companies to turn their novel treatment for Cystic Fibrosis into a possible cure. He says he is hoping to team up with other local drug companies to research and develop cures for illnesses that have been pushed to the fringe.

Contact Information

  • Michael Bhardwaj
    Media Relations Specialist
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-943-5346 (office)
    613-222-1910 (mobile)
    Michael.bhardwaj@innovation.ca

    Yves Melanson
    Media Relations Coordinator
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-996-3160 (office)
    613-447-1723 (mobile)
    Yves.melanson@innovation.ca