Government of Canada

Government of Canada

September 07, 2016 10:29 ET

Government Support Helps Transform Promising Research Into Innovative Business Opportunities

Connecting scientists and engineers with business spurs innovation

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Sept. 7, 2016) - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

The Government of Canada understands that colleges play a fundamental role in helping young Canadians gain the skills they need to join a highly-skilled, creative workforce that is key to supporting a healthy, vibrant middle class. In addition to being the engines of hands-on learning for students, colleges also allow researchers to collaborate with their industrial partners on innovations that can benefit all Canadians.

Dozens of promising projects led by talented researchers will increase the chances company commercialization efforts succeed thanks to the latest investments made through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program (CCI). Helping college researchers collaborate with industrial partners on innovations will spur commercialization and create highly skilled jobs.

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, on behalf of Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, today announced more than $36 million in new funding for 32 research projects at colleges and CÉGEPs across Canada to support applied research and development activities with Canadian businesses. NSERC's CCI program helps strengthen research links between colleges, CÉGEPs and businesses to accelerate the development of promising technologies and promote their commercialization.

Minister Mihychuk made the announcement at Red River College in Winnipeg which is receiving $4.6 million in CCI funding to support two applied research projects aimed at developing new products and processes for the food and automotive industries. One project will allow the college's School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts to expand its research capabilities, which is aimed at innovative new processes in the food manufacturing and food service industries. The other project will enable the college's Vehicle Technology and Energy Centre to further expand its research capabilities, helping to reduce vehicle emissions and find renewable fuel sources.


"Through today's investment, the Government of Canada is supporting collaborations between talented scientists and engineers working hard on college campuses and their counterparts who are leading local businesses. Such partnerships can lead to the commercialization of ideas, job creation for the middle class and sustainable economic growth that benefits all Canadians."

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"These investments help post-secondary institutions such as Red River College build on their research strengths and forge closer ties to business partners in our community and province. Our support ensures that the work being done here will generate larger economic opportunities throughout Manitoba and will help grow the province's middle class."

- The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"We are proud to invest in Canadian colleges and CÉGEPs that are at the forefront of applied research and technological innovation. This unique program supports R&D excellence and invests in the next generation of highly skilled innovators. By deepening interactions between the college community and businesses we're helping local companies increase their R&D capacity, access new technologies and boost their competitiveness."

- Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
  • Since its launch in 2009, the program has invested $349.3 million in 1,660 projects at 105 post-secondary institutions across Canada.
  • The program has helped dozens of college researchers strengthen their collaborations with industry that lead to commercialization, technology transfer as well as the adaptation and adoption of new technologies. Red River used a 2015 CCI grant to conduct applied research along with local construction contractors to establish the Centre for Building Envelope Performance, which will allow area companies to benefit from new building design innovations.

Related products

Associated links

Follow Minister Duncan on social media:

Twitter: @ScienceMin

Instagram: sciencemin

Follow NSERC on social media:



NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries - valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

Contact Information