Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 18, 2012 13:30 ET

Harper Government Invests in High-Quality Jobs and Growth

New research partnerships between colleges and companies boost marketplace innovation

THETFORD MINES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 18, 2012) - The Harper Government is supporting 35 community colleges and cégeps that are partnering with businesses to conduct research in the areas of information and communications technologies, environmental technologies, natural resources and energy. The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, was at the Cégep de Thetford today to celebrate this support and the research projects for which the institution is receiving funding through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program.

"Our country's prosperity depends on our ability to turn innovation into high-quality jobs and economic growth," said Minister Paradis. "The College and Community Innovation Program lends itself to this effort through research collaborations between companies and colleges. It illustrates the importance that our government places on creating the right conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in this country."

On May 8, 2012, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced that 60 innovative partnerships between colleges and businesses will receive more than $36 million over a period of up to five years through the CCI Program. This includes the inaugural recipients of two new programs established in Budget 2011, namely three recipients of the College-University Idea to Innovation Grants and 14 new Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges.

The projects being celebrated today were selected for funding following a peer-reviewed competition. To date, investments made through the CCI Program, including this year's and those in 2009, 2010 and 2011, total more than $160 million for 248 projects at 62 colleges and cégeps.

The Cégep de Thetford has received more than $2.3 million through the CCI Program, enabling the institution to develop processes for the production of biodiesel and the extraction of oil from oleaginous materials for use in the construction industry. This support will also help train the local workforce as well as tomorrow's scientists.

The CCI Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"These investments provide colleges with access to the people, resources and tools they need to be at the forefront of innovation," said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "The ultimate goal is to create sustainable partnerships that will help sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on the bottom line of our country and industry."

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging some 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

More information on the CCI Program and the 60 funded projects is available in the backgrounder.

Contact Information

  • Margaux Stastny
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
    Minister of Industry

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada

    Martin Leroux
    Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada