CICan Network Updates

Main Content

Applied Research

December 2019

1. Advocacy Updates

National Research Advisory Committee Update

On November 20-21, 2019, CICan’s National Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) met in Ottawa to receive important program and policy updates as they relate to college applied research from the Tri-Agencies (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)) as well as from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Mitacs.  NRAC also engaged in a very successful round of advocacy meetings with key officials from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Finance Canada.  NRAC members emphasized the crucial role colleges play in bringing new and diverse partners into Canada’s innovation ecosystem, as well as the need to support these SME engagement efforts through a new, annual federal investment of $40M in college applied research offices, as articulated in the Federal Budget 2020 submission developed by the College Applied Research Taskforce.  It is clear these meetings with government officials were impactful and we look forward to expanding our advocacy efforts in this regard. 

CICan Applied Research Survey

CICan has released its latest, fully-interactive survey report of research activity at Canada’s colleges and institutes. The study looks at their contribution in key sectors of the economy and shows their impact as innovation engines for businesses in communities across the country.  The survey results show that colleges and institutes across Canada led over 6,000 applied research projects in 2017-2018. This resulted in over 2,100 prototypes, 880 new products, 480 processes and 360 services, 87% of which were completed in less than one year. These projects were based on over 7,300 research partnerships, 64% of which included SMEs who may not always have the capacity or resources to conduct cutting-edge research on their own. The survey also highlights how applied research projects provided great opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience while working with potential employers.  With the results of the survey in mind, CICan is reinforcing its earlier call to the Government of Canada to help expand SME participation in the innovation ecosystem by investing an additional $40 million per year in business innovation engagement services based in colleges, institutes and polytechnics.

Applied Research Comes of Age

CICan is pleased to partner with Research Money for the 2019 edition of Applied Research Comes of Age, a 40 page, full-colour booklet shines a spotlight on the applied research and industry partnerships happening at Canadian colleges, institutes, CEGEPs & polytechnics.

2. Upcoming Deadlines

CICan Annual Conference Call for Proposals

This year, CICan’s 2020 Connection Conference is entitled “Collective Intelligence” and features a dedicated stream for applied research presentations.  We encourage you to submit proposals about the impact of applied research and entrepreneurship in your college community under the “Driving Innovation” stream.  The conference will be held in Montreal from May 3-5, 2020 and the deadline to submit proposals has been extended to December 16, 2019. 

CICan on the Hill + Student Showcase

On February 26 – 27, 2020, Presidents, CEOs and government relations leads from CICan member institutions are invited to convene in Ottawa for CICan on the Hill. This is an opportunity to engage with parliamentarians and senior federal officials to share perspectives on how colleges and institutes support skills development and innovation in communities across Canada.  The event will include a Student Showcase featuring innovative projects or initiatives in applied research, social innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, reconciliation and inclusion.  We strongly encourage you to nominate a student or recent grad from your institution to highlight initiatives involving applied research, social innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, reconciliation, accessibility and inclusion.  The deadline to nominate students is December 20, 2019.

3. Information Sharing

CICan Commissions EKOS poll on life-long learning

With the labour market changing faster than ever to keep up with disruptive technologies, a new report commissioned by CICan shows that lifelong learning and access to hands-on training opportunities are highly valued by Canadians.  The report is based on a poll conducted by EKOS and shows that 98% of Canadians believe that access to lifelong learning at all ages is important. It also shows a range of preferences when it comes to accessing training, depending on where respondents are in life and in their careers. The vast majority value hands-on learning geared towards employment, whether it’s delivered in a classroom, online or in the workplace.

CARA Research Administration Certificate

Mohawk College, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA), offers a fully-online Research Administration Certificate.

Three of the 6 courses are offered this January and CARA has many generous bursaries available to assist students with registration fees and CARA membership costs.

Winter term registration is now open and continues until the first week of January 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Lampson at

Mitacs Webinar Recording

On December 3, 2019 Mitacs presented a webinar about the college Accelerate program in collaboration with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL).  We are pleased to share the PowerPoint slides and a link to the video of the Q&A session.

4. Subscription Information

Subscribe to the CICan Applied Research Network

If you would like to be added to the CICan Applied Research Network and receive future update newsletters, or to change your contact information, please contact Julie Trohon at