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CICan Shares its Vision for Canada’s Innovation Agenda

Ottawa, October 20, 2016 – As world leaders in partnered innovation, Canadian colleges and institutes have an essential role to play in renewing Canada’s innovation agenda. Answering the call issued by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has launched a series of recommendations encouraging the government to capitalize on the capacity and capabilities of its members to achieve inclusive growth.

With deep ties to local businesses, communities, and industry, colleges and institutes serve as inclusive community hubs that integrate the critical elements of the innovation ecosystem. From education and training to applied research, they are fully dedicated to realizing the potential of every Canadian to contribute to the innovation economy and a thriving society.

“Canada’s colleges and institutes play a pivotal role in achieving inclusive growth by offering training and retraining designed to maintain an “innovation ready” workforce, equipped with
 the skills to maximize employment, self-employment
 and entrepreneurship opportunities”, said CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “They are also leaders in applied research conducted in collaboration with local partners to produce tangible results that increase productivity and improve the lives of Canadians and people around the world.”

CICan’s recommendations focus on three priorities, identified in consultation with its members across the country. They include:

  • Developing and maintaining an innovation-ready workforce to foster an entrepreneurial and creative society and compete in a digital world by:
    • Increasing the number and quality of work-integrated learning opportunities
    • Improving the skills and competencies of working-age Canadians
    • Ensuring that students have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment
  • Unlocking innovation to expand and exploit global science excellence, support world leading clusters and partnerships and increase the ease of doing business by:
    • Increasing applied research funding from $75M to $300M annually, to create new “Innovation Service Hubs” and increase the number of specialized research centres
  • Empowering student and community entrepreneurs to grow companies and accelerate clean growth by:
    • Investing in more on-campus incubators and accelerators

For more information about CICan’s recommendations, download the full submission to the Innovation Agenda at:

Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics. Its members work with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. CICan and its members are committed to driving Canadian prosperity by being global leaders in applied education and partnered innovation.


For more information:
Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan