Ottawa, November 21, 2014 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) welcomes the launch of a new pilot initiative for college-based social innovation research. The Community and College Social Innovation Fund was announced by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) at Red River College, on Friday, November 21.
The fund will increase the capacity of colleges to collaborate with community organizations and businesses to address social issues such as poverty, crime prevention, community safety and economic development at the community level. It will be administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot was present for the announcement and took part in the subsequent round table with Minister Holder and other key stakeholders. CICan has advocated for a program of this type for years, and was able to demonstrate that colleges are both well positioned to handle social innovation research and already producing inspired work in that sector. In 2012-2013 alone, 821 new research projects were launched in colleges and institutes across Canada.
“Colleges, institutes and polytechnics are mandated to contribute to the social and economic development of the communities they serve,” said Amyot. “The scale and scope of college applied research in social innovation is significant, and makes a difference for community and social service organizations across the country. We are pleased that the Government of Canada is investing in college social innovation research. This is key to increase opportunities for community organizations to tap into the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and institutes.”
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics. The Association works 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 operates in 29 countries via 13 offices around the world.