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ACCC Applauds Government Support of Ontario College Research

Ottawa, April 19, 2010 — The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology of up to $750,000 in funding for applied research projects in Southern Ontario colleges and institutes under the $15 million Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative.

“Minister Goodyear recognizes the value of Canadian college applied research to regional economic development in Southern Ontario,” said James Knight, ACCC President and CEO. “The creation of this pilot funding mechanism through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario will expand R&D capacity in Southern Ontario, help industry to innovate, and increase productivity. ACCC has been calling for an increase in funding support for applied research projects undertaken by Canadian colleges and institutes with their private sector partners, and this program is a major step in the right direction. We will continue to work with government to develop similar programs in other economic development agencies across the country.”

Canada’s colleges and institutes support the private sector’s need for applied research, product and process innovation, commercialization and technology transfer. College engagement with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is particularly robust. SMEs are at the heart of Canada’s competitiveness and productivity, and the principal source of job creation; colleges are at the heart of SME success. Some colleges and institutes have recently received offers of private sector financial support for the establishment of research chairs in applied disciplines conditional upon matching federal contributions, another indication of the importance of college and institute applied research.

Building on a half-century of experience, Canada’s colleges and institutes embody an enormous concentration of expertise on the application of technology to process improvement and product development. By focusing research on product development, prototyping, business incubation, model simulations and commercialization, they address real-world challenges, and produce the highly-skilled talent needed to apply and sustain an innovative practices workforce. They are graduating our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. More than any other institutions, they are key to improving Canada’s global productivity and competitiveness.

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For more information:

Debby Duford
Communications Officer
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Tel.: (613) 746-2222, ext 3116

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