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Applied Research at Canada’s Colleges and Institutes Continues to Expand

February 17, 2011 – Applied research at Canada’s colleges and institutes continues to expand in spite of difficult economic conditions.

A report on applied research at colleges released by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) today found that the number of dedicated research facilities at colleges increased significantly between 2008-09 and 2009-10. The number of research centres and laboratories rose 40 percent from 2008-09 to 2009-10 from 140 to 196, a 172 percent increase since 2006 when only 72 were identified.

Funding from the private sector has increased more than ten-fold since 2005 and remained stable between 2008-09 and 2009-10 in spite of the recession. The private sector contributed $45 million to applied research at colleges in 2009-10 up from $4 million in 2005. Colleges also receive funding from federal and provincial governments for applied research.

“Local businesses and community organizations see colleges as ideal partners for helping to develop new products or improve processes and services,” says James Knight, President and CEO of ACCC. “Colleges already have strong ties to local enterprises and can respond quickly to their needs. It’s a tribute to their successful partnerships with SMEs that funding from the private sector remained stable in spite of the economic downturn.”

The added benefit for colleges and businesses is that many of these projects offer students hands-on experience in innovation and advanced skills, both of which are needed by employers.

The full report, Productivity through Innovation: Applied Research at Canada’s colleges and institutes 2009-10, is available online at: www.accc.ca. Key findings are summarized in the attached fact sheet.

For more information:

Judy Barbeau, Communications Officer
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Tel: 613-746-5656

Leslie Cooper Cole, Acting Manager of Communications
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Tel:  613-746-2222, ext. 3123

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