Ottawa, ON, March 5, 2014 – The number of Canadian companies collaborating with public colleges and institutes to solve critical business challenges with applied research partnerships jumped by 19% last year. Not only did college partnerships increase to 5,444 in 2012-13, private sector funding of college applied research also jumped by 21% to $72 million.
Investments by colleges, institutes and polytechnics into applied research activities have also surged by 29%, year over year, to more than $49 million dollars. Federal and provincial contributions were approximately $71 million and $37 million, respectively.
“Recent federal investments have enhanced college capacity to assist industry and community needs for applied research for new and innovative products, processes or services,” said Denise Amyot, ACCC President and CEO and Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. “Communities and the private sector benefit from college and institute research due to its practical approaches. With some additional balancing of federal research investments, even more small- and medium-sized business could benefit from the research excellence of ACCC members.”
College and institute expertise includes 654 areas of research specialization in natural resources and energy; health; environment; information and communications technologies; manufacturing and social innovation. The number of faculty, staff, industrial experts and technicians involved in applied research is up 30% to 2,300, while student participation increased 22% to 29,356. There are 98 Canadian colleges and institutes with dedicated research divisions and the number of specialized research centres and labs rose 26% to 489.
“College research partnerships help bridge the skills gaps so students gain practical experience that leads to well-paying careers,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO of Sheridan College and Chair of the ACCC Presidents’ Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. “The significant increases to applied research partnerships, private sector and institutional investments, plus student and faculty involvement demonstrate that colleges have got it right on research.”
Communities, small- and medium-sized businesses and industry are increasingly looking to colleges and institutes in Canada to support their skills, research and employment needs. The recent launch of an ACCC-led industry-college coalition demonstrates our impact.
ACCC is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly funded colleges and institutes. We 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 across Canada. ACCC also operates in 29 countries via 13 offices around the world.