Ottawa February 29, 2012 – Colleges and institutes are contributing to innovation in Canada through enhanced research infrastructure, the involvement of faculty and students, and expanded industrial and social innovation partnerships.In a comprehensive analysis of college applied research partnerships, the authors report that 13,585 students engaged in applied research in 2010-2011, up significantly from 2,500 only three years ago. Additionally, 1,606 faculty and staff, including industrial experts and technicians, engaged in applied research in 2010-11, up by 34% from 2009-10.
The 4,444 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefitting from applied research reflected a 17% increase from the 3,795 of the last period, and an eight-fold increase from the 515 businesses reported in 2005-2006. There are now 305 college research centres and laboratories, up 56% from 2009-10.
The report documents increased institutional commitment to applied research, diversification of funding sources, and expanding partnerships with SMEs and community partners to meet economic and social development needs. For the first time, the report identifies international applied research partnerships.
“The demand for innovation is propelling exponential growth in college-industry applied research collaboration,” says James Knight, President and CEO of ACCC. “The value of college-based applied research for business competitiveness is now unquestioned. In an economy in which 98 percent of enterprises are SMEs, colleges are making a big difference. Seventy percent of new jobs are created by SMEs.”
The Government of Canada, now the second largest source of external funding at $33.7 million, up 21% from 2009-10, has played a key role in incubating these activities.
One hundred fifty representatives from the college applied research community and federal government departments are participating in the ACCC 2012 Applied Research Symposium to discuss the need to expand college applied research capacity, provide more research opportunities for college students and maximize the impact for SME and community partners.
The full report, College and Institute Applied Research – Incremental Innovation for Growth and Prosperity: Applied Research Environmental Scan 2010-11 and related documents are available online at: www.accc.ca.
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