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April 16, 2018

Skills and Innovation in the Natural Resources and Clean Technologies Sector

April 22 marks the 48th annual Earth Day – a celebration that has brought together people and countries around the world in the fight for a clean environment, launching the modern environmental movement. Since the very first Earth Day nearly fifty years ago, The Earth Day Network has been working to broaden their scope to include not only protecting the environment and natural resources, but also greening community institutions like schools and government buildings, creating green jobs, and investing in green programs. In honour of Earth Day 2018, this week we are putting the spotlight on the essential role colleges and institutes play in preparing Canadians for a greener economy.

Improving how we cultivate and manage natural resources to create a greener future is one of the most important issues of our time, requiring timely and innovative responses to many challenges. By working in close collaboration with industry, Canada’s colleges and institutes have shown time and again that they are able to respond to immediate labour market needs and adapt to new and emerging jobs and technologies. Did you know that CICan members offer over 350 programs relevant to natural resources and clean technologies, on topics as broad as environmental technology, oil and gas regulation, urban forestry, and water conservation and management? Their repertoire of programs includes over 150 diplomas, 115+ certificate programs, 30+ degrees, 50+ post-graduate certificates or diplomas, and 5+ masters degrees.

Colleges and institutes also boast some of the greenest campuses in the world and have been early adopters of new technologies that help reduce their environmental footprint. This expertise extends to the research sector and has allowed them to help develop greener processes and products across many industries. With the longest coastline in the world, Canada is a leader in coastal and ocean research, as evidenced by the recently funded Ocean Supercluster benefiting from college and institute involvement and expertise.

Did you know that over 100 college-based research centres and laboratories are dedicated to natural resources and clean technologies across the country? This includes:

  • the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies at Fleming College, an internationally recognized research institute that works with industry partners on emerging concepts to develop real world applications, and aims to turn innovative ideas into market advantage for a cleaner world; and,
  • the Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Energy Technology and Energy Efficiency (TERRE) at the Cégep de Jonquière, which carries out applied research in sustainable supply to help isolated areas free themselves of their dependency on fossil fuels.

These types of facilities currently house over 100 applied research projects in natural resources and clean technologies being conducted in collaboration with local businesses across the country. Examples include:

  • the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick’s Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Centre where the team uses microbial fermentation and other processes to produce value-added industrial bioproducts such as bioethanol, biodiesel, and alcoholic beverages from agricultural and marine biomasses and industrial and municipal wastes;
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability, which works with government and industry to develop technologies that improve the economic and environmental performance of the oil sands, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the use of freshwater, among other measures;
  • the Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Applied Oceans Research Group (AORG), which focuses on investigating the latest innovations in ocean survey instruments, including subsea camera systems, multi-beam echo sounders, and autonomous platforms; and,
  • the BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology, where research is being conducted to evaluate green roof performance for storm-water mitigation, thermal efficiency, and material durability.

This Earth Day, let’s not only take the time to reflect on what we can all do as individuals to protect the environment, but also celebrate the colleges and institutes leading groundbreaking applied research and programming to help ensure a prosperous green future.

Get Ready to Network at #CICan18!

Conference 2018 is an excellent opportunity for participants to meet and engage with their colleagues and counterparts from across the country through networking sessions. Networking sessions include:

Click here for the full agenda of Conference 2018. We can’t wait to see you there – don’t forget to register!

Register for CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation!

Over the past 15 years, colleges and institutes have seen an exponential increase in their applied research activity, with corresponding infrastructure changes, new sources of funding, greater faculty and student involvement, and a dramatic increase in industry and community engagement. The intensive program of CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation will focus on the current and emerging requirements of the role of Applied Research Leaders in colleges and institutes and will explore the leadership profile and skills essential for success. 

This Leadership Institute will take place from July 28th – August 2nd in Vancouver, BC.

This institute is designed for those in the role of manager or new director in applied research offices who seek leadership development for their current position, research division staff, and individuals from other areas of the institution who aspire to leadership positions in applied research or are interested in learning how to better lead their department and institution in applied research and innovation initiatives.

Register now!

CICan’s celebrated leadership institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system. Click here for a full list of all upcoming Leadership Institutes.

Help us Imagine the Future!

CICan is excited to launch a consultative process to renew its Strategic Plan for 2019-2024. Over the next few months, we will be travelling the country; having as many meaningful conversations as possible; and engaging staff, members, and stakeholders!

We want your help to envision the future of the association. We are committing to building trust through transparency and responsiveness, encouraging collaboration,  openness, learning, setting clear expectations, and being inclusive to reflect diversity.

There will be seven member-engagement events over the next few months – one in each of CICan’s regions, and one at CICan’s national conference. Don’t miss your chance to have your voice heard! Register now.

If you are unable to attend an engagement event, stay tuned for an opportunity to have your voice heard – visit the Imagine web page regularly for polls, quizzes and updates on our journey.

We look forward to imagining the future with you!

For more information, contact Sarah Moreault at The new Plan will be launched on April 1, 2019.

The New Issue of Canadian Innovation News is here!

The exciting new issue of Canadian Innovation News (CIN) showcases the fascinating work being done by amazing innovators in Canada! The Spring Edition takes a look at how the face of STEM in Canada is changing and how improved diversity and equity could be the foundations upon which we build a new age of prosperity. Highlighting how incredible innovators throughout Canada are working hard to break the glass ceiling, this issue features:

  • Isabel Pedersen and her pioneering work in wearable technology,
  • Heartbeat AI and its founder Lana Novikova, and
  • other women leading innovation in Canada, including Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, Chief Science Advisor Mona Nemer, Ontario Chief Scientist Molly Shoichet, and former astronaut Governor General Julie Payette.

Also in this issue: New developments in AI and use of empathy in machine learning, the newly re-opened Canada Science and Technology Museum, the rapidly increasing biotech community in Atlantic Canada, and much, much more.

Check out the latest edition of CIN, along with their brand-new website, today!

CIN is brought to you by Research Money Inc., the leading source of intelligence on Canada’s innovation ecosystem. To learn more, contact Rebecca Melville by email

Pacific Alliance EFE Program selects Canadian institutions for first round

The team from CICan’s Sustainable Development and Skills for Employment in the Extractive Sector of the Pacific Alliance Program (PAP) is pleased to announce the results of the selection process of the first round of institutional partnerships. The partners in Chile and Peru were very impressed with all of the colleges that submitted a total of 11 proposals, for the three Terms of References.

  • In Antofagasta, Chile, College of New Caledonia (CNC) will lead the project with partners Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Niagara College.
  • In Coquimbo, Chile, Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue will be the lead.
  • In Arequipa, Peru, NSCC will lead the project with partners British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and CNC.

The selected institutions will collaborate with local partners to provide greater socio-economic opportunities for women and men in a sustainable and inclusive extractive sector in the Pacific Alliance countries.

The PAP team would like to thank all applicants for this first round and looks forward to launching the second round of institutional partnerships for Mexico and Colombia at the beginning of May.

Don’t miss Science Odyssey!

The countdown is on: Science Odyssey 2018 will be here in less than a month!

Canada’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), featuring fun and inspiring experiences in museums, research centres, laboratories and classrooms from coast to coast will be taking place from May 11-20, 2018.

Science Odyssey’s new website is now live for partners to register their events. The website also includes an interactive map of events registered across the country and resources to help share and promote science!  Register your event here.

Powered by NSERC, Science Odyssey demonstrates how discoveries and innovations shape our daily lives and foster a strong science culture in Canada. For more information, visit the Science Odyssey website.

IDEaS wants your innovative solutions!

Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) is pleased to officially launch the new Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, which will invest $1.6 billion into Canada’s innovation community over the next 20 years.

Through IDEaS, DND is looking for Canada’s most innovative and creative minds – inventors, academics, scientists, and more – to offer unique solutions to sixteen of today’s defence and security challenges, identified by DND. Areas of interest include surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space, artificial intelligence, remote pilot systems, data analytics, and human performance.

The deadline for the first call for proposals is May 24, 2018. The first contracts are anticipated to be awarded in Fall 2018.

IDEaS hopes not only to find lasting solutions to Canada’s security challenges, but also to create a collaborative network of Canada’s greatest innovators. For more information on the IDEaS program and to submit a solution, click here.

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Young Leaders Camp

CICan and the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) invite young leaders from its member colleges to attend the WFCP’s Young Leaders Camp running from Oct 7-11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia!

Attached to the WFCP’s 2018 bi-annual Congress, the Camp offers young leaders an opportunity to debate issues central to youth success and present their findings and priorities for action to the broader congress audience. The camp includes accredited leadership training and development to mark their global perspective.

Interested leaders must be between 18 and 30 years of age, and enrolled in, or have completed in the 12 months prior to the Camp, post-secondary professional or technical education in any discipline. For more information and eligibility requirements, click here, or contact the WFCP Secretariat at

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Durham College (DC) has launched a new mobile app for prospective international students? Designed to streamline communication between the college and international students, The Durham Assist app provides international students with relevant, comprehensive information about studying in Canada and the DC student experience! Read more here.


Fanshawe College was pleased to welcome a new Dean, Faculty of Arts, Media and Design. Stephen Patterson took on the new role effective April 2, 2018 after holding various positions at the college since 2003.


Conference 2018

Registration for CICan’s 2018 Conference is currently open. Click here for more information and to register. There are already over 800 participants registered!

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.