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January 22, 2018

Skills and innovation in the Advanced Manufacturing Sector

World leaders will begin gathering in Davos, Switzerland tomorrow for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting – and one of the big items on the agenda this year will be skilling up for the future of production. The shift that has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution means emerging technologies will both displace jobs and transform manufacturing.

In Canada, preparation includes training skilled technicians and tradespeople ready to work with the latest technologies and provide valuable expertise to businesses looking to test new ideas or processes, and investing in research centres and laboratories dedicated to improving advanced manufacturing processes across the country.

The advanced manufacturing sector is highly technical and requires a mix of hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge to constantly refine existing processes. Colleges and institutes play a critical role in supporting this development. Did you know that CICan member colleges and institutes across Canada offer over 380 programs related to advanced manufacturing? They train future mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineers; aircraft maintenance engineers and turbine technicians; and robotics technicians to name a few. Their repertoire of programs includes over 190+ diplomas, 110+ certificate programs, 15+ degrees, and 70+ post-graduate certificates or diplomas.

Colleges and institutes also have extensive expertise in applied research that is especially relevant to advanced manufacturing, and can offer access to specialized labs where new processes and manufacturing processes are regularly refined, including:

  • The Centre technologique en aérospatiale (CTA) at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, one of Canada’s leading research centres in the aerospace sector, supporting a variety of companies looking to build or test new materials and airplane components; and,
  • Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP), which provides direct, cost-effective access to the latest in advanced manufacturing technology and expertise including 3-D scanning, printing and modelling.

Conducted in collaboration with local businesses and employers – the majority of which are small or medium-sized enterprises – there are currently over 135 applied research projects in advanced manufacturing at facilities like these across the country. For example:

  • Specialists from Camosun College manufactured seating solutions for the Canadian Sledge Hockey and Canadian Wheelchair Rugby teams;
  • Centennial College, in collaboration with PodoTech and the University of Waterloo developed software and hardware to manufacture custom-made shoes using 3-D scanning and modelling;
  • Red River College used high-speed imaging to help Parker Hannifin fix problems with the assembly of circuit boards; and,
  • Red Deer College worked with local company Dakota Supplies to design and produce a prototype of Moppit, a small all-in-one cleaning tool geared towards the airline industry.

From training and skills to applied research and innovation, colleges and institutes ensure that those working in the advanced manufacturing sector are equipped to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

Video project showcases EFE Andes project

A brand new video produced by students from Cégep Régional de Lanaudière in Joliette showcases the impact of Canadian colleges and institutes who took part in CICan’s Education for Employment Andes project in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. The video was filmed by Josemaria Gonzalez-Jeria and Mathias Labrie, two students from the cegep’s Cinema and Media department, under the supervision of their teacher Vincent Desautels.

The young filmmakers visited EFE partners in all three countries and spoke to administrators, teachers, students, as well as industry partners, to discuss how the project influenced the delivery of technical and vocational training in their region.

View the video on vimeo here.

Launched in 2012, the Education for Employment Andes program aimed to foster the development of technical and vocational training in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.  A total of 22 Canadian colleges and institutes partnered with 16 post-secondary institutions in the three countries to develop a skills-based training approach aimed at improving their graduates’ employment opportunities.

Register now for CICan’s Applied Research Symposium!

CICan’s Applied Research Symposium will be taking place from February 12-13, 2018 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, and will explore how colleges and institutes, as leaders in applied research, can leverage their expertise across the country to support business innovation, foster entrepreneurship, contribute to building vibrant communities and advance innovation in key sectors. In updates, we are pleased to announce:

  • David McGovern, Associate Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will deliver a keynote speech, and symposium participants will have the opportunity to engage with the federal government’s Economic Strategy Tables;
  • the event will host a Student Innovation Showcase on Parliament Hill with opportunities for students to engage with parliamentarians;
  • Mitacs will present an update on its pilot program for college and institute students, sharing what they heard through consultations and the path forward; and,
  • a Lightning Talks session will feature college and institute practices, assets, and challenges in the current applied research context.

Don’t miss your chance to take part in this important dialogue! For more information and to register, click here.

CICan Conference 2018 update!

Conference 2018 is approaching quickly – less than 100 days! Make sure to book your travel and accommodations in advance! This year’s Conference will be taking place from April 29 to May 1 in Victoria, BC.

  • Stay at one of the Host Conference Hotels and you will be entered into a draw to win a $50 gift card to Chapters or Best Buy! Be sure to book before the cut-off date. Hotels will fill up quickly. Please note: given that the Conference hotels are in close proximity of the Victoria Conference Centre, no shuttle will be provided.
  • For travel, be sure to take advantage of our 10% discount rate when booking with Air Canada, WestJet or Via Rail.

We can’t wait to see you in Victoria!

Take part in a webinar with the Canadian Armed Forces

Full- and part-time career opportunities in over 100 trades are available for your students. Join us to learn about the benefits and opportunities sure to spark your students’ interests in starting a career with the Canadian Armed Forces during and after their studies.

Webinar: 100 Career Options to Ignite Your Students’ Futures

Date: Wednesday, February 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Hear from Private Loba Ayari, a graduate of pure and applied sciences at Collège de Maisonneuve, who is now a water, fuels and environmental technician. Recruiting Advisors will also be present to answer your questions on eligibility, education requirements and how the Canadian Armed Forces can be an employer of choice for your students.

Click here for more information and to join the webinar.

Registration open for CICan’s Leadership Institutes!

Registration is open for CICan’s upcoming Leadership Institutes! Spots are limited, and some institutes are starting to fill up!

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. The institutes offered this year include:

For more information on dates, times and locations, visit the Leadership Institutes homepage.

CICan’s Pre-Conference Forum on serving rural, remote, and northern communities!

Join us in the Comox Valley for an interactive and stimulating Pre-Conference Forum that will provide opportunities for learning, discussion, and networking for college and institute CEOs, vice-presidents, deans, department heads, researchers, instructors, and board members from institutions serving rural, remote and northern communities. The forum will be hosted by North Island College from April 27-28.

More specifically, the Forum will:

  • Focus on “how do we listen and learn from our communities and how do we transform our institutions based on what we hear from our communities?”; and
  • explore exemplary practices and models in community engagement and discuss ways that colleges and institutes serving rural, remote and northern communities can enhance community ties and partnerships.

To view the draft Forum Program, click here. For those interested in presenting at pre-conference forum, CICan is accepting proposals for presentations until January 31, 2018.

For more information and to register, click here.

An update from WFCP: Awards of Excellence and Affinity Groups

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is still accepting nominations for its 3rd Awards of Excellence. The Awards recognize excellence in WFCP membership in seven categories – Access to Learning and Employment, Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, Green Colleges, Leadership Development, Higher Technical Skills, and Student Support Services – and will be announced in Melbourne, Australia on the occasion of the 9th Bi-Annual World Congress, from October 8-10, 2018. The deadline for submissions is February 12, 2018. Winners will be asked to make a short presentation and will be featured in the Guide of Best Practices. Click here to download a nomination form.

The WFCP is also looking for members to take part in the organization’s Affinity Groups. The Affinity Groups are made up of WFCP members that communicate and work on common challenges and opportunities, and are designed to facilitate exchanges and greater mutual understanding between its member associations and institutions.

Those interested in participating can contact the WFCP Secretariat for an application form at

Take part in CICan’s webinar on internships for grads

Career-Launcher Internships logo

Mark your calendar for the upcoming rescheduled Webinar on: Help your grads access valuable career opportunities!

Join us to discover how CICan’s Career-Launcher Internships offer grads paid internships in clean technology and natural resources. In this webinar, you will learn how your institution, your grads and your local employers can benefit from up to $15,000 in wage subsidy from the internship program.

Date: Wednesday, January 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Attending is easy! No registration is required. Simply join the webinar a few minutes before on the date and time of the webinar by clicking here.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (IHTQ) recently partnered with the Ministère de la Sante et des Services sociaux (MSSS) [Ministry of Health and Social Services] to provide for the diverse food needs of clients of Centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD)? Through the agreement, the ITHQ will develop special recipes for residents of the long-term care facilities to better take into account their cultural cuisines, including Mediterranean, Asian and Caribbean. Read more about the agreement here.


University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) welcomed a new President and Vice-Chancellor. Currently UFV’s Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Joanne MacLean will assume the role effective May 1, 2018.

George Brown College was pleased to welcome three new Vice Presidents. A digital innovation expert coming from Cisco Canada, Dr. Rick Huijbregts will join the college as Vice-President, Strategy & Innovation; with 18 years leadership experience in student affairs, Chris McGrath will join the college as Vice-President, Student Success; and from varied leadership positions within George Brown College, Dr. Cory Ross will take on the role of Vice-President, Academic.

Algonquin College was also pleased to name an Executive Director of Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenization. Ron McLester will assume the role, the first of its kind for a Canadian post-secondary institution.


Conference 2018

Registration for CICan’s 2018 Conference is currently open. Click here for more information and to register.

Art Showcase

Submissions for CICan’s 2018 Art Showcase are open. Click here for more information and to submit.

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.