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July 11, 2016

Innovation is buzzing!

Since the launch of Budget 2016, the federal government has made it clear that innovation would be one of its top priorities. Since then, they have launched an ambitious consultation, putting words like “innovation,” “infrastructure,” “sustainability,” “entrepreneurship,” and “applied research” at the forefront of our collective consciousness, with colleges and institutes poised to lead the way.

The government’s consultation made explicit reference to the importance of education, stating “the goal of education should be to make very Canadian innovation ready.” It was launched on June 22 by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism; and Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. They have pledged to engage with Canadians all summer in order to elaborate a national innovation agenda that will support an innovative Canada.

This is of course a great opportunity for colleges and institutes who are increasingly recognized for the essential role they play in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. As hubs of applied research, entrepreneurship, and partnered innovation, colleges and institutes are encouraged to share their ideas online using the government’s interactive website. Take this opportunity to contribute to the growth of Canada’s Innovation Agenda and to showcase the projects and innovative ideas brewing on your campuses!

The Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation has also launched an Innovation150 project, and is accepting submissions to showcase Canadian innovation, inventions, science, and technology in interactive storybooks. This aligns well with CICan’s plans for Canada’s 150th Anniversary!

We are excited to see so many great opportunities for colleges and institutes to share their success. Check them out and get involved!

The past few months have also seen promising developments in the amount of support made available for innovation. With a budget focused on renewing infrastructure and stimulating growth, it only made sense that a share of the new funding goes to post-secondary institutions.

The Strategic Investment Fund’s (SIF) April call for submissions that support the enhancement of research, innovation, and sustainability-related infrastructure at campuses across the country drew a total of 319 projects from colleges, institutes, and cégeps – nearly 50% of all submissions received! An official announcement of the recipients is forthcoming.

Investment in college infrastructure means upgrading, modernizing, and creating new Centres of Excellence, Technology Access Centres (TAC), Incubators, and labs, providing new opportunities for college-and-industry partnerships to develop innovative applied research projects.

Many of these state-of-the-art facilities feature in the Government of Canada’s Concierge program, which offers assistance to entrepreneurs in finding funding, programming, and facilities. A searchable list of facilities connects entrepreneurs with campuses that foster the growth and development of small businesses and innovative ideas. Make sure to submit yours!

Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, also recently announced the recipients of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) second round of Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grants, totaling $7.4 million. 22 colleges and institutes across the country received 35 grants to support research in a wide range of social innovations.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found on SSHRC’s website, and those who are curious or looking for inspiration can read more about the first round of winning social innovation projects in our Applied Research Showcase, a detailed, searchable database of all the amazing applied research projects going on at colleges and institutes across the country.

Both the SIF and SSHRC’s CCSIF recognize the effect that investment in college innovation will have for the Canadian economy, environmental sustainability, and community development. This is encouraging news for colleges and institutes where the potential for further research and innovation projects remains tremendous.

A call for input from colleges and institutes

In addition to the National Innovation Agenda, the Government of Canada has also launched consultations for the future of International Development, Immigration, and Official Languages.

Global Affairs Canada has launched an International Assistance review process, asking Canadians to help establish new government priorities on development assistance for the next four years. CICan encourages all institutions to read the Discussion Paper of priorities and submit their view online before the July 31st deadline.

Similarly, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has launched consultations for the future of immigration. Canadians can share ideas of how to continue to grow our country using the immigration system. CICan will be consulting members on a draft submission and encourages individual institutions to participate as well. The immigration consultation period closes August 5th, 2016.

As colleges and institutes are key influencers in the development of Canadian values both domestically and abroad, CICan encourages all members to contribute. For more information, please contact

Canada and Mexico partner on education


During an Official State Visit immediately prior to the North American Leaders’ Summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recognized several new and on-going initiatives between Mexican and Canadian educational partners.

Notably, the two leaders recognized the more than 400 inter-institutional agreements contributing to the well-established cooperation in Canadian and Mexican education.

The leaders also welcomed the signing of a new agreement between Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and Mexico’s National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES), the goal of which is to establish a framework for collaboration in higher education.

Through continued discussion, both CICan and ANUIES recognized the importance of further collaboration between the two governments, and have agreed to sign a second partnership agreement focusing more specifically on the development of applied research potential. Signature of this document will take place in fall 2016 during the Mexican delegation’s visit to Canada.

CICan was also pleased to see both governments recognize a formal relationship between a consortium of 12 Canadian postsecondary institutions and 12 Mexican intercultural universities supporting Indigenous youth and women in both countries.

The consortium includes two CICan member institutions: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and Vancouver Island University (VIU).

Loyalist College signs CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol


Loyalist College’s President and CEO, Maureen Piercy, presented a signed copy of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Indigenous Education Protocol, June 28th at the college’s Aboriginal Resource Centre.

Developed by CICan in consultation with its members and partners in Indigenous communities, the protocol underscores the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous people’s learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

The addition of Loyalist College brings the total number of signatories to 46 CICan members!

We were also quite pleased to see members across Canada engaging in activities during National Aboriginal History Month, like Mohawk College who celebrated the opening of the first outdoor Indigenous gathering space at a college or university in Ontario on June 21st!

Call for entrepreneurship submissions for UNESCO-UNEVOC newsletter


The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training acts as part of the United Nations mandate to promote peace, justice, equity, poverty alleviation, and greater social cohesion. Colleges and Institutes Canada is the pan-Canadian UNESCO-UNEVOC centre and lead for the North American Cluster of UNEVOC centres. In order to fulfill its role, CICan has committed to regularly deliver a newsletter highlighting success stories from its cluster. The next issue will be published in August and the main subject will be “Your entrepreneurship”

This is a unique opportunity to share your knowledge, promote the advancement of TVET and spread the word about the achievements of Canadian colleges and institutes in the field. If you are interested in providing content for the newsletter that is related to this theme, we would love to hear from you – we know you have great stories to tell!

We would also like to invite you to take part in the virtual conference on the same subject that will take place July 18-29 in the TVeT Forum. Attendance is free of charge, but you need to register in the UNESCO-UNEVOC e-Forum in order to participate, which is accessible to all CICan members. Detailed information is available by clicking here, and a background note is available at the following link.

Please get in touch with Thierry Hardy, from CICan’s International Partnerships division, for any query related to this. He looks forward to receiving your submissions!

FPAC to launch application process for Blue Sky Young Researcher Awards


The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) will soon be launching a call for submissions to the “Blue Sky Young Researcher Award” competition, an international program inviting young researchers to develop creative and innovative research projects in the forestry sector.

Sponsored by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) – an organization that represents 23 national associations – the competition will invite three global finalists to present their projects on the international stage next year in Berlin, Germany.

Beginning next month, the FPAC will be accepting submissions will the goal of identifying three Canadian finalists, one of which will receive a prize of $1,500 and will be submitted to the global competition next year.

Any Canadian researcher under the age of 30 can submit a research project proposal that is exciting, innovative and environmentally focused. Applicants will be asked to submit a proposal relating to the competition theme: “National approaches and technologies for the forest industry – unfolding the potential of forest and wood-based products.”

More information about the competition is available on FPAC’s website, and an application form will be available in August 2016.

New advertising opportunities to reach colleges and institutes

Companies looking to reach colleges and institute will now be able address them directly thanks to new advertising opportunities on the CICan website and in its bi-weekly newsletter. This will allow them to reach a valuable audience that includes key decision makers across Canada’s wide network of colleges and institutes.

With over 51,000 page views every month, the CICan website is a strong tool to engage with leaders at colleges and institutes across the country. Several options will be made available, including leader boards in various sections of the website, as well as sponsored content that will be integrated in specific, highly visible areas.

Advertisers will also be able to sponsor Perspectives, CICan’s bi-weekly newsletter, which will allow them to reach their audience directly in their inbox.

The funds collected from these sponsorships will help fund CICan’s activities and in particular its various communications channels.

For more information on placement and advertising rates, please download our media kit.

NOTICE: In accordance with a reduced summer publication schedule, the next issue of Perspectives will be published on Monday, August 8, 2016.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know: Georgian College – in partnership with Ford Canada and Barrie Ford – installed the first solar power-assisted electric vehicle (EV) charging station at a college in Canada at its Barrie campus? Ford recently visited the campus to see the data that Georgian students have been able to collect over the past three years in contribution to development and innovation in the EV field!


Dr. Karen Barnes has been reappointed President of Yukon College to serve an additional two years, until 2019. Both Capilano University and Loyalist College have appointed interim Presidents. Richard A. Gale has assumed the role of Acting President of Capilano University until October 1, 2016; while Dianne Spencer, currently Executive Director of College Advancement and External Relations at Loyalist College will serve as the college’s Interim President effective September 1st.

Nova Scotia Community College has appointed a new Associate Vice President, Applied Research and Innovation. Jeff Taylor assumed the role in June 2016, coming from a background of various teaching, researcher and start-up roles.

Olds College was also pleased to announce the appointment of Debbie Thompson to the position of Vice President, Student and Support Services. Thompson joined Olds College in January 2014, serving as the Dean of Animal Science and Horticulture.


2016 WFCP World Congress in Brazil

Registration for the 2016 WFCP World Congress in Brazil is ongoing.

CICan Leadership Institutes

CICan’s celebrated leadership institutes are returning this summer. Click for more information and to register.

Consultation Contributions

CICan members can contribute to government consultations on Innovation, Immigration, and International Development. Click the links for more information.

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.