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May 30, 2016

Partnered innovation in Canada

On May 18th, Colleges and Institutes Canada launched its seventh annual report on applied research. Titled “Applied Research: Partnered Innovation for Business and Communities, the report shows continuous growth in the capacity of colleges and institutes to support Canadian innovation.

The report finds that over 5,500 Canadian companies – 78% of which were small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME), and 8% microenterprises – turned to colleges and institutes to meet their innovation needs in 2014-2015.

The value of these applied research services is clear in the investments that businesses bring to these projects: federal funding allocated to applied research in colleges and institutes is matched dollar for dollar by the business and industry partners. Last year, the private sector was the largest source of funding for college and institute applied research at $80 million, representing 40% of all external investment. This is followed closely by federal government investments which represents 38% or $74.6 million.

These investments recognize the huge capacity of colleges and institutes across the country to serve as innovation hubs in their communities. They now host 763 specialized research centres and labs and can offer expertise in 1,450 areas of research.

And, all of this has been accomplished with just under 3% of the overall federal funding available for higher education research. While applied research projects included more than 30,000 students, the report also notes that this figure represents only 3% of the student population. This shows that there is still tremendous room for growth, giving more students the innovation experience they need to be leaders in their careers.

Not coincidentally, the report was launched at a event on Sparking Innovation organized by the Hill Times, which included a panel discussion from four distinguished guests, in addition to CICan’s President and CEO, Denise Amyot.

Ken Knox, chair of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund selection board, and chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council; Guy Levesque, vice-president of program and performance at the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); Bettina Hamelin, vice-president of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate; and Mark Fares, vice-president of digital technologies and innovation at Algonquin College discussed the future of applied research and the importance of partnerships in innovation.

By partnering to spark innovation, we take advantage of each other’s strengths, such as colleges’ and institutes’ ability to respond quickly to industry needs, and relationships with student who have the skills, energy, and creativity to bridge technology gaps.

As Amyot put it, partnered innovation through applied research projects can “solve today’s problems and prepare for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to deal with tomorrow’s.”

As evidenced in CICan’s report, Canadian colleges and institutes are leading the way!

For more information, visit the report online.

New EFE Program in Kenya


Colleges and Institutes Canada is proud to announce a new partnership with Global Affairs Canada to launch a 5-year, $18.9 million Education for Employment (EFE) Program in Kenya.

The program will focus on developing policy work, building institutional partnerships between Canadian and Kenyan Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, and creating employment or self-employment opportunities for 1,200 Kenyan graduates.

Three members of the CICan team recently returned from their first inception mission in Kenya where they met with Kenyan National Government Officials, Turkana County Government Officials, and other donors and private sector stakeholders to gather information and develop a Project Implementation Plan (PIP).

While the number of Kenyan TVET institutions to participate has yet to be determined, the program aims to include as many as ten. A call for Canadian partners will be launched in the coming months.

The Kenyan EFE program joins similar EFE programming already in place elsewhere in Africa in Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.

EFE programs partner educational institutions in participating countries with Canadian colleges and institutes to enhance their curriculum development and teacher training.

Seven prizes awarded in CICan’s 2016 Art Showcase

The results are in for this year’s CICan Art Showcase! Over the past few months, Colleges and Institutes Canada invited members and students to submit original pieces of artwork for consideration in our 2016 Art Showcase.

Over 100 students submitted drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, and textile creations in one of our most successful showcases yet.

This year’s showcase awarded seven top prizes in various categories.

Congratulations to:

  • Bruno Eduardo Vinhas de Almeida, College of the North Atlantic, textile/mixed media category
  • Shabnam Nag, Emily Carr University, photography category
  • Ana Gabriela Lopez Castro, Centennial College, print category
  • PoChun Chen, Yukon College, sculpture category
  • Carmen Belanger, Red Deer College, drawing category
  • Sidi Chen, University of the Fraser Valley, painting category
  • and Mansuo Zhang, Alberta College of Art & Design, digital art category

The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of $300 and have their work displayed on the walls of CICan’s office in Ottawa. The three finalists in each category will also be displayed on our website.

We are grateful to our members and their students for all submissions, which help to bring out the spirit of our members in our office and inspire us daily.

Click here to view the winning artwork.

WFCP to offer pre-Congress Leadership Workshop


The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) will take advantage of the gathering of world leaders in professional education during the WFCP World Congress in Brazil to present an Executive Leadership Workshop. This will be an opportunity for participants to meet with their international peers from September 21-22.

The two-day workshops, sized to 40 persons each, will offer participants the opportunity to learn about the development and reform of vocational colleges. They will also be able to self-assess their leadership team building and management decision making skills, and learn techniques to better detect problems and face challenges in leadership.

Participants must register in advance, at an additional cost of $400 USD. Registration can be done here.

The workshops will add to the list of pre-Congress events aimed at fostering future institutional partnerships, and sharing teaching and research activities among vocational institutions. They include the World Youth Camp, beginning on September 19th, and campus tours of the Federal Institute of Espíritu Santo (IFES).

Register now for CICan’s 2016 Leadership Institutes

CICan is once again offering its series of celebrated leadership institutes, which offer a unique interactive opportunity for participants to learn from their peers across the country through the sharing of stories, knowledge, and experience, underlining the skills needed to successfully lead in higher education.

The institutes are tailored to different positions within the college and institute system and their content was recently reviewed to reflect current challenges and include a new competency framework. The following will be offered this summer:

Register here.

Eureka! Moment

Last week, Algonquin College, in partnership with the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), welcomed a large crowd for the opening of its Garbarino Girard Centre for Innovation in Seniors Care in western Ottawa. Designed as a “Smart Apartment,” the facility serves as a realistic home setting to both teach and inspire innovative design in healthcare, and will allow for students to address the needs of seniors care head-on, directly within an integrated learning community.


University College of the North (UCN) has appointed Dr. Dan Smith to the position of Vice-President of Academic and Research after having fulfilled the role on an interim basis since September 2015. Dr. Smith previously held the position of UCN’s Dean, Faculty of Arts, Business and Science.

Collège Shawinigan happily announced the appointment of Madame Lucie Hamel to the position of Assistant Director of Studies – Programs and Success, beginning June 20th, 2016. Madame Hamel will join Collège Shawinigan from the Cégep de Trois-Rivières, where she occupied the position of Assistant Director of Studies, Pedagogical Support and Success.


The Hill Times event, Innovation in Seniors Care, sponsored by CICan, is taking place this Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Click here for more information and to register.

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.