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November 12, 2018

Students from 25 colleges and institutes pose with CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan during CICan’s Applied Research Symposium.

Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research

Last week, CICan had the pleasure of welcoming over 300 college and institute leaders, students, community and industry partners, and government representatives from across the country to two concurrent events in Ottawa: CICan’s Applied Research Symposium: Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research and CICan’s annual Leaders Forum. Organized concurrently for the first time, the events featured sessions such as The Future of Innovation and Work; Increasing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Science; and Strengthening Indigenous Research Capacity, as well as a Student Showcase in which 47 students from 25 colleges and institutes across the country presented their applied research projects!

Special guests included Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Sport and Persons with Disabilities, who delivered a keynote address before taking the time to speak with student researchers; Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, who participated in a panel discussion with RBC’s John Stackhouse discussing strategies in future skills training for all Canadians; Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP; Senator Diane Bellemare, Andrew Leslie, Member of Parliament for Orleans and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, hosted the evening Student Showcase Reception; Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer of D2L, who launched a new joint D2L and CICan report on the Future of Work, as well as representatives from the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU); the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Council (NSERC); and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Roberta Jamieson, CEO of Indspire, delivered an inspiring keynote on Education and Reconciliation and a call to action to ensure Indigenous traditions, knowledge, and culture are treated as a priority in education and not an accommodation. From Nelson, President and CEO Steve Brown spoke of the leadership needed across Canada’s educational landscape in light of technological change to ensure that institutions remain relevant and accessible to students. Many thanks to both speakers.

A highlight of the two days was the chance to hear from the 47 college and institute students who were able to join us for the Student Showcase in which they presented their innovative applied research projects. For example:

  • Raphael and Vincent from Sheridan College presented their Bit Heroes Connect project in which the students worked with Hewlett Packard and the York Regional Police (YRP) to develop a video game that allows YRP officers to engage local youth and share important messages, such as those related to bullying.
  • Naomi from Camosun College showcased her project creating a series of First Nations-inspired tables that can be combined creatively into numerous configurations.
  • Frédérick from Cégep André-Laurendeau presented his research, working with a probe to detect brain cancer during surgery that would eliminate the need for biopsies, and make it manufacturable and accessible on a large scale.
  • Mario and Simon from Collège La Cité presented their project creating intelligent prototypes for an electric vehicle, an electric wheel, and a machine capable of moving cows with limited mobility.
  • Emily from North Island College presented her project evaluating the potential reduction of ocean acidity through the design and construction of a miniature kelp-seed production unit.
  • Jillian from Nova Scotia Community College presented her research mapping the ocean floor and marine habitat using multibeam echosounders (MBES).
  • Jeongsoo from Red River College presented his project in partnership with the Winnipeg Transit Agency developing a tool to monitor battery health of Electric Transit Buses and prevent vehicle failure during operations.

The showcase also included incredible students from Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Cégep de Jonquière, Durham College, Fanshawe College, George Brown College, Grande Prairie Regional College, Humber College, Lambton College, Langara College, Lethbridge College, New Brunswick Community College, Niagara College, Olds College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Seneca College, The Michener Institute of Education at UHN, and Yukon College.

Applied research projects like these encourage economic growth both by conducting groundbreaking research to provide innovative solutions for local businesses, and by providing students with experience required to thrive in a rapidly changing workplace.

CICan thanks all those who participated in and presented at its Applied Research Symposium and Leaders Forum. For pictures of the event, click here. For videos of the Student Showcase, click here.

Disrupting the status quo – a new approach to partnership

By Dr. Darren Lawless, Dean, Applied Research & Innovation, Humber College

This article is part of the new Applied PeR$pectives series in Re$earch Money.

Innovation and collaboration are words we hear and read almost daily – in meetings, in news stories, and in corporate mission and vision statements.

Without the partnerships to back them up and actions to make a real difference, they are just words.

While there have been noteworthy successes between academia and industry, the potential of these partnerships is not being fully realized, leaving us with a skills gap that requires urgent attention to correct. This is evident in studies highlighting Canada’s poor innovation and productivity performance, including The Conference Board of Canada’s 2018 innovation report card. The time has come to stop saying “innovation” and give the word real meaning. This requires looking at new models of collaboration with industry, understanding their workplaces are our students’ destinations.

Read more. [English only]

Applied PeR$pectives is part of a new initiative by R$ and Colleges and Institute Canada (CICan) to highlight the key role that colleges and institutes are playing in building Canada’s innovation capacity. Read more here.

Present at CICan’s 2019 Conference!

Submit your presentations now for CICan’s 2019 Conference in Niagara Falls! This year, conference presentations will be divided into six thematic streams:

  • Leading Success, including forming strategic partnerships, planning for sustainability, and facilitating success of vulnerable groups;
  • Future Ready, including responding to employers’ needs, supporting the economic development of Indigenous communities, and using technology effectively;
  • Student Success, including partnering with Indigenous leaders, assessing investment in student affairs, and creating campuses equipped to offer services to students with diverse needs;
  • Innovative Education, including enhancing prior learning recognition, embedding Indigenous knowledge in curricula, and expanding student mobility;
  • Entrepreneurial Approaches, supporting student-led ventures, and building an entrepreneurial culture on campus;and,
  • Going Global, including international applied research partnerships, student recruitment, and international student services.

Be creative in your proposals and please highlight how your session demonstrates this year’s conference theme: Inclusion: A Recipe for Success! Join us, and our host Niagara College from May 5-7, 2019!

Submit your presentations online here. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 30, 2018. For more information, please contact Gail Mulhall, Manager, Member Relations, at or (613) 746-2222 ext. 3115.

Applied Research Comes of Age

This year represented a historic recognition by the federal government of the importance of applied research to improving Canada’s innovation performance. In light of this development, CICan and RE$EARCH MONEY (R$) are excited to bring you the Applied Research Comes of Age booklet to showcase the stellar applied research initiatives undertaken by colleges and institutes across Canada.

The exciting booklet was launched by R$ Publisher and CEO, Jeffrey Crelinsten, at CICan’s symposium Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research before an audience of Members of Parliament, college and institute CEOs as well as applied research leaders and government officials.

Available in print and online, the booklet contains stories and messages from CICan members across Canada, including details of leading-edge student projects, state-of-the-art facilities available for use by industry and innovative solutions being co-created by students, faculty and companies.

Download the booklet here!

Submit a nomination for CICan’s Awards of Excellence

CICan’s Awards of Excellence recognize the extraordinary contribution of individuals to their college and institute communities and highlight the role of your institutions in social, cultural and economic development. Take this opportunity to nominate your colleagues!

Gold-level recipients will receive $1,000.00, courtesy of TD Insurance and a complimentary registration to the CICan 2019 Conference. Nominations are due by November 26, 2018.

The Awards program recognizes excellence in 8 categories: Leadership Excellence for Staff (Managerial and non-Managerial), Faculty, and Students; Internationalization; Applied Research and Innovation; Program Excellence; and Indigenous Education.

Recipients will be recognized at the CICan 2019 Conference that will take place in Niagara Falls, ON, from May 5 to 7, 2019.

Submit a nomination now!

NSERC announces $45 million for college and institute research

On November 5, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was present at Niagara College to announce more than $45 million in funding for college and institute research partnerships with industry through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program and the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF).

The funding will support 94 partnerships between colleges and institutes and industry, providing students with training opportunity while growing local and regional economies, and recognizes the important role that colleges and institutes play in research and innovation across the country.

For more information and to view the full list of grant recipients, click here.

Join CBOC at the Education and Skills Symposium 2018

The Conference Board of Canada invites you to the Education and Skills Symposium 2018 taking place Nov 28–29, 2018 in Toronto. Join expert presenters and participants from across Canada and around the globe to hear discussions around major challenges facing our country’s education and skills development systems.

With the theme “Is Canada’s education system universally accessible, equitable, and representative of our country’s diversity?,” the agenda will include topics such as Skills for the Workplace of Tomorrow, Decolonizing the Education Experience, Matching Skills to Jobs, and Building Mentally Health Campuses. See the full agenda here.

CICan members and partners save $300! Quote PRM27 in the final stages of registration to attend for only $895. Click here to register.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your registration, please contact Natasha Chipilova at the Conference Board of Canada at or 613-526-3090 ext. 478.

Deadline approaching for internship opportunities with Scotiabank

The application deadline for two internship opportunities with Scotiabank’s Digital Factory in Mexico City is November 16, 2018.

Applications are being accepted for a Front-End Software Developer and a Graphic Designer position beginning in January 2019. The internships will include a cultural and language course offered through a Mexican post-secondary institution and will last between 12 to 16 weeks. All costs related to travel (airfare, insurance, visas) and accommodation (homestay with Mexican family) will be covered. Students will also receive a stipend of CAN$ 250 /week to cover their cost of living.

To view eligibility requirements and apply, click here. The internships are being offered as part of CICan and Scotiabank’s Global Mobility Program.

The Global Mobility Program offers Canadian students the opportunity to travel, study and work overseas to acquire international and intercultural skills and experiences that benefit their career, their employer, their community and Canadian society.

For more information, please contact Andrew Champagne at

Wanted: women graduates in STEM and trades

Aviator (Avr) Lobna Ayari’s passion for micro-organisms launched her into a rewarding career as a Water, Fuel and Environmental Technician with the Royal Canadian Air Force that allows her to work in Canada and abroad. Avr Ayari’s first time working abroad was in Ukraine as part of a team that provided technical assistance to update living accommodations of the Canadian soldiers working on a mission to support Ukraine’s security forces.

“My college education in applied science was valuable in learning how to perform my job which requires a good knowledge of chemistry,” says Avr Ayari who, among other tasks, inspects and maintains the fuel distribution systems for F-18s and the water distribution systems for potable and pool water at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are actively recruiting women for challenging opportunities featuring excellent training and rewarding pay and benefits. Women can enroll in any CAF occupation, which includes operational occupations in the Air Force, Army or Navy.

Graduates from many STEM programs like Water and Wastewater Technician, Electrical Engineering Technician, Geographic Information Systems and even Architectural Technicians can find an interesting job in their field. For example, Mechanical Engineering Technician graduates can work as Refrigerator and Mechanical Systems Technicians, Aviation Systems Technicians, Aircraft Structure Technicians or Water, Fuel and Environmental Technicians, just as Avr Ayari. Competitive salaries with full medical and dental benefits as well as the opportunity to pursue further education at no cost are available with the Canadian Armed Forces.

It’s an exciting time for women! Let them know that unique opportunities await in the CAF. Contact your local recruitment centre today for more information!

CSA Group launches Canada-wide Academic Challenge

The CSA Group recently launched its annual Academic Challenge and is eager to engage students and young professionals in the world of standards development!

Standards have an enormous impact on safety and the environment and are vital to the global competitiveness of industry. The Academic Challenge connects students across multiple areas of study with the world of standards to discover how standards impact everyday life and how participating in their development can positively impact their careers. In the process, students have the opportunity to bring new perspectives to the standards development community. 

For more information on submission guidelines and eligibility requirements, click here.

Challenge Finalists will be invited to attend the CSA Group Annual Conference in June 2019 and present their projects to CSA Group members and conference participants.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Spark at St Lawrence College is a small creative communications agency that helps local businesses ignite opportunity by helping them better formulate their messaging and connect with consumers? The lab offers strategy and brand identity development, video production and digital storytelling services, and multimedia marketing to help businesses grow, all with student talent making this a unique work-integrated-learning opportunity. Learn more about Spark here.


Collège LaSalle was pleased to welcome Myrianne Collin as the institution’s new Director General. Collin comes from more than 20 years of experience in leadership, including Bell Canada and Québecor Média.

Collège Montmorency was also pleased to announce the appointment of Olivier Simard as the college’s new Director General. With many years of experience in the public sector within Quebec, Simard will take on his new role on January 7, 2019.

Holland College was pleased to announce that Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald will take over as the college’s new President. Currently serving as Holland College’s Vice President, Academic and Applied Research, MacDonald will enter into his new effective January 1, 2019.


Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in International
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in Applied Research and Innovation
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
View more


Share your recipe for success! 

Submit a presentation for Conference 2019. Click here.

Get Recognized! 

Nominations are open for CICan Awards of Excellence. Click here.

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.