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November 25, 2019

Latest Applied Research Survey highlights critical college and institute role

Last week, countries around the world celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week, supporting entrepreneurs dedicated to changing our lives for the better. As we celebrate and recognize ingenuity in Canada, we are happy to share results of our latest survey of research activity at Canada’s colleges and institutes, highlighting their impact as innovation engines for businesses in communities across the country!

Innovation with tangible results

The survey results show that, in 2017-2018, colleges and institutes across Canada led over 6,000 applied research projects, resulting in over 2,100 prototypes, 880 new products, 480 processes and 360 services, 87% of which were notably completed in less than one year.

These projects were based on over 7,300 research partnerships, 64% of which included SMEs who may not always have the capacity or resources to conduct cutting-edge research on their own. In this way, college and institute applied research is the innovation engine in their communities, form large urban centres, to small northern and remote communities.

The survey also highlights how applied research projects provided great opportunities for students to gains hands-on experience while working with potential employers. Over 57,000 people, including more than 4,000 faculty and staff, and 53,000 students contributed to applied research projects at college and institute laboratories and research centres.

A note on funding

The survey also analyzed funding sources for college and institute applied research projects, noting that, of $296M in total funding, $99M came from the federal government. As vital hubs for research, colleges and institutes leverage these funds to establish successful research partnerships. This does take time however, and many Canadian companies still do not realize how much support their local colleges and institutes can provide.

With the results of the survey in mind, CICan is reinforcing its earlier call to the Government of Canada to help expand SME participation in the innovation ecosystem by investing an additional $40 million per year in business innovation engagement services based in colleges, institutes and polytechnics. This added investment has the potential to double the number of SMEs engaging with colleges and institutes in applied research and business innovation!

View the full Applied Research Report online.

Conference 2020 call for presentations!

There is still time to submit a presentation for CICan’s 2020 Connection Conference in Montreal focusing on strengthening our collective intelligence!

Knowing how to use and leverage all forms of intelligence is essential to the development of both individuals and societies. By using a holistic and creative approach to meet the needs of a diverse student population, colleges and institutes help foster individual and collective intelligence. Share your approach with us!

The conference is organized into six streams: Governing Excellence, Wiring for Student Success, Hacking Education, Embodying Sustainability, Driving Innovation, and Going Global.

The deadline for proposals has been extended until December 9.

New poll shows Canadians value life-long learning

As the labour market changes faster than ever to keep up with disruptive technologies, a new CICan-commissioned report shows that lifelong learning and access to hands-on training opportunities are highly valued by Canadians.

The report is based on a poll conducted by EKOS and shows that 98% of Canadians believe that access to lifelong learning at all ages is important. It also shows a range of preferences when it comes to accessing training, depending on where respondents are in life and in their careers. The vast majority value hands-on learning geared towards employment, whether it’s delivered in a classroom, online or in the workplace.

Regarding the performance of colleges and institutes, the EKOS poll shows that a large majority of Canadians believe these institutions are succeeding in their mandate. Nearly all respondents (98%) agree that a college credential will lead to a good job, with 91% agreeing that colleges prepare students with the technical skills they need in the workplace. View the full report online.

Register now for our 2020 Leadership Institutes!

Registration is open for our renowned Leadership Institutes – don’t miss the 2020 program! Leadership Institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system and contribute to institutional succession planning. New and returning institutes offered in 2020 will be:

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and share with colleagues from across the country and become part of a network to facilitate further engagement and learning!

Nominate your institution for the WFCP Awards of Excellence

Have your college or institute recognized for industry-leading practices on the global stage by the World Federation of College and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2020 Awards of Excellence!

The WFCP’s awards of excellence are presented in eight categories: Access to Learning and Employment, Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Development, Leadership Development, Higher Technical Skills, Student Support Services, and Partnership with Industry.

Nominations will be open until February 28, 2020 and are open to WFCP members and their member institutions. Recipients will be informed in April 2020 and invited to present on their award-winning project or institution at the WFCP’s 2020 World Congress in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.

Help develop the new Outbound Student Mobility Pilot

Together with Universities Canada, we are seeking the assistance of a consultant to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and plan for the newly announced federally funded Outbound Student Mobility Pilot program!

The monitoring and evaluation framework will effectively measure the impact of the program, using qualitative and quantitative data. The information obtained will allow the executing agencies and the funder to make improvements during implementation and to better target the possible scaling of this initiative.

Learn more and apply online.

Join the Canadian Accessibility Network

The Canadian Accessibility Network (CAN) is looking for postsecondary institutions across the country to join the new national partnership in advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities through Research, Design and Innovation, Education and Training, Policy, Employment, and Community Engagement.

Led by Carleton University, CAN is an opportunity to mobilize partners, including postsecondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and private industry dedicated to accessibility across Canada and build on the momentum of the Accessible Canada Act.

This is an opportunity for colleges and institutes to show their leadership as dedicated accessibility champions across Canada! Use the contact form online to express your interest to join or request more information.

Pacific Alliance EFE Program update

The Pacific Alliance EFE team is pleased to announce the results of its partnership selection process. These institutions will provide technical assistance for initiatives and organizations to align technical education with the demands of the extractive sector.

  • Collège Boréal will work with CCNB and Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on an integrated model to ensure private sector involvement.
  • Cégep Marie-Victorin will collaborate with Collège Montmorency to focus on quality control and a shared regional competency and qualifications framework.

Congratulations to the selected institutions!

Following the first forum on Gender Equality in the Extractive Sector held in March in Santiago, Chile, the team is also sharing a new report on the event that includes best practices for promoting gender equality and women’s access to technical and professional education and the workforce. It also includes promotional strategies for women’s empowerment and leadership. We encourage you to share this resource within your networks and to send your feedback by email to Brigid Shea at

Another report on the forum organized in collaboration with the CICan 2019 Indigenous Education Symposium will also be shared in the next few months. Photos of the Symposium are available online.  

Education for Employment partners in Tunisia

The Tunisia Al-Najah Education for Employment (EFE) program is looking for technical assistance in the development of new training programs at three locations in Tunisia: Béja, Kef, and Kébili.

The three calls for proposals are for competency-based licensing and short-term training programs, technical and pedagogical teacher training, entrepreneurship, and business partnerships specialized in the fields of agricultural machinery maintenance and ecotourism. The deadline for submissions is December 13.

Please note that the working language of these partnerships is French and therefore proposals must be submitted in French.

The team will be hosting a webinar in French on Wednesday, November 27 at 10 a.m. EST to present the project and answer your initial questions.

Submit a research image today to Science Exposed!

Again this year, NSERC has launched its Science Exposed contest, in collaboration with l’Acfas (Association francophone pour le savoir). The image contest challenges Canadians to combine creativity and science for a chance to win one of four cash prizes of $2,000.

Science Exposed fosters science culture in Canada by capturing vibrant research images that showcase the work of talented scientists and engineers from all fields of study. The images help Canadians better understand and see, through the same lens as researchers, the work that is being done behind the scenes.

Submit a research image before Monday, January 13, 2020.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that BCIT Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma students recently took part in a project with real-world humanitarian impact? The diploma program includes an Industry Sponsored Student Project component, and this year students worked with the BC Coroners Service Special Investigations Unit on a project to build a database capable of holding data and making links between unidentified human remains and missing persons. Working the system was a powerful experience that allowed the students to help bring closure to families in distress.


The Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup welcomed Jérémie Pouliot as its new directeur d’études. With 12 years of experience in postsecondary sector, Pouliot has held the position of manager at the cégep since 2016.

Algonquin College welcomed Mark Savenkoff as its first vice president of advancement. Savenkoff has over 15 years of experience in postsecondary, joining Algonquin College from Carleton University.



Sodium Reduction

Submit an expression of interest for the National Sodium Reduction Project.

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.