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$20M fund to support innovation at Ontario’s colleges


The new $20-million Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF) announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne will promote new economic growth, according to the Ontario Centres of Excellence and Colleges Ontario. 

“College-based applied research projects continue to develop innovations that help businesses throughout the province grow and create new, high-quality jobs,” says Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “This fund will strengthen Ontario’s competitiveness in key sectors.”

Fund is part of the Ontario government’s Business Growth Initiative

The fund is part of the Ontario government’s Business Growth Initiative and will be coordinated through a partnership between the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Colleges Ontario and the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS).

“Applied research and development has a broad economic benefit in Canada and Ontario. It is vital we invest in applied research to create opportunities for students and industry to work collaboratively. This will help our innovation economy thrive and compete in the global race,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.

“This new fund will encourage public-private partnership between colleges and Ontario businesses that will drive innovation, research and development. It will also provide unique experiential learning opportunities for college students that will allow them to build the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” adds Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

The objectives of the Colleges Applied R&D Fund are to:

* Drive increased industry/post-secondary collaborations while creating an efficient marketplace for industry to access innovation, productivity and commercialization services from colleges;

* Provide experiential learning opportunities for college students;

* Better align colleges with the needs of companies and strategic sectors; and

* Enable the development of new products, services and processes, facilitate productivity improvements, and help generate new revenues and high-value jobs for Ontario.

The Colleges Applied R&D Fund is comprised of three college-specific streams:

  1. College Strategic Sector/Cluster/Technology Platform Projects;
  2. College Voucher for Technology Adoption (VTA); and
  3. College Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP)