10 November 2008

College applied research in the news

Today's Report on Business contains the Report on Colleges: Innovation section with a story "Moving to the front lines of applied research." It's a good overview of how college applied research fits within the continuum of research and development within Canada. There is also a call out on the College and Community Innovation program launched in Budget 2007 as part of the Federal Science and Technology Strategy:

Funding a key player
The vital role that Canadian colleges play in the applied research world was emphasized last February when it was announced that up to 25 college-based R&D projects would be supported with a $48-million, three-year College and Community Innovation (CCI) program, managed by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council.

Although it welcomed the move, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) expressed concern that it had taken seven years from the time it began pushing for federal support of R&D activities before the CCI, first developed as a $1.8-million pilot project, became a permanent program.

"This is a real breakthrough. It's the first time the government has recognized the college contribution to research and working with the private sector ... Now we need to demonstrate the value added for Canada: local economic development and productivity enhancement," said James Knight, president of the ACCC, which represents more than 150 colleges and polytechnics.

The group intends to document the outcomes of the research receiving CCI funding to lobby for more government support.

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