19 April 2010

FedDev announces $15M to support Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative

Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear announced today $15M in funding for the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, sponsored by the Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The ARC Initiative is a significant opportunity to engage the academic and business communities in supporting the innovation economy and the jobs of tomorrow. The objective of this new initiative is to bring together the business and academic communities in collaborative relationships in order to engage in applied research and commercialization activities to develop new products, processes and practices. Polytechnics Canada calls this an "Innovation Game-Changer", and the program will greatly assist the innovation system in southern Ontario to meet the immediate industrial applied research needs of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

The ARC Initiative is a pilot program open to all industrial sectors, from those supported in the Science and Technology Strategy to new, emergent sectors where SMEs are located and doing business in Southern Ontario. Funds will help mobilize faculty expertise in the polytechnics, colleges and universities to accelerate innovation in support of job creation and improved productivity. This new format for funding the innovation chain makes a direct link between college applied research and regional economic development, and showcases the value applied research has to industry partners.

The program will continue to build applied research capacity at Ontario’s research-ready colleges and expose students to hands-on applied research by solving timely, practical problems for local industry. The program will provide crucial front-end R&D support for SMEs struggling with minimal working capital. It also complements the NSERC College and Community Innovation Program. The ARC Initiative continues the federal government's  support of the applied research and experimental development components of the R&D continuum and will enhance industry investment in R&D overall.

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