17 April 2015

CICan releases annual report on applied research

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has released the updated compendium on applied research, offering an in depth look at the state of applied research in colleges, polytechnics and institutes across Canada. Accelerating Business and Community Innovation is the 2013-14 environmental scan, an annual report CICan produces showcasing the strengths of the college applied research collective effort.  This is a great overview of what has been built over the past decade or so since the original CCIP pilot and the formal introduction of college applied research funding in the 2007 Science and Technology Strategy. Of particular note is that the private sector is nearly matching the grant funding colleges receives $78M to $85M per annum respectively, a healthy sign of a robust innovation system working well at enabling the innovation economy. That there is a slight difference is to be expected, since some funding to colleges, for example that from CFI, goes to infrastructure for which no direct industry match is required.

CICan is convening their annual applied research symposium as part of the annual conference this year, another sign of integration that equates to applied research being integral to college, polytechnic and institute operations. At the 2013 symposium, NSERC's Bert van den Berg and I convened a discussion on "Developments for Performance measurement in applied research and technology development," in which we outlined a need for measuring college applied research along two lines:
  • capacity: the capability of the institution and its units to work with clients on applied research and technology development; and   
  • contribution: the performance of applied research and technology development with clients and the downstream effect on social and economic productivity.
With the latest report, CICan has shown that there is a strong capacity to deliver applied research and innovation services to industry and community partners that makes significant contribution to social and economic productivity in many parts of Canada.

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