Government of Canada invests in applied research funding essential to innovation in key sectors

OTTAWA, July 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Applied research taking place at colleges across Canada is key to advancing innovation. Whether that research supports “smart” farming technologies and practices, or helps Canadian companies stay at the forefront of the mining and green energy sectors, college-industry collaborations give businesses access to the knowledge, skills and equipment they need to stay ahead.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced investments through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) of almost $17 million for 16 research infrastructure projects at 15 colleges across the country that will support productive partnerships with Canadian businesses. The funding will allow colleges to obtain the state-of-the-art labs and equipment their researchers need to advance their innovative ideas. These projects will generate socio-economic benefits locally and nationally, and provide opportunities for a new generation of innovators.

Among the colleges receiving funding through the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund are:

  • Cégep de Trois-Rivières (Quebec): New infrastructure will help researchers support companies transitioning to new, more environmentally friendly, production lines for innovative paper and cardboard products, manufactured using advanced industrial processes. This could help create new jobs in forward-looking industrial sectors.
  • Nova Scotia Community College: A new Clean Marine Propulsion Lab will help regional companies develop hybrid electric and fuel cell systems to operate marine vessels such as in-shore fishing craft and tour boats. These innovations will make the vessels cheaper to operate, quieter and less polluting.
  • Lethbridge College (Alberta): A state-of-the-art Advanced Post-Harvest Technology Centre will contribute to reducing the one-fifth of all food produced in Canada that is lost or wasted from the time it is harvested to consumption. This will help meet the growing demand for food production, which is estimated to rise by half of current levels by 2050.


“As we work together to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also look at the next big challenges in front us, with climate change at the top of the list. The projects we are funding today will allow colleges to provide the tools researchers need to find solutions to these great challenges and develop the world-class talent businesses covet.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Bringing industry partners together with researchers and students in spaces equipped with technology’s latest tools is a recipe for innovation and economic growth. This investment will enable bright ideas to be tested, applied and developed into new businesses in labs that have collaboration and partnerships at their core. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is proud to contribute to Canada’s future by supporting our extraordinary colleges, institutes and Cégeps.”

– Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Quick facts

  • The College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) is intended to support substantial research infrastructure projects that will augment the existing applied research and technology development capacity of colleges and allow them to respond to important sector industry needs.
  • There are two competition streams under the College-Industry Innovation Fund. This announcement is for stream 1, which allows colleges to acquire the tools needed to conduct applied research and technology development activities that respond to well-identified needs of the private sector and have been developed in collaboration with key industrial partners.
  • As part of the total CIIF funding of $12,870,244, an additional $3,861,072 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

Quick links
More about the Canada Foundation for Innovation
Details on the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund
Discover the CFI Research Facilities Navigator: An online database of labs and facilities that are open to working with business

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For close to 25 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. Fostering a robust innovation system in Canada translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities.
By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.

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A full list of the funded projects and stories about the facilities we fund are available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA, LinkedIn, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the CFI and its many transformative research projects.

Discover other CFI research investments:
College-industry innovation funding supports business and research partnerships
The CFI launches 2023 Major Science Initiative Fund competition: Call for proposals now live


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