Government of Canada invests more than $7 million to support collaborations between Canada’s colleges and companies

SARNIA, ON–(Marketwired – April 24, 2017) – Canadian businesses, small and large, are teaming up with researchers at colleges across the country to expand their activities and create good jobs for Canadians that support a strong and healthy middle class. When colleges and local companies work together, their collaborations can often lead to better products, innovative business models and valuable hands-on skills for students that give them an advantage when entering the workforce of their choice.

Today, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science and Member of Parliament for London West, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced that the Government of Canada will invest more than $7 million for six projects at colleges across the country. These projects will allow colleges to provide research expertise in a variety of fields, such as energy, agriculture and new material design. The funding is made available through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF), a program that helps colleges work with Canadian businesses to innovate and thrive.

The announcement was made at Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario, which is receiving more than $850,000 for new equipment to be housed at the Bio-industrial Process Research Centre. The Centre helps petrochemical and refining plants test new ways to make consumer and industrial products out of renewable, biological, raw materials. This funding will expand the Centre’s capacity, which in turn will help companies enhance their market, strengthen their competitiveness, create jobs, grow their revenue and reduce emissions.


“Today’s announcement will help Canada’s colleges lend their research expertise to local companies so they may continue to grow and succeed. These investments also provide researchers and students the opportunity to gain the important skills and experience they need to find long-term, stable employment. Through this program, the CFI is ensuring that colleges have in place specialized facilities to support their role as important hubs of economic growth and job creation.”

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our government’s commitment to providing colleges with the support and tools they need to promote strong partnerships with local business and community leaders. Our investment also provides scholars and students the opportunity to work in new research facilities where they can acquire the skills they need to make valuable contributions that help grow the economy and support a stronger middle class.”

- Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science

“The research-industry collaborations taking place in colleges across the country give our businesses, big and small, an edge on the competition. This in turn helps businesses create jobs, access new markets and contribute to Canada’s economy. And this is why it is so important to give colleges funding for state-of-the-art research equipment that will enhance their expertise and strengthen their ability to support industry.”

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“This new funding will ensure we can continue to provide our students with an exceptional experiential learning platform. This generous investment allows us to continue to provide distinctive programming, applied research opportunities, community and industry engagement initiatives at Lambton College. More importantly, it means our graduates will continue to meet and exceed the expectations of industry employers.”

- Judith Morris, President and CEO, Lambton College

“The addition of the CFI-funded equipment to Lambton College’s Bio-Industrial Process Research Centre will significantly enhance the existing capacity of our laboratories. This unique, state-of-the-art equipment will give bio companies the ability to improve upon or develop new bio-based products and processes, consequently helping them to commercialize their novel technologies.”

- Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, Dean, Applied Research and Innovation, Lambton College

Quick facts:

  • The CFI is contributing $5,421,709 for tools and equipment through the CIIF to six projects at six colleges across Canada.
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $1,626,513 is being awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which helps institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.
  • The CIIF enhances the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by funding state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to build partnerships with the private sector in a specific area of strategic priority to the institution.

Related products:

A full list of the funded projects is available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the difference CFI funding makes in Canada.

Associated links:

College-Industry Innovation Fund

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator – An online directory of CFI-funded labs that are available to collaborate with the private sector.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system 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.

Malorie Bertrand
Media Relations and Social Media Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation
613.943.2580 (office)
613.447.1723 (mobile)
[email protected]

Stefanie Power

Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
[email protected]

Media Relations
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada
[email protected]