College associations band together to call for applied research funding

February 13, 2020 – Ottawa, ON – Leading voices of Canada’s polytechnics, colleges, cégeps and institutes of technology are calling on the federal government to make a $40M investment in applied research as part of Budget 2020. This investment stands to enrich collaborations between the college sector and small- and medium-sized enterprises, driving innovation and growth in Canada’s economy.

“Applied research is an important way polytechnics support small- and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits and community organizations develop new products, adopt new technology and solve problems,” says Sarah Watts-Rynard, Chief Executive Officer at Polytechnics Canada. “As the federal government looks for partners to solve Canada’s biggest challenges, including ambitious climate change goals, college applied research is a proven solution.”

Together with Atlantic Colleges Atlantique, Association pour la recherche au collégial, BC Colleges, Colleges Ontario, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Fédération des cégeps, Synchronex and Tech-Access Canada, Polytechnics Canada delivered a letter outlining its recommendation to Finance Minister Bill Morneau this week. The associations suggest a $40M investment will position institutions to better respond at the speed of business, adding flexibility to a system that is too frequently tied to federal granting cycles.

Over the past decade, Canadian polytechnics and colleges have become hubs of innovation activity, largely supported by research grants delivered by the College and Community Innovation Program. Many campuses have spaces dedicated to experimentation, equipped with cutting-edge technology and staffed with industry-leading experts. Even with limited funding, institutions are producing new products, processes and prototypes in partnership with industry.

“For years our institutions have helped businesses find innovative solutions to complex challenges, with a tremendous impact on our economy and our communities,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, President and CEO of Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Polytechnics Canada’s Board Chair. “Predictable and reliable funding stands to ensure we’re ready when partners come to the door.”


Click for the letter to Minister Morneau
For information about Polytechnics Canada and applied research, visit

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