Research & Innovation

Supporting Economic Growth through Applied Research 

Innovation drives economic growth and enhances social well-being.  It can be incremental – improving efficiencies, experimenting with new technologies or testing theories and concepts.  Innovations can also be ground-breaking and globally significant – impacting the food we eat, human health and wellness, and the way we interact with the planet.  Applied research at Canada’s polytechnics is working at both ends of this spectrum and everywhere in between, supporting non-profit and business enterprises of all sizes to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

Polytechnic institutions mobilize state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and expertise to deliver solutions, always in partnership and often with the help of a student talent pool.  In most cases, intellectual property is retained by the business partner, creating an environment that amplifies the incentive for creative engagement and supports ongoing collaboration.

Applied research takes many forms, including product development, process design, technology adoption and proof of concept.  Though polytechnic institutions develop areas of specialty based on industries in their region, applied research is responsive by nature.  Prospective partners identify a business need, then polytechnics pull in faculty expertise and student support to respond to those requirements.  The result is an applied research infrastructure that is flexible and agile.

For examples of applied research in action at our member institutions, download Polytechnic Applied Research: Building a Stronger Canada.