Research & Innovation

Solving National Challenges

Improving Life in Canada

Partners come to polytechnics seeking innovative solutions to challenges or obstacles to growth.  In many cases, these projects are also supporting significant social advances – building improvements to health and eldercare, agriculture and food production, and environmental sustainability, among others.  Applied research is oriented to pragmatic, scalable solutions to some of the biggest social challenges of our time.

Health & Eldercare

With an anticipated population of more than 10 million seniors by 2035, Canada is facing significant social consequences associated with demographics.  Beyond estimates of job growth approaching 300,000 in healthcare and social assistance, there is a huge need to consider how Canada will care for its elderly.  At polytechnics across the country, applied research is taking on this challenge.

Agriculture & Food Production

As the global population grows, the ability to produce adequate amounts of food in sustainable ways will become increasingly important.  Canada is well-positioned to be a global leader in food production and food security, while innovating to mitigate the environmental impacts of agriculture.  Polytechnics are working with industry partners on agricultural innovations, including crop surveillance using drone technology and the development of chemical-free insecticides.

Environmental Sustainability

Polytechnics are innovating alongside industry to develop the talent, tools and technologies needed to address climate change, promote sustainable practices and develop the infrastructure for a more energy-efficient future.  Environmental action at polytechnics includes three important elements:

  • Polytechnics are publicly funded exemplars of net-zero and eco-friendly buildings, behaviours and experimentation
  • Institutions are hubs for the development of “green skills,” offering a space where innovative thinkers and doers can learn and collaborate
  • As innovation intermediaries, polytechnics are helping businesses rethink their processes, products and systems with a green lens