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Canada’s Economic Action Plan Supports New Research at Canada’s Colleges


St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Ontario — Colleges and polytechnics across Canada will soon have a greater opportunity to conduct leading-edge research and help local businesses bring new innovations to the marketplace thanks to Canada's Economic Action Plan. This new initiative launched today by the Government of Canada was announced by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), speaking at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. Minister of State Goodyear was joined by Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry.

"The Government of Canada is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This new program will help attract world-class researchers to Canada's colleges and provide the research capacity that local businesses need to develop new technologies and innovations."

The Government of Canada is investing $32.5 million with the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support a new college fund. Recognizing that colleges and polytechnics support private sector innovation differently than universities, the CFI will launch one or more competitions by December 2010.

The new fund will ensure that colleges have the latest research equipment and facilities to take innovative research from the lab to the marketplace. Colleges are well positioned to work with the private sector to foster technology diffusion and commercialization, and this funding will help ensure that they have the infrastructure to help small and medium-sized enterprises succeed.

"The CFI is pleased to be supporting the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy by delivering programs that will continue to bolster Canada's research community," said Manon Harvey, Interim President and CEO of the CFI.

"Our government is committed to building Canada's knowledge economy," said Mr. Lauzon."Canada's Economic Action Plan is strengthening the economy through major investments in science, technology and innovation."

The new college fund builds on the Government of Canada's impressive track record in support of research at colleges. Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the government has invested in the new Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and increased funding for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's College and Community Innovation Program.

Funding for the new program will be drawn from a $600-million investment announced by the Government of Canada as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The funding will ensure that the CFI continues to carry out its mandate in 2012 and beyond, promoting research excellence, while continuing to improve Canada's long-term competitiveness and the quality of life of Canadians.

Canada's Economic Action Plan continues to be timely and effective. The Action Plan is improving infrastructure at colleges, universities, federal laboratories and research facilities, introducing additional support for graduate students and internships, and supporting research and technology leadership in Canada.

The CFI is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed $5.3 billion in support of 6800 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada. CFI practices have been recently called "world's best" by a panel of international experts, based on a third-party performance evaluation and value-for-money audit.