The Hon. Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls and Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada, was at Niagara College today to introduce 14 new partnerships between local businesses and Niagara Research, Niagara College’s department for Research and Innovation. The partnerships were created thanks to an investment of up to $750,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) under its Applied Research Commercialization (ARC) initiative.
The investment connects small- and medium-sized businesses with the college to develop new ideas for products or processes and prepare them for commercialization. The additional applied research projects not only benefit businesses involved, which get research and innovation support to become more productive and competitive, but also students who get direct contact with industry partners as they solve real-world problems.
“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in innovation to create jobs and economic growth,” said Minister Nicholson. “I am pleased that our government is working with Niagara College and the local business community to strengthen this region’s competitiveness.”
“We’re grateful for this federal investment, and for the government’s recognition of the important role that Niagara College plays in applied research and innovation,” said Niagara College Acting President Steve Hudson. “Applied research is strengthening our economy by helping companies innovate and develop new products and processes that have tremendous commercial value, and it’s creating important opportunities for our students to gain hands-on experience through real-world projects with businesses.”
The 14 businesses partnering with Niagara Research on ARC projects are OASYS Healthcare (Uxbridge, Ont.), Warren DAC Investments Ltd. (Niagara Falls), Abatement Technologies Ltd. (Fort Erie), Yangaroo Inc. (Toronto), WorkTech Inc. (Grimsby), The Green Cricket (Etobicoke), Norgen Biotek Corp. (Thorold), Ultimate Kiosk (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp. (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Pay 4 Performance (St. Catharines), LineTech Design and Manufacturing (St. Catharines), Calhoun Sportswear (St. Catharines), E.D. Products (St. Catharines), and Water Superstore (St. Catharines). (See backgrounder for project descriptions).
Minister Nicholson introduced the partnerships at the Niagara Research office, located at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. He also announced funding for other local Niagara businesses through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation program.
“It’s harder for small- and medium-sized businesses to innovate because the resources needed to develop new processes, products and services are often devoted to running day-to-day operations,” said Dr. Marc Nantel, Niagara College’s associate vice-president of Research and Innovation. “The projects announced today, in addition to our many others, make it possible for our partners to innovate and grow in a global market, while also preparing our students to be better employees when they enter the workforce.”
Niagara Research is the home of applied research at Niagara College. Applied research is broadly defined as the application of new or existing knowledge to solve practical real-world problems. Niagara Research works with business, industry, and the community on applied research and innovation projects.