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September 7, 2016 2:06 PM

Conestoga granted more than $1.5M to support research and innovation

The Government of Canada will provide more than $1.5M to support applied research at Conestoga that will drive innovation to support local industry needs, create hands-on learning opportunities for students, and contribute to regional prosperity.

The funding was announced by MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, on behalf of Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan at Red River College on September 7. The announcement includes a total investment of more than $40M to support applied research infrastructure and projects at Canada’s colleges and polytechnics.

“Colleges and polytechnics play a vital role in advancing innovation through the development of new solutions that address today’s industry needs,” said John Tibbits, President of Conestoga. “We greatly appreciate the Government of Canada’s support in our efforts to work with our business and industry partners to increase productivity and build a stronger, more sustainable and prosperous community.”

Conestoga will be awarded $1M over five years through NSERC’s Colleges and Community Innovation (CCI) program to support an Industrial Research Chair for Colleges to lead applied research for Advanced Recycling Technologies for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

Dr. Hamid Karbasi will work with faculty, students and industry partners to develop new solutions aimed at enhancing productivity and sustainability through e-waste recycling. Research activities will result in new products that can be commercialized by local equipment manufacturers, as well as new processes that will generate value and cost savings across a range of manufacturing operations. This research will benefit manufacturing industries and electronic recyclers and result in increased proper e-waste treatment, recycling and landfill diversion rates.

Project partners include Greentec International, a leading e-waste processor, as well as more than 15 other system manufacturers, educational institutions and technology providers.

Additionally, Conestoga will also be awarded $540,000 from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) through the College Industry Innovation Fund to grow capacity for the college’s applied research activities in Food Innovation and Technology.

Research conducted through this initiative will address identified industry challenges to provide solutions for food and beverage processing, Canada’s largest manufacturing sector. It will leverage Conestoga’s pilot plant facilities in the Craig Richardson Institute for Food Processing Technology as well as labs in the college’s Centre for Smart Manufacturing.

The funding provided by CFI matches a provincial investment of $540,000 announced on August 31 to support Food Innovation and Technology research projects.

“Through today’s investment, the Government of Canada is supporting collaborations between talented scientists and engineers working hard on college campuses and their counterparts who are leading local businesses,” said Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan in a news release. “Such partnerships can lead to the commercialization of ideas, job creation for the middle class and sustainable economic growth that benefits all Canadians.”

The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Since its launch in 2009, the program has invested $349.3 million in 1,660 projects at 105 post-secondary institutions across Canada.

The College-Industry Innovation Fund, managed by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), enhances the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by giving them state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to build partnerships with the private sector in specific areas of strategic priority to the institution.

Applied research initiatives at Conestoga support a growing group of industry and community partners in their efforts to innovate, improve, and address real-world needs and opportunities. Priority areas include food innovation and technology, advanced manufacturing, energy and environment, and healthy communities and seniors care.

Conestoga is a member of Polytechnics Canada, committed to delivering education and applied research to benefit communities, industries and Canada’s economy.

For more information, visit www.conestogac.on.ca/research

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