Premier Wynne visited Conestoga’s Doon campus on Tuesday, January 24 to announce a new fund that will support research and development projects and drive collaboration between colleges and businesses.
New funding announced by Premier Wynne at Conestoga on January 24 will allow students to gain hands-on work experience by connecting colleges with businesses to solve real-world research and development challenges.
The new Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF) will help ensure the skills students learn in the classroom match the jobs that employers are looking to fill. The fund will allow students to work on applied research projects and gain hands-on work experience in their field by connecting colleges with businesses, industry associations and organizations to develop new partnerships and solve real-world research and development challenges.
“As Premier, it is my job to make sure that students in Ontario are prepared for today’s economy and job market,” said Wynne. “By increasing access to experiential learning opportunities, where students can solve real-world challenges, we are giving them the tools they need to thrive in the workforce.
The new fund will create opportunities for students to act as consultants to companies, while receiving faculty mentorship and integrating applied research projects with their academic courses. It will also strengthen Ontario's highly skilled, market-ready workforce.
“This investment will provide new opportunities for students at Conestoga and Ontario’s other colleges to apply their skills and gain real-world experience as they prepare for successful careers,” said Conestoga president Dr. John Tibbits. “Applied research funded through this program will also contribute to the prosperity of our communities by supporting more businesses in their efforts to innovate, improve and compete in the global market.”
The fund, an investment of $20 million over three years, is part of the Ontario government’s Business Growth Initiative and will be coordinated through a partnership between the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Colleges Ontario and the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science.
Premier Wynne’s announcement at the college was attended by Conestoga’s community and research partners and members of provincial parliament, including: MPPs Han Dong, Kathryn McGarry, Reza Moridi and Daiene Vernile; Dr. Tom Corr, OCE president and CEO; Linda Franklin, Colleges Ontario president and CEO; Cambridge councillor Frank Monteiro, and James Schlegel, Schlegel Villages CEO.
More information about the funding can be found on the CARDF website