Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning will receive close to $4.5M in federal research funding over the next 5 years to support four applied research projects focused on delivering innovative solutions for business and community challenges.
Funding is provided through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The Conestoga projects announced on May 19 were among 128 applied research projects to be awarded funding to increase their capacity to work with local companies and transform the results of research and development efforts into economic activity.
“We are grateful for the federal government’s investment in applied research at Conestoga,” said President John Tibbits. “In collaboration with our partners, we are working to build stronger businesses and communities.”
CCI funding will be provided to support the following projects at Conestoga:
Secure Digital Supply Chain
Funded through the program’s Innovation Enhancement initiative, this industry-driven research program is focused on the digital transformation of supply chains. Experts in supply chain management, digital innovation and cybersecurity will support industry partners in improving supply chain performance by harnessing the potential of technologies such as robotics, automation and big data analytics. The project will receive $2M in CCI funding over 5 years.
Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Recycling Technologies (SMART) Centre
Funded through a Technology Access Centre grant, Conestoga’s SMART Centre located in the Gaslight District in Cambridge will build on the college’s established strengths in technology innovation and electronics waste recycling to deliver applied research and development in the areas of high performance manufacturing and de-manufacturing as well as information and communications technology. The new centre will be instrumental in supporting local industry needs and contributing to the development of circular economies. The project will receive $1.75M in CCI funding over 5 years.
Leveraging Community Contributions to Acquire Local Real Estate for Long-Term Affordability and Sustainability
Supported through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund, this project explores alternative solutions for improving housing affordability. In collaboration with Union Sustainable Development Co-operative and other community partners, researchers will support the launch of a community real estate co-operative to buy, upgrade and manage commercial and residential properties to improve environmental, social and economic health in Waterloo Region. The project will receive $360,000 in CCI funding over 3 years.
Restoring Language, Culture and Land: Mobilizing a Community around Indigenous Knowledge
Also supported through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund, this project will inspire social innovation through the mobilization and dissemination of Indigenous knowledge. A network of local organizations will collaborate on a range of initiatives designed to build knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and practices and provide opportunities for community participation and engagement. The project will receive $360,000 in CCI funding over 3 years.
These new projects add to Conestoga’s growing capacity in applied research that drives business and community innovation while providing opportunities for students to develop career-ready skills in experiential learning environments. The college is ranked among Canada’s top 12 research colleges and has committed close to $40 million in collaboration with public and private partners to support applied research and innovation over the past five years.
For more information, visit www.conestogac.on.ca/research