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$20-million fund will support innovation at Ontario’s colleges


(TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2017) – The new $20-million Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF) announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne will promote new economic growth, the Ontario Centres of Excellence and Colleges Ontario said today.


“College-based applied research projects continue to develop innovations that help businesses throughout the province grow and create new, high-quality jobs,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “This fund will strengthen Ontario’s competitiveness in key sectors.”


The fund was officially launched today at an announcement at Conestoga College. It 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.


“As premier, it is my job to make sure that students in Ontario are prepared for today’s economy and job market. 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,” said Kathleen Wynne, the premier of Ontario.


“Applied research and development has a broad economic benefit in Canada and Ontario. It is vital we invest in applied research to create opportunities for students and industry to work collaboratively. This will help our innovation economy thrive and compete in the global race,” said Reza Moridi, the minister of research, innovation and science.


“This new fund will encourage public-private partnership between colleges and Ontario businesses that will drive innovation, research and development. It will also provide unique experiential learning opportunities for college students that will allow them to build the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Deb Matthews, the minister of advanced education and skills development.


With a proven and measurable record of successful program delivery as well as bridging the gap between industry and post-secondary institutions to promote the collaboration and commercialization of breakthrough research, OCE has been entrusted by the government with delivering the Colleges Applied R&D Fund in partnership with Colleges Ontario.


The objectives of the Colleges Applied R&D Fund are to:

  • Drive increased industry/post-secondary collaborations while creating an efficient marketplace for industry to access innovation, productivity and commercialization services from colleges.

  • Provide experiential learning opportunities for college students.

  • Better align colleges with the needs of companies and strategic sectors.

  • Enable the development of new products, services and processes, facilitate productivity improvements, and help generate new revenues and high-value jobs for Ontario.


The Colleges Applied R&D Fund is comprised of three college-specific streams:

  • College strategic sector/cluster/technology platform projects.

  • College voucher for technology adoption (VTA).

  • College voucher for innovation and productivity (VIP).


“The Colleges Applied R&D Fund is a great addition to Ontario’s innovation ecosystem, and one that will directly support experiential learning for college students while connecting them to the needs of the industries and economies of the future,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s president and CEO. “Aligning college-based expertise with the challenges facing Ontario companies will help Ontario generate high-value jobs and support its competitiveness around the globe.”


For more information about CARDF and the application process, please visit the OCE website.


Media Contact (OCE):

Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092

Media Contact (Colleges Ontario):

Amy Dickson
Manager, Media Relations and Communications