Ontario Colleges Ask Queen’s Park for $30M Investment

Say colleges can play key role in helping businesses become more innovative

Georgian, and other Ontario colleges, are hitting up the Ontario government for millions of dollars in funding to help businesses become more innovative. Georgian College President MaryLynn West-Moynes says colleges can play a central role in real world research to help achieve that innovation. The $30-million would be used to promote industry clusters across the province, allowing colleges to work with key industry experts to solve applied research challenges. West-Moynes notes only three per cent of Ontario businesses perform any research, and the record suggests their performance on other innovation indicators is also lacking. Colleges are playing an increasingly critical role in encouraging more small businesses to innovate. Each year, Ontario colleges work with more than 750 companies to pursue market-driven applied research activities with about 80 organizations on projects which address provincial socioeconomic priorities. At least half of these businesses plan to pursue further applied research with colleges, and significant numbers report higher sales and new job creation, due to new and improved products and production as a result of their college collaboration. “Ontario must focus on innovations that support business growth and create new jobs,” said West-Moynes. “Investments in applied research will help entrepreneurs strengthen Ontario’s economy.”