Funding boost makes key investment in Research & Innovation at Niagara College

Niagara College was the recipient Thursday of funding from the federal and provincial governments towards a project that will support economic development in the Niagara region.

The college was awarded $8.7 million from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and $1.55 million from the Ontario government toward the ‘Specialized Training, Applied Research and Entrepreneurial Acceleration’ project at NC’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.

The announcement was made in a joint event at Brock University, by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

“Niagara College thanks the federal and provincial governments for this investment in the agri-food sector,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Colleges help train tomorrow’s workforce, and this unique project will help economic development in our region through specialized training at NC for student engagement, entrepreneurship and incubation space.”

For Niagara College, the investment of SIF means building on the college’s infrastructure including construction of new research and innovation laboratories, specialized training facilities for student engagement and entrepreneurship, and incubation space for business. In addition, the project will help NC meet environmental stewardship goals for sustainable building and campus systems, to align with Canada and Ontario’s climate change mitigation goals.

Patterson said the SIF grant also serves as an “investment in innovation to spur economic renewal in a regional economy in transition.”

Announced in the federal government budget 2016, short-term investments under SIF were designed to promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.

The announcement also including funding for two Brock University projects: replacement of some of its cogeneration engines with high efficiency units, and a learning and innovation centre.

IMAGE: Gathered for a Strategic Innovation Fund announcement on November 3 at Brock University are (from top left): Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey, St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley and St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle; and (bottom left): Niagara College President Dan Patterson, Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Brock student Madi Fuller, Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Brock Interim President Tom Traves.