New innovation centre ramps up activity on business and commercialization

Although small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have been able to tap into business and commercialization solutions for years now with Research & Innovation, this group never officially had the coveted “Innovation Centre” title. 

Today, that all changes. Introducing the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre (BCIC) at Niagara College. 

“This is an exciting time for the R&I division, as we continue to grow,” notes Krystle Grimaldi, director, Research & Innovation. “The business and commercialization solutions team has proven the need for this transition into an innovation centre with the exceptional quality and quantity of work they’ve been undertaking over the last few years.  

“Formalizing them into the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre opens up many more resources and capabilities for the team and will allow us to utilize funding to support even more small- to medium-sized businesses. Most importantly, this change will allow us to provide students with an even richer experience, helping them become job-ready by participating in real-world industry projects.” 

The main goal of BCIC is to offer a full suite of solutions to assist industry partners and SMEs. The team pairs industry partners with our highly qualified and experienced staff, faculty, recent graduates and students with the expertise to meet applied research and innovation needs in a variety of areas.  

The BCIC team can support you with their expertise in several service areas including market research, business strategy, promotional plans, primary research, media execution and brand development. 

“The BCIC team is here to support the core strategy of your business plan and can share critical information you need to operate a successful business,” notes Paula Reile, research program manager for BCIC.  

“We can help you understand the market you’re operating in, growth factors, consumer behavior and more. We’re an option for businesses to connect all these dots, leverage our expertise, technology and support us in giving students hands-on practical experience. I would encourage any SMEs to reach out to us,” says Reile. 

A new, enhanced collaboration with the College’s School of Media will be an added asset to smaller businesses as well, as the students will be able to work with BCIC to help create media collateral in a variety of areas, to help get these businesses to the next level. This will include things like public relations, graphic design, photography, social media management and more. 

“We’re thrilled to officially partner up with the BCIC and have students from the School of Media be a critical part of the BCIC team,” says Charles Kopun, associate dean, School of Media. “This partnership will allow our students in a variety of programs to work on real-world industry projects and apply what they learn in the classroom in a practical way. They will get the opportunity to develop things like social media content, logo concepts and advertising copy and much more for clients that seek out BCIC’s services.  

“Students will get to grow their professional networks and give them resume experience to get them job-ready once they graduate,” notes Kopun. 

To learn more about the resources and capabilities of the entire team and to read more success stories, visit the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre landing page on the Research & Innovation website.