Niagara College executive named to Tech-Access advisory board

Marc Nantel, Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation (third from left), has been named to the Advisory board of Tech-Access Canada. The photo was taken during a Tech-Access event in the fall of 2016, and includes Tech-Access staff Ken Doyle, (far left), and Marie-Josée Lavoie (far right), as well as Mario Pinto, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (centre).

One of Niagara College’s own executives has been appointed to the advisory board for a network of national, specialized research and development (R&D) centres.

Marc Nantel, associate vice-president, Research & Innovation at Niagara College, will continue his leadership role in college applied research as a member of the advisory board for Tech-Access Canada, the national network of Canada’s 30 Technology Access Centres (TACs).

The nine-member board is made up of representatives from the member Technology Access Centres, and is responsible for setting and adjusting the strategic objectives for Tech-Access Canada. Niagara College currently holds grants for two such Technology Access Centres, one for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, at the Welland Campus, and one for the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre, at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

David Berthiaume, executive director of OLEOTEK, was elected chair, and Nathalie Méthot, manager, Office of Applied Research and Innovation, La Cité, was elected vice-chair.

“Niagara College is proud to be only one of two colleges in Canada with two TACs. This says a lot about the excellence of our academic and research programs, and about our unwavering dedication to serve industry and realize the college’s economic development mandate,” notes Dan Patterson, Niagara College president.

Technology Access Centres are specialized applied R&D centres affiliated with Canadian colleges or Cégeps. Demand-driven TACs help Canadian businesses – especially SMEs – advance their products, processes and services by:

  • conducting applied research and development projects focused on company problems
  • offering specialized technical services and objective advice
  • providing training related to new types of equipment and processes

As the national network of Canada’s TACS, Tech-Access Canada enables the TACs to serve any company, anywhere in Canada, and help them access the expertise, equipment, and facilities they need to solve their innovation challenges. The network’s members provide clients and partners from across Canada with access to:

  • expertise and experience of more than 1,000 business innovation and applied R&D experts
  • more than 2.4 million square feet of innovation and applied research space
  • more than $250 million worth of highly-specialized equipment and facilities

“More than serving industry, we are also dedicated to offering students and recent graduates participation in these projects and technology applications, making them employment-ready once they are ready to enter the working world,” notes Nantel.

Members of the 2017 Tech-Access Canada Advisory Board include:

  • David Berthiaume, executive director, OLEOTEK, Thetford Mines, QC [Chair]
  • Nathalie Méthot, manager, Office of Applied Research and Innovation, La Cité, Ottawa, ON [Vice- Chair]
  • Tammy Wall, operations manager, Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Nancy Déziel, executive director, CNETE, Shawinigan, QC
  • Dawn Davidson, associate vice-president (Acting), Research and Innovation, George Brown College, Toronto, ON
  • Marc Nantel, associate vice-president, Research & Innovation, Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
  • Ray Hoemsen, executive director, Research Partnerships & Innovation, Red River College, Winnipeg, MB
  • Robert Franz, director, Centre for Sensors and System Integration, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, AB
  • Jamie VanDenbossche, manager, Camosun Innovates, Camosun College, Victoria, BC
  • Christine Trauttmansdorff, vice-president, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Ottawa, ON [Observer]
  • Jack Deyirmendjian, deputy director, Colleges and Community Innovation Program, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON [Observer]

“These individuals represent an advisory board with a tremendous skill set, bringing over a century of demonstrated and relevant college applied research and industry experience to the table. We believe their combined knowledge and acumen will further support Tech-Access Canada’s strategic objectives, and advance the success of Technology Access Centres across Canada,” said Ken Doyle, executive director of Tech-Access Canada.

Tech-Access Canada is the formal, national network of Canada’s 30 TACs. Based in Ottawa, Tech-Access Canada facilitates the sharing of best practices between member TACs; works to harmonize service models across regions; and promotes college applied research to external audiences. For more information, visit