Partnering with Research & Innovation on Applied Research Projects

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division is currently offering small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) a way to advance their product development, improve their performance or take an innovative leap forward, thanks to government funding from various sources, and service opportunities available with our Innovation Centres.

These FAQs may help answer some questions about how we engage with industry: 


Who is involved?

Niagara College works with companies from key sectors to access college resources to facilitate research projects in food and beverage; advanced manufacturing; agriculture/greenhouse and environmental technologies; and business & commercialization.

What is involved?

Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) partner with our research teams of students, graduates and expert faculty, to:

  • •  develop new prototypes, products, process
  • •  improve manufacturing production processes
  • •  assist with design & creation of technology applications (Internet of Things, Industry 4.0)
  • •  increase food safety & explore shelf-life extension technologies
  • •  bring products closer to market
  • •  enhance greenhouse operations
  • •  advance horticultural practices
  • •  gain market research, marketing plans and/or social media plans

Visit the web pages of our innovation centres to learn what we do in each area:

What are the results?

Industry partners take away new prototypes; products; processes; and test results that validate their products and services, bringing them ever closer to market.

Who owns the IP developed?

In all cases, the intellectual property developed during the project belongs to the partner.

Do these projects cost anything to the SME?

It depends on the funding being leveraged, but there is usually a requirement for some cash and/or in-kind contribution from the partner company. For example, the in-kind contribution can be equipment, use of company facilities, or time from company experts. Part of the in-kind commitment is the involvement of staff from the company in the project to ensure thoughtful communication throughout the project and facilitate the transfer of technology at the end.

What programs are available now?

Our research teams of students, graduates and expert faculty are either working in labs or on-campus – following health and safety protocols – or working remotely on R&I applied research and technical services. 

We are still available to speak with you about your potential project ideas, and how we may be able to put our research centres to work as partners in solving your applied research challenges. For information on current opportunities for those projects can be found here. 

How can I learn more?

Visit, or contact Elizabeth Best, Business Development Coordinator: [email protected]