Students and business reap benefits of RBC program

Business and Commercialization Solutions teams

Just as businesses impacted by the global pandemic need to navigate a new economy and reimagine their offerings creatively, graduates entering this new workforce need to be prepared for this ever-changing landscape.

A Canadian-wide initiative called the RBC Future Launch program aims to provide opportunities to help students gain practical, real-world experience to help prepare them for this shifting environment.

RBC Foundation announced a $150,000 corporate gift (over three years) in December 2019 to Niagara College’s School of Business and Management to support NC’s Productivity Innovation Lab (PiLab). The gift was funded through RBC’s Future Launch, a 10-year $500-million commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

And, through Research & Innovation’s Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre (BCIC) at Niagara College, both the students and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are reaping the benefits of this program. In collaboration with BCIC, the RBC Future Launch program helps connect students with SMEs who require support for market research, go-to-market strategies and to steer or creatively pivot their business model.

Student researchers, paid through the program for a qualifying project, receive invaluable real-world experience to help prepare them for the workforce, while the business gains instrumental market research and strategies to help them evolve.

“Canada has a collective responsibility to help prepare young people for the opportunities of the future,” says Steve Nixon, regional vice-president, Niagara Market, RBC. “Through RBC’s partnership with Niagara College we’re enabling students to gain real world experience in solving social and business problems that will ensure they are career-ready and feeling prepared for their future.”

If you are a registered small- or medium-sized business with a proof of concept or have existing products/services and need assistance in exploring new revenue streams or business direction, you may be eligible to receive business research support within the RBC Future Launch project.

Learn more about the RBC Future Launch project here.

To discover if your business could be a candidate to receive assistance by the research students at the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre through the RBC Future Launch program, contact project manager Paula Reile at [email protected].


Visit Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre to learn more about the capabilities offered by the team or discover how initial feasibility research is helpful prior to engaging with Research & Innovation for applied research projects.