Niagara College’s Research & Innovation provides real-world solutions for business, industry and the community through innovation activities. We are currently seeking industry partnerships in the following areas:
Students and business reap benefits of RBC program
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 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 Solutions (BCS) centre at Niagara College, both the students and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are reaping the benefits of this program. In collaboration with the BCS, 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.
Visit the RBC Future Launch project website for more information.
To discover if your business could be a candidate to receive assistance by the research students at Business & Commercialization Solutions through the RBC Future Launch program, contact project manager Paula Reile at [email protected]
To learn more about the capabilities offered by the Business & Commercialization Solutions team or discover how initial feasibility research is helpful prior to engaging with Research & Innovation for applied research projects, visit the website.
Look what’s growing at the Greenhouse Technology Network
Exciting news for the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN) as the new website is launched: greenhousetechnetwork.ca offers a one-stop online hub that compiles the incredible capabilities to help grow innovation for Ontario’s greenhouse industry.
GTN is a network of three research-focused institutions – Niagara College’s Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre, University of Guelph’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre –that collaborate with small- and medium-sized organizations to advance the development, adoption, and implementation of technologies to support greenhouse innovation.The network leverages faculty, students and state-of-the-market facilities and equipment, together with government funding, to support greenhouse and related technology businesses. Industry partner contributions (cash and in-kind) to solve innovation challenges are matched 1:1 up to a maximum of $100K match per project ($200K project total).
Please help spread the word to the Ontario greenhouse industry and related technology providers. Interested businesses can “apply now” at greenhousetechnetwork.ca/apply-now. Project intake is ongoing; all projects to be completed by March 2024.
Industry partner intake ongoing at Research & Innovation
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.
We can help solve your innovation challenges related to technology adoption, in the sectors of:
- • advanced manufacturing
- • food and beverage
- • agriculture/greenhouse and environmental technologies
- • business & commercialization
The Niagara College team of expert faculty, students and researchers from our Innovation Centres will work with businesses to access resources to address technology and innovation challenges. As a result of this partnership opportunity, industry partners will:
- • develop new prototypes, products, processes
- • explore shelf-life extension
- • enhance greenhouse operations
- • test results that validate their products and services
- • advance horticultural practices
- • improve manufacturing production process
- • bring their products closer to market
- • gain market research, marketing plans and/or social media plans
In some cases, where government funding is involved, companies accessing these resources at Niagara College will be required to match those funds, at least 1:1, with a combination of cash and in-kind. In some cases, there is the possibility of fee for service opportunities, usually involving a short turn-around in a project outcome, but where the cost of the project is borne entirely by the industry partner.
In all cases, the intellectual property developed during the project belongs to the industry partner.
For more information, visit our Centres, linked below:
- • Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation
- • Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre
- • Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre
- • Business & Commercialization Solutions
When you are ready for a conversation on next steps, please reach out to Elizabeth Best, Business Development Coordinator, at [email protected].
SONAMI – Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation
What – Thanks for funding from FedDev, Niagara College leads the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI). From prototype development and productivity assessments, to production planning and production automation, SONAMI partners have capabilities in:
- Additive Manufacturing
- Flexible Manufacturing
- High Productivity Manufacturing
- Industrial Internet
Eligible projects should be focused on new product development with an eye to commercialization. The product may be at any stage of development when the project begins. The length of the project will vary dependent upon the level and type of assistance requested.
When – Projects intake is now open.
How the funding works – FedDev will support up to 50% of the eligible project costs. The industry partner must support at least 50% of the eligible research costs, i.e. must provide at least 1:1.2 matching on the institutional contribution. The matching contribution may consist of cash and in-kind support, however a minimum of 20% must be in cash.
For more information on the types of projects already completed across Southern Ontario, as well as how SONAMI can help you advance your R&D needs, visit sonamiontario.ca, email [email protected] or call 905-735-2211, ext. 7066.
For more information about any of our funding programs, including details for companies interested in partnering with the Research & Innovation team, contact Elizabeth Best at [email protected] or 905-641-2252, ext. 4287.
Funding available for Business Solutions Projects
Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division is currently seeking Industry Partners who require assistance with business challenges such as market research; marketing & advertising plans; and sales strategies & prospect lists.
Support from Niagara Region and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) means funding is available for firms in the Manufacturing and Food & Beverage sectors to access these services through the College.