Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities was at Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus on December 8 to announce a $4 million investment to support greater collaboration between industry and the post-secondary education and research sectors.
Minister Jill Dunlop was at Lakeshore to share details of the investment and how it will expand access to the Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform. It’s an online portal that matches industry professionals with equipment, facilities, and experts at post-secondary institutions.
“Ontario’s colleges, universities and research institutes are key sources of innovation and commercialization, making them leading contributors to Ontario’s productivity and economic growth,” said Minister Dunlop. “By making it easier for industry to access the talent and resources they need at post-secondary institutions and research partners across the province, our government is helping businesses bring more Ontario-made ideas and inventions from the lab to market.”
In a news release, the Government of Ontario said the partnerships will help businesses and innovators engage in research, development and commercialization and will provide post-secondary students with real-world, hands-on experience.
The online portal was piloted in 2020 at select post-secondary institutions. It’s now being expanded by the Government of Ontario to businesses and all publicly assisted colleges and universities.
“When first announced, Humber saw the value of this project immediately and was on board as the concept was tested,” said Nivedita Lane, manager, Community and Partnership Development at Humber. “This means Ontario businesses have an easy way to access students, researchers, equipment, and other higher education institution resources. Together we will develop and help link resources and research to key economic, social, and cultural priorities in Ontario. This will also provide students with the work-integrated learning experience to boost their first steps into their chosen careers.”
There is strong alignment between the platform and Humber’s focus on collaboration between faculty, student and industry partners as best demonstrated by the College’s Centres of Innovation Network.
"The capacity for innovation that post-secondary institutions like Humber bring to the Ontario economy is invaluable,” said Humber College President and CEO Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan. “Combining research power with industry professionals and partners through the Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform will help continue to drive the province forward. We are proud to have participated in the piloting of this new platform and look forward to the opportunities it will bring in the future."
Through the platform, Humber has worked with municipal partners on several projects involving the digital divide, sustainability and issues around access to space for the arts.
Ontario businesses can learn more about the Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform through the eCampusOntario website.