Ontario is helping students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world challenges through a new fund that supports research and development projects.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Conestoga College in Kitchener today to highlight how the new Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF) will benefit students, colleges and businesses.
The fund will:
- Allow students to work on applied research and development projects at Ontario companies and gain hands-on work experience in their field
- Connect colleges with businesses, industry associations and organizations to develop new partnerships and solve real-world R&D challenges, such as adapting new technologies
- Create opportunities for students to act as consultants to companies, while receiving faculty mentorship and integrating these projects with their academic courses.
This will help ensure that the skills students learn in the classroom match the jobs that employers are looking to fill. The fund will allow start-ups and businesses of all sizes to partner with colleges to tackle their R&D challenges and launch innovative new products and services. It will also strengthen Ontario's highly skilled, market-ready workforce, which is a key driver in attracting investment to Ontario.
Helping students succeed in the innovation economy is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and support people in their everyday lives.
- CARDF is an investment of $20 million over three years. It allows businesses to access provincial and federal funding for industry-academic R&D collaborations under a single, streamlined review process.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence will administer the fund.
- CARDF is part of Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative, a $400-million strategy that is growing the economy and creating jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
- Ontario’s colleges and universities offer more than 200 co-operative education programs in the information communications and technology fields.
- Each year, more than 10,000 students work with more than 750 companies on research and development activities across Ontario.