Business - University Collaborations on the Rise

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Source: GLOBE Foundation

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) released a three-year progress report on its Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation (SPI), at the Business Innovation Summit 2013: Innovation for the Corporation.

The Strategy was launched in 2009 following a year of consultations with business and aims to help companies realize greater value from their investments in research and development, accelerate commercialization and help students acquire business-focused skills.

The report shows that NSERC grants awarded to researchers to work in collaboration with businesses have helped companies undertake research projects that add value to their bottom line:

  • In the past three years, the number of companies that NSERC works with has increased from 1,500 companies to over 2,400;
  • Industrial contributions to NSERC research partnerships are growing;
  • NSERC supported 1,700 new projects between companies and academic researchers through the newly established NSERC Engage Grants, with 94% of the businesses involved describing their project as a success; and
  • 10,000 students were funded to work in collaboration with industry in 2012 (up from 8,000 in 2009).

'NSERC's Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation is a blueprint for action to increase Canada's benefits from its investments in research and development, said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC.'

'The goal is to create lasting partnerships that bolster Canada's economy and position our country as a leading player in the global innovation race,' she added.

'The vast potential of our nation's research community is more accessible than ever to business and industry in Canada,' said Daniel Muzyka, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada and Chair of the NSERC SPI Advisory Committee. 'The Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation helps bring together the collective creativity, expertise and resources of both industry and academia.'

The full report is available on the Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation Web site.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies.

NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

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