The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Engage Program is a big hit with researchers and their business partners. Aimed at igniting new research partnerships, Engage is fulfilling its mission, and quickly. The program, launched late last year, has helped cement scores of new R&D relationships in a diverse array of sectors across Canada.
As of mid June, Ontario became the first region in Canada to award over $1 million dollars through Engage funding. Both the first Engage project awarded in the region, and the project which put funding over the million dollar milestone were awarded to researchers at the University of Guelph.
Paul McNicholas received the first Ontario Engage grant. Together with AQL Management Consulting Inc., McNicholas and his team are working on a statistical methodology concerning the early detection of important animal health events. Robert Dony’s project in partnership with NIMTech Incorporated tipped the Ontario investments over the million dollar mark. Dony’s project focuses on examining a real-time measurement of product and process characteristics system.
The quick decision process is one of the reasons why the program is proving to be so popular. Industrial partners are enthusiastic that they were able to proceed with projects shortly after they were proposed.
“We were truly amazed at the speedy turnaround on our joint funding submission with McMaster University,” said Gerard Campeau, President of Thermal Electronics Corporation in Aurora, Ontario.
The good news continues, as NSERC’s Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation (SPI) received an important endorsement in this year’s federal Budget that will help create and sustain even more partnerships between higher education researchers and Canadian businesses. The Budget assigned $5 million annually in new funding to support building bridges between businesses and researchers through SPI.
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Sarah O’Neill is the Communications and Promotions Officer at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Ontario regional office. Sarah can connect you with the information you need to know regarding NSERC’s partnership opportunities.