By Sarah O’Neill Companies that want to tap into the innovative capacity of Canada’s colleges, with a view to improving their business performance now have access to a much wider array of funding programs. The objective of the program is for colleges to work with individual businesses to solve company-specific problems. Funding is supplied through three types of Applied Research and Development (ARD) grants. The smallest grants, valued at up to $25,000, will be geared to short-term projects of up to six months, similar to those supported in universities through NSERC’s new Engage program. For projects lasting one to three years, two other ARD awards will be available, both of which require cash or in-kind contributions from partners. For medium-sized grants of up to $75,000, partners contribute a third of project costs; and for large grants exceeding $75,000, partners are required to contribute half of the project costs. ARD grants can be across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health. Applications for all three levels are accepted on a ongoing basis. Grants are made by NSERC, with the exception of funded proposals exclusively in the social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences, which will be made by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) or Canada Institute for Health Research (CIHR), as appropriate. These grants are intended to provide companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian colleges and to train students in essential technical skills required by industry. To learn more about NSERC partnership funding opportunities, subscribe to our In Partnership e-bulletin 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. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.