Contributed by Colleges and Institutes Canada
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is excited to see new funding in the 2018 federal budget that was unveiled this week, for research and innovation, including for the critically important College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program.
This will help fuel the growth of applied research in institutions across the country; and generate new innovation partnerships that benefit businesses, students and their communities.
The CCI will receive $140 million over five years, as part of substantial investments in research and innovation via new support for the granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
This, coupled with increased funding and program changes to the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and to the regional development agencies, will drive inclusive economic growth and fuel innovation across the country.
“Supporting applied research is one of the most efficient ways to boost Canadian innovation,” said CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot. “This investment will go a long way to unleash the potential of colleges and institutes to drive growth in their communities and train the innovators of the future.”
CICan was also pleased to see a commitment to create a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, to help Indigenous people develop the skills they need to find meaningful employment. As the primary access point to postsecondary education for Indigenous learners, colleges and institutes will have an important role to play in its implementation and look forward to collaborating with the government and Indigenous communities to ensure it meets the needs of learners.
Budget 2018 also recognizes the importance of lifelong learning, investing in additional work placements for youth, modernizing the Youth Employment Strategy, and introducing a new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, in addition to the Apprenticeship Completion Grant and a new Pre-Apprenticeship Program for vulnerable populations to develop the skills they need to succeed.
CICan also welcomes the new $2 billion investment (over five years) in development funding to advance gender equality around the world. Colleges and institutes are committed to continue working internationally to advance the government’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.