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Ontario Centre of Innovation
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Media Releases

New Partnership to Connect GTA Businesses with Applied Research Opportunities, Fueling Innovation and Growth

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TORONTO, ON. October 4, 2023 — A groundbreaking collaboration between Seneca Polytechnic, York University, and the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) is set to catalyze innovation in Ontario’s business landscape, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The partnership aims to establish a dedicated business development role focused on promoting the immense benefits of applied research to SMEs. By bridging the gap between academic expertise and real-world business challenges, this initiative seeks to enhance Ontario’s innovation ecosystem.

Empowering SMEs Through Applied Research
This strategic collaboration is poised to revolutionize the applied research landscape. By leveraging the combined strengths of Seneca and York University, it will enable participating businesses to bolster their research and development capabilities while also nurturing the growth of applied research within both institutions.

Seneca’s Commitment to Relevant and Impactful Research
Seneca Polytechnic is renowned for its commitment to industry-relevant applied research. Guided by dedicated faculty and centered on student involvement, Seneca’s applied research initiatives recently garnered recognition with an Award of Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada.

York University’s Tradition of Community Engagement and Impact
York University, a stalwart in community engagement, has a rich history of conducting applied research in collaboration with a myriad of stakeholders, including industry, government, non-profit organizations, private-sector companies, and other educational institutions. A 2020 report from the university revealed that York contributes over $4 billion to Ontario’s economy, underlining its pivotal role in fostering economic growth.

Expanding Opportunities for SMEs
This partnership offers SMEs the opportunity to harness the expertise of Seneca and York’s applied research capabilities. It enables businesses to address pressing challenges, develop innovative solutions, and scale up their operations.

Fostering Innovation and Driving Economic Growth
As Seneca Polytechnic, York University, and the Ontario Centre of Innovation come together to advance the cause of applied research, the province of Ontario is poised to witness a surge in innovation and economic growth. This partnership underscores the commitment of these institutions to the betterment of Ontario’s innovation economy.

“Innovation knows no boundaries, and this collaborative partnership exemplifies our shared commitment to fueling the growth and innovation potential of small and medium-sized enterprises in Ontario.”
– Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)

“Seneca is excited to work with York University and the Ontario Centre of Innovation to enhance applied research capacity within the innovation ecosystem of the Greater Toronto Area. This partnership will open up new possibilities for our students and faculty as they help local enterprises solve their challenges and grow their operations.”– Ben Rogers, Dean, Seneca Applied Research

“York University welcomes this strategic agreement with Seneca and the Ontario Centre of Innovation to create new collaboration opportunities with our non-academic partners in the GTA. Through innovative collaborations with our research faculty and students, companies and non-profits gain access to expertise and a talent pool that can generate impactful solutions to their organizational challenges. We look forward to working with our partners to drive further positive change and economic growth across sectors and industries.”
– Jennifer MacLean, Assistant Vice President Innovation and Research Partnerships, York University

“Our partnership is a catalyst for innovation in Ontario, with a dedicated focus on empowering small and medium-sized enterprises through the transformative potential of applied research. By bridging the academic-business divide, we’re transforming the landscape and nurturing the growth of applied research, creating a brighter future for our province.”
– Jeff van Heumen, Assistant Vice-President, Business Development, Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)

About Seneca Polytechnic:
Seneca Polytechnic provides a great education to prepare our students for great careers. Combining academic rigour with practical, professional and career-focused learning, we offer our students a seamless transition from education to employment. Expert faculty, excellent staff, outstanding campuses, awesome technology, deep connections with industry: that’s Seneca Polytechnic.  

About York University:
York is a modern, multi-campus, research-intensive University located in Toronto, Canada. York University conducts purposeful research that advances knowledge and creates positive change. Informed by a strong commitment to shared values, including the promotion of social justice, diversity, and the public good, we aspire through our research to better understand the human condition and the world around us and to employ the knowledge we gain in the service of society.

About the Ontario Centre of Innovation:
The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) brings industry, academic, and government partners together to invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians.

As an ecosystem connector, OCI initiates unparalleled partnership opportunities, develops and manages successful industry-academic collaborations, supports high-potential SMEs in commercializing ground-breaking research, and provides hands-on training and skills development opportunities for the next generation of highly-skilled talent.

OCI drives economic growth and job creation through investments in the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies.

For more information: https://www.oc-innovation.ca

Ryan Flanagan, Media & External Relations Specialist, Seneca Polytechnic

Yanni Dagonas, York University Media Relations & External Communications

Alicia Pereira, Director, Communications, Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)