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Ontario Centre of Innovation
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Media Releases

OCE and NSERC announce a new partnership to drive industry-academic R&D commercialization

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Toronto (ON) – Aug 19, 2020 – OCE and the Natural Sciences and Engineering and Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are announcing a new partnership that will expand opportunities for Ontario’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and commercialize technical innovations by supporting R&D collaborations between Ontario’s industry and publicly funded post-secondary institutions.

Building on a long-standing relationship, the OCE-NSERC partnership will create a streamlined application process to provide better value to Ontario-based researchers and SMEs, enabling “one stop” access to provincial and federal collaborative R&D funding programs. This collaboration between two leading innovation partners is designed to help SMEs more effectively access the expertise in Ontario’s colleges and universities to develop innovative products, drive economic growth, and deepen connections between innovators across the province.

“Ontario’s capacity to develop, commercialize and deploy new technologies is a key part of our value proposition to attract investment, expand business opportunities, and create good jobs here in the province,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This partnership is a great way to connect businesses with valuable resources at post-secondary and research institutions, so they can get their ideas off the ground faster.”

Collaborations with post-secondary institutions enable SMEs to gain access to cutting-edge knowledge, new talent, and unique facilities and equipment required to expand their research and development capabilities. Leveraging OCE’s pan-provincial relationships across the research community, SMEs will be able to work with collaborators to develop innovative solutions to industry challenges; in turn, accelerating time-to-market and driving workforce expansion and increased productivity.

The partnership will benefit from OCE’s province-wide Business Development network, which will identify high potential collaborations between Ontario’s SMEs and researchers that will create new commercialization opportunities and enhance regional economic development.

“OCE has a strong track record of putting together successful industry-academic collaborations. We welcome this extension of our long-standing partnership with NSERC, which enables us to offer SMEs with increased opportunities to work with Ontario’s colleges and universities,” says Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, OCE.

This partnership provides applicants with the option to apply to OCE’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity program and NSERC’s Alliance and Engage programs through a single joint application. By leveraging provincial and federal funding to support collaborative R&D projects that will maximize commercialization outcomes in Ontario, this partnership provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of emerging technologies from Ontario’s post-secondary institutions into the next generation of products and services for local and international markets.

“This new program is a great way to bring together Ontario businesses and our talented research community to solve real-world technical problems,” says Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The results will support business innovation and a strong economy, benefitting all Canadians.”

“NSERC supports researchers and their partner organizations to develop meaningful collaborations for the benefit of their local communities and beyond,” says Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC. “We are pleased to partner with OCE to support post-secondary R&D collaborations with the highest potential for economic development and commercialization in Ontario. The streamlined process will enable companies to quickly undertake new research projects with Ontario-based researchers that will result in economic benefits to the company, province and Canada.”

The application intake portal is now available online to all Ontario-based applicants at the following link: https://www.oce-ontario.org/programs/voucher-for-innovation-and-productivity-(vip)

About OCE:

OCE maximizes the commercial impact of research developed in Ontario’s colleges, universities, and research hospitals, and accelerates the commercialization of emerging technologies. A pan-provincial collaboration platform, with a broad and deep network across industry, academia and government, OCE 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.

About NSERC:

NSERC aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian organizations to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.


Braden Root-McCaig 
Directeur des communications et de la stratégie 

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Conseils de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada