The Honourable Ed Holder, PC, MP
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
April 17, 2014
Check Against Delivery
Thank you for that kind introduction.
A special thank you to NSCC President Don Bureaux and to the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus, our gracious hosts this morning.
By the way, for those of you who don't know, this building received Knowledge Infrastructure Program funding back in 2009. Clearly, it was money well spent. It really looks great.
I'd also like to welcome Janet Walden from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Denise Amyot from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
It's a real pleasure to be here with you in Dartmouth for today's important announcement about fostering collaboration between Canadian colleges and businesses.
To my mind, NSCC is a perfect venue for this event with its mandate of growing the economy and producing highly skilled, educated graduates who will in turn help build their communities.
Innovation begins with an entrepreneur willing to take the risks associated with bringing a new idea to market.
As Canada continues to become integrated into the competitive global economy, innovation never ends. Innovation is key to the success of Canadian entrepreneurs and key to the creation of jobs and prosperity for Canadians.
With new major trade agreements signed with South Korea and the European Union, an ocean of opportunity lies on the shores of the Pacific and the Atlantic for Canadian entrepreneurs.
But innovation and commercialization challenges do not lie in the destination; they lie along the way.
Many entrepreneurs I've met can quickly identify a problem, a barrier, a hurdle to bringing a product or service to market but lack the time, money and expertise to conduct the R&D needed to innovate and move forward.
Meanwhile, Canada's universities, colleges and research institutions are vibrant and growing and are acknowledged around the globe for their research excellence.
And Canada continues to lead the G7 in research and development investment at post-secondary institutions.
We therefore need not look any further than to these halls to find innovative business solutions. Our colleges have the state-of-the-art equipment and, more importantly, the talented researchers and eager students to take on these challenges.
Our colleges often benefit already from strong relationships with local entrepreneurs in seeking real-world solutions to real-world problems.
All of which brings me to the reason we have come together today.
On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I am pleased to announce a significant investment in strengthening partnerships between Canada's colleges and cégeps and local businesses. Under the College and Community Innovation Program, 52 Canadian schools will benefit from this new round of investment.
Additionally, investments will be made in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure colleges have the tools needed to successfully deliver on these partnerships.
Here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Community College is receiving a substantial investment to study how new sources of renewable energy and new technologies—such as wind and solar power, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems—can be better integrated within our existing energy infrastructure.
Specifically, NSCC will build a research microgrid—a small-scale power grid that can be operated independently or in conjunction with the area's main electrical grid. Working with local industry partners, researchers here will use the microgrid to develop innovative energy products and services. Their project will help create new economic opportunities while ensuring local communities can benefit from recent advances in energy technology.
Please let me be the first to congratulate you.
Ladies and gentlemen, strengthening partnerships between colleges and businesses is a key component of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's commitment to Canadian science and technology.
As Economic Action Plan 2014 demonstrates, our government's investments are positioning Canadians to seize the moment:
- We launched the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a legacy investment, to ensure Canada's post-secondary institutions remain world leading over the next decade.
- We provided the largest increase to the granting councils in a decade to ensure our researchers continue their groundbreaking research.
- And we committed to creating a social innovation fund that will partner community organizations with colleges to address our most pressing social challenges.
What's more, we are working on a renewed science, technology and innovation strategy, a long-term plan to position Canada as a globally recognized leader in research and business innovation.
Let me once again congratulate all of today's recipients, including our hosts right here at Nova Scotia Community College.