Ontario’s colleges are often overlooked when it comes to research and development, and yet they have tremendous capacity in this field. This is particularly true of applied research that can solve immediate industry problems.
Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, recently hosted a webinar to highlight the six colleges in Northern Ontario and the research and development services they can offer the agri-food sector.
The event was sparked by a conversation between Bioenterprise Canada and North Bay’s Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology, a Bioenterprise Knowledge & Development partner, about how little is known about what colleges do and how these institutions could support businesses in the North with their expertise and resources.
Over 60 people from across Canada, including representatives from the federal government, various economic development organizations, academic institutions, and industry participated in the online showcase. It featured presentations from each of the northern colleges about their research capacities and areas of specific expertise, as well as a networking session.
“It was great to meet some industry and collaborative partners. I think it was a well attended event, with people from a variety of backgrounds,” says Christina DeRoche, Director, Research Centre at Canadore College. “The biggest benefit was the networking and the ability to pitch what we as colleges do best – collaborate.”
“We really wanted to use Bioenterprise’s extensive network to increase awareness of college research capacity in agriculture and related sectors, including the bioeconomy, at a national level, and I think we achieved that,” adds Emily Nanne, Northern Ontario Manager with Bioenterprise Canada.
According to Nanne, Bioenterprise will continue to promote the applied research services of the colleges to its network, direct prospective clients to the colleges for their services, and increase visibility for the colleges in the food, agriculture, and bioeconomy sectors across Canada. The goal is also to engage other Bioenterprise partners, including Regional Innovation Centres in the North, to raise awareness of the available services and resources.
“Having the ability to showcase multiple colleges at a single event was a great benefit,” Nanne says. “The attendees were very impressed by the diversity of services offered by the colleges, and that they seek to collaborate to address gaps in their services to ensure that clients have a “one-stop-shop” in the North that can serve projects from across the country.”
For more information about opportunities and resources in Northern Ontario, please contact Emily Nanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.