In March 2004, a sweeping agenda was unveiled by the Federal government to stimulate the development of “a Canada of success.” The underlying strategy has two fundamental components:
• Support learning by providing young Canadians with tools to success, while encouraging lifelong learning for all; and
• Support innovative Canadian industries and enhance productivity.
Ontario’s 24 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology have a long-standing track record of successful collaboration with the private sector, the public sector, local communities and regional economic clusters in providing state-of-the-art education and training that fosters leadership, enhances workforce productivity and strengthens the economy.
In recent years, Ontario colleges have also been increasingly encouraged to engage in applied research activities by private- and public-sector partners. These partnerships, of which more than 80 examples are provided in this paper, are frequently initiated by small and medium-sized organizations seeking innovation and commercialization opportunities
essential to sustaining their operations. Lacking the capacity to do their own applied research and development, these organizations turn to Ontario colleges, with whom they often have long-standing education and training relationships, to provide the applied research, commercialization expertise and facilities necessary to stay ahead of their competition.