Hamilton,
28
January
2016
|
11:45 PM
America/New_York

Mohawk joins the call for Ontario to invest more in applied research and college infrastructure projects

Summary

The Ontario Government is holding a series of pre-budget consultations across the province in 2016. Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie presented at the consultations that were held in Hamilton on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. McKerlie called on government to play a bigger role in fostering innovation and encouraging economic growth by supporting and investing in applied research and expansion at colleges like Mohawk.

Ontario can play a bigger role in fostering innovation and encouraging economic growth in the province by supporting and investing in applied research and expansion at colleges like Mohawk, said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie to Ontario’s Associate Minister of Finance, the Hon. Mitzie Hunter at the government’s pre-budget consultations held in Hamilton on January 28.

The first priority needs to be college-specific funding for applied research, McKerlie told the Associate Minister. Mohawk has a strong record of attracting companies that want to develop and test ground-breaking ideas in arenas such as Digital Health, Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) and Energy Distribution.

“It is critical for government to understand that we can do more if the provincial strategy and investments can better appreciate what college applied research and college and industry collaborations can deliver,” he said.

Up to now, most of the funding from both levels of government has been geared toward universities. Provincial support industry-college collaborations will enable more companies to take advantage of colleges like Mohawk can offer.

Ron McKerlie, President, Mohawk College
“It’s critical that government see this kind of infrastructure investment as meaningful and productive as any other kind of infrastructure investment,” he said. “Without the ability to partner with government on these new facilities, all colleges – not just Mohawk – will become limited in their critical role of supporting innovation.”
Ron McKerlie, President, Mohawk College

Any funding for applied research needs to be available over several years, he said. The current system doesn’t guarantee that projects will get funding from year to year which makes it challenging for the colleges who must support it with the resources available to them and for the industry partners who want to know that their projects will be supported from start to finish.

McKerlie finished his presentation by asking the province to invest in college facilities that support their applied research work.

“It’s critical that government see this kind of infrastructure investment as meaningful and productive as any other kind of infrastructure investment,” he said. “Without the ability to partner with government on these new facilities, all colleges – not just Mohawk – will become limited in their critical role of supporting innovation.”

Mohawk’s call for greater investment into applied research and infrastructure at Ontario’s college echoes that of College’s Ontario, the advocacy organization that represents the province’s 24 community colleges.

“Ontario must strengthen its commitment to innovation,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario ahead of the budget consultations on Thursday. “Investments in applied research projects at colleges will develop real-world innovations for greater numbers of businesses.”

For more information on applied research at Mohawk College visit: http://www.mohawkcollege.ca/ideaworks

Story by Mohawk College Communications

About Mohawk

Mohawk College educates and serves 30,000 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three campuses and two City School locations at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre and the Central Public Library in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk has ranked first among all Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area colleges in student satisfaction for seven consecutive years and first in graduate satisfaction for the past five years. Mohawk ranks 15th among all colleges in Canada for applied research activity and has been named among Canada’s greenest employers and the region’s top employers for the past three years.