Step into a research facility in any university or college across the country, and you are likely to feel the presence of Canadian business.

Companies are coming to test their products, build brand recognition and attract new customers. But perhaps most important, they are coming to create trusted relationships with institutions and researchers who are on the cutting edge in their fields.
The bottom line for business is that working with universities and colleges simply makes good business sense.

Sustained investments by the Government of Canada have created a vibrant research ecosystem in this country that is producing the knowledge, the talented people and the facilities companies are seeking to become more innovative and competitive.

A critical piece of this ecosystem is the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). By focusing its funding on research infrastructure — the foundation out of which research knowledge is produced — the CFI plays a fundamental role in supporting business innovation. Since its inception in 1997, the CFI has added to the national stock of modern research infrastructure.

"In the process," says CFI president and CEO Gilles Patry, "this has made universities and colleges more attractive collaborators in developing new products and services."
But this is only part of the picture. Companies are also contracting universities and colleges to find the solutions to business challenges, such as testing new ideas or expanding pipelines, and are investing in the intellectual property that emerges from their labs. Companies are finding talented students who train on CFI-funded infrastructure. "When these students enter the workforce," says Patry, "they become highly sought-after knowledge workers for Canadian enterprise."

The relationships that develop between research institutions and private companies are complex and multi-faceted. But this country's world-class, high-performance research environment is open to companies pursuing their own knowledge needs — a key ingredient in creating a hotbed of commercialization in Canada.

In this age of increasing global competitiveness, the Canada Foundation for Innovation plays a vital role in helping businesses succeed. Not only does it fund the cutting-edge research infrastructure businesses tap into to help solve their problems, but it is also enabling thousands of students — trained on this equipment — to transfer their know-how to the private sector.

Working with top researchers in the world-class research facilities funded by the CFI, students acquire the skills they need to bring new ideas and innovative approaches to the workplace.

This is a winning combination for Canadian business. And universities and colleges are supporting it by building programs and centres that encourage entrepreneurship and cross-sector collaboration — a move that is helping bridge the gap between research and business.

By exposing today's students to cutting-edge technology and encouraging them to collaborate and develop their entrepreneurial skills, we are inspiring the next generation to become true 21st-century innovators.

Now, more than ever, Canada's natural resources are vital to our country's economic stability and success. It is crucial that we manage, protect and conserve our natural resources so that they will be available for use by future generations.
The focus on the impact of climate change on our environment is especially critical in northern regions where rising temperatures are causing sea ice to melt. The answer to these challenges is to understand and manage the dynamics of the natural resources and processes in such a way that all activities are sustainable.

The University of Manitoba is internationally recognized for innovative research programs aimed at understanding how our planet works and preserving its resources for future generations to use. State-of-the-art laboratories and equipment provided to researchers at the University of Manitoba by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), that are matched by the Province of Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund, advance us toward the answers needed to the many challenges facing our world in the 21st century.

With the best tools at our disposal, researchers and graduate students at the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of the Environment, Earth, and Resources are embarking on a new and exciting journey of discovery. They are breaking the ice and finding what lies within—at the microscale—in the emerging field of geomicrobiology.

"The really big questions concerning the future of the planet can be answered by studying the building blocks of all life on our planet," says David Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science and Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) in the Riddell Faculty. "Those blocks are formed by the interface between the geosciences [the earth] and microbiology [the organisms]."

Barber played a pivotal role in the International Polar Year, leading the Circumpolar Flaw Lead study and discovering that sea-ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a much faster rate than previously known.

The Sea-Ice Environmental Research Facility—the first experimental sea ice facility in Canada—currently being constructed with funding from CFI and the Province of Manitoba, will further advance scientific examinations. The facility will allow for the fabrication and growth of sea ice under controlled conditions and is headed by Dr. Feiyue Wang a scientist who specializes in chemical contamination at the University of Manitoba.

Every angle is being explored—with every possible advantage—by researchers such as Dr. Frank Hawthorne, Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and Mineralogy and Dr. Norman Halden, Dean of the Riddell Faculty—with new crystallography facilities, laser Raman spectrometer, femtosecond laser, and high-resolution mass spectrometry equipment funded by CFI and the Province of Manitoba.

With the addition of Dr. Søren Rysgaard as the new Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change and his research team at the Greenland Climate Research Centre, CEOS will expand to more than 100 researchers and graduate students, all focused on the microscale of the chemicals and minerals, and the macroscale of atmospheric and ocean conditions, and their interplay and effects on the Arctic and Greenland ice sheets.

UWindsor professor Ming Zheng is on a mission to help Canadians breathe easier and boost the efficiency of one of the most important industries in the country's transportation sector.
"Ultimately, the work is about cleaner vehicles and cleaner air," said Dr. Zheng, a University of Windsor engineering professor and Canada Research Chair in Clean Diesel Engine Technologies. "We are developing ultra-clean, energyefficient diesel engines which emit minimal amounts of hazardous pollutants."

Focusing his attention on diesel motors, Zheng uses an innovative approach to create a "clean burn," finding faster, more precise and even ways of distributing fuel in the engine's cylinders.

In his state-of-the-art $3.8 million Centre for High Efficiency Clean Diesel and Hybrid Powertrain Research, he designs unique combustion control schemes to create low emission exhaust systems. He uses advanced high-pressure piezoelectric fuel injectors for a more uniform mix of fuel to maximize the motor's efficiency and reduce the oxidized nitrogen emitted into the atmosphere.

It's technology that requires less fuel, providing enhanced economy for the trucking industry. Zheng estimates it eliminated $6,000 in equipment per vehicle for downstream exhaust treatment systems on recent truck engines.

Helping the transportation sector improve its efficiency ensures the long-term stability of an industry crucial to Canada's economy and Zheng's contributions drastically reduce its environmental impact. It's just one of many ways UWindsor researchers improve the lives of Canadians and make the world a better place.

As one of Canada's top research-intensive universities, the University of Saskatchewan is pushing forward with the most ambitious expansion of research resources and talent in its 100-year history.

More than $1-billion in new construction is underway, aimed at maintaining and building capacity with new state-of-the art tools and learning. Fueled by an annual research income of more than $185 million, the impact of U of S research spurs economic growth and innovation across the province.

"Working with our community and industry partners, we are making discoveries with real-world impact to benefit the Canadian economy and improve our quality of life," said U of S vice-president research Karen Chad. The investment is paying off in the university's drive for pre-eminence in six signature areas: aboriginal peoples, agriculture (food and bio-products), sustainable energy and mineral resource development, health solutions at the animalhuman-environment interface, synchrotron sciences, and water security.

The U of S is home to the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and VIDO-InterVac (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre) where research protects both animal and human health. A newly created Global Institute for Water Security, linked to the university's $30-million Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security, aims to establish the U of S as world leader in water and environmental research.

Opportunities to create partnerships with industry and commercialize innovations are also increasing. Tech transfer extends to Innovation Place Research Park, home to 130 enterprises employing more than 3,400 people, with an annual economic impact of more than $495 million.

Labs at the University of British Columbia have received millions in federal funding for innovative technology-related projects ranging from how to harness consumer creativity to improving IT systems support.

The funds are from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, a national institution designed to support capacity building in research and technology. They are matched by the BC Knowledge Development Fund.

Darren Dahl, Sauder School of Business professor in applied marketing research, is setting up a consumer creativity lab to help industry figure out how to better connect with consumers and engage them in the development of products.

More than 62% of businesses have used consumer creativity in some form – including some recognized successes such as Dahl's lab, which will study consumer behaviour, is similar to research going on at MIT, the University of Colorado and other major research institutions globally. It is part of the larger area of democratizing innovation that has been trying to bring consumers into the design process over the past 30 years most recently with crowdsourcing.

Dahl and his team use simulated web environments to monitor user reactions and feelings about companies and products. They use web tools to investigate the best ways to collaborate with consumers on product development and reward them for their ideas. He plans to collaborate with Canadian businesses on a co-creation toolkit once the lab is launched.

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