Ontario companies wanting access to the province’s world-class academic researchers to help reach their businesses goals have a new tool at their disposal.
The Collaboration Voucher Program, launched June 26 and run by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), allows companies quick and easy access to the expertise and knowledge at Ontario universities, colleges and research hospitals to help their businesses succeed while making Ontario and Canada more prosperous.
“OCE is pleased to deliver the new Collaboration Voucher program on behalf of the Government of Ontario,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. “This program speaks to the importance of industry-academic collaboration in keeping the province’s economy moving forward while complementing OCE’s other programs in this area. The Collaboration Voucher program is going to help Ontario businesses succeed by facilitating the transfer of knowledge from academic institutions to industry. ”
Four types of vouchers are available:
- Commercialization - to help academic-based companies launch new products
- Innovation and Productivity - to help companies refine products and processes
- E-Business - to help businesses take advantage of online tools to drive growth
- Industry Association R&D Challenge - to enhance competitiveness across industry sectors
Incorporating a whole-of-government approach, OCE is delivering the innovative program on behalf of the province and is now ready to start working with interested companies. In late 2012, Ontario’s Jobs & Prosperity Council recommended adoption of a voucher to “facilitate businesses approaching a public research institution to solve a specific problem.”
“Our government is committed to promoting collaboration among our innovation partners to address global challenges, create jobs and help Ontario’s businesses get ahead,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation. “By connecting Ontario companies with our world-leading researchers and academic resources, the Collaboration Voucher program will help our businesses become more innovative, productive and competitive.”
OCE’s Business Development Managers will work closely with applicant companies to find the academic experts to best meet their needs and guide them through the process.
Two of the vouchers also offer applicants access to federal funding through a convenient one-stop application process.
For the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity, OCE has partnered with the Government of Canada through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) as well as Connect Canada to provide additional support to qualified projects.
OCE has also partnered with NSERC on the first Voucher for Industry Association R&D Challenge, which will connect industry associations or groups of companies with Ontario’s publicly-funded academic research institutions to address sector-wide research and development challenges.
More information on the Collaboration Voucher Program is available at www.oce-ontario.org/vouchers