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Alberta Association of Colleges & Technical Institutes

Submission — Alberta Association of Colleges & Technical Institutes

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Submitter(s): Wallace, Bruce

Summary: AACTI represents 17 publicly funded colleges, technical institutes and undergraduate universities in Alberta. We have been involved in building capacity for industry focussed applied research and innovation (AR&I) in our member institutions since 2003-2004 when Western Economic Diversification provided funding to support technology-linked problem solving projects that connected faculty competencies to an industry or public-sector problem. In 2004-05, AACTI undertook a system wide study to benchmark potential AR&I capacity. Following this action, Alberta Advanced Education & Technology (AE&T) supported a multi-year AR&I capacity building initiative investing $6M in an AACTI lead AR&I capacity building journey that resulted in a matching industry/institutional investment of $6.7M. It also prompted an additional capital investment in equipment that exceeded $18M. With the foundation that is presently in place there is a need for campus-based core operating funding to enable new engagement models that entice applied research and innovation pursuits by SMEs in a collaborative framework with the AACTI member institutions. Pioneering investments by the Province of Alberta, NSERC, Western Economic Diversification, CFI, coupled with the long-term relationship of four AACTI member institutions with NRC-IRAP has been instrumental in seeding this emerging capacity to support industry problem-solving and innovation actions. Furthermore long-term investments designed to build cultural capital in the AACTI member institutions will reach beyond single project successes and establish a platform that can support our next generation economy.

Full submission: PDF Version