Government Invests in Higher Education in Ontario
The first weeks of January saw an influx of government funding to several higher education institutions, setting a promising precedent for #2017.
Colleges and universities in #Canada receive funding from a variety of public and private sources, with government investment playing a major role for many institutions. In recent weeks, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have committed to providing more than $950 million for research infrastructure at institutions across Ontario.
Speaking of this project, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said, “This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global center for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes.”
With ongoing support from the federal and provincial governments in technology, research, and start-ups, Canadian colleges and universities are becoming environments of innovation and opportunity. Canada spends a higher proportion of its Gross Domestic Product (GPD) than the world average on education, and the result is a network of institutions at the forefront of educational advancement.
University of Waterloo
Internationally-renowned for its strengths in science and engineering, University of Waterloo is a hub of innovation in Ontario’s Technology Triangle: a corridor running between Waterloo and Toronto. In recent years, companies and institutions have come together to foster an environment that can now compete with California’s Silicon Valley for the number and quality of technology companies, start-ups, and opportunities. The university is now receiving $32.64 million from the government to contribute to the construction of a new research and engineering building, Engineering 7. More than 40 labs will be housed in the new building, fostering research projects in emerging areas as diverse as additive manufacturing, autonomous vehicles and robotics, biomedical engineering, and the Internet of Things. The University of Waterloo is putting $18.86 million towards the project, with the remaining funding — $36.5 million — will come from private sector donors.
University of Windsor
Located across the river from the U.S. city of Detroit, the University of Windsor can boast a unique range of study programs offered jointly with universities in the States. The area traditionally has been known for its automotive industry, but new investment in science and research facilities is expanding horizons for students and professionals. The Government of Canada is now contributing $14.95 million towards a new Science Research and Innovation Facility. With state-of-the-art facilities designed with energy efficiency in mind, laboratory and collaboration spaces are expected to promote “leading-edge research and commercialization in the fields of materials chemistry and translational health.” The province of Ontario is contributing $2.56 million, with the remaining $12.8 million coming from the university itself.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Like the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier’s location in the tech triangle means it is already a hub for research and innovation in technology and related fields. A $9.93 million investment from the government will go towards updating existing facilities, to ensure Wilfrid Laurier remains at the cutting edge of technology research and education. Plans are underway to renovate and repurpose buildings and support two of the university’s major institutes, the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises and the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, resulting in more resources for training and fostering entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Further federal investment of $4.45 million is also being provided for an energy efficiency management project, which is expected to “to reduce energy consumption and related costs by $1.4 million per year, which is equal to a 30-percent reduction in energy.” The province of Ontario and the university are also contributing funding to both of these projects.
This college of applied arts and technology offers more than 125 career-oriented study programs at seven locations across central Ontario. In the second week of January, the government of Canada invested $10.79 million in contribution to funding for a new Advanced Technology Innovation and Research Centre. Georgian College is already known for aviation, automotive, business, and engineering study programs, and it is expected that this new center will allow the college to move from strength to strength in these areas. The college is partnering with Lakehead University to offer new programs from the center, including a new combined degree-diploma program focused on environmental sustainability, and the first electrical engineering degree in Simcoe County.
Funding was also provided by the province of #Ontario, City of Barrie, Simcoe County, and the college itself.