From Research to Innovation to Enterprise

Every day, researchers at universities, colleges, hospitals and non-profit institutions across the country work side by side with Canadian business.

The result? New and innovative products, services and technologies that are entering the global marketplace and helping maintain and create jobs at home.

Through sustained investment in the federal research funding agencies, the Government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to research and the role it plays in growing the country’s economy.



Constant exposure to industrial noises can cause myriad health problems — trouble concentrating, headaches, hypertension and hearing loss have all been linked to noise pollution. But Alain Berry’s research is reducing the auditory overload of our industrial society, especially when it comes to air- and car-traffic noise.


The Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland is the sole provider of young Atlantic cod for the province’s aquaculture industry, which directly employs about 700 people. Not only does the centre produce young fish for the industry to grow and harvest, but it also offers research support on questions related to nutrition requirements, improved breeding practices and interactions with native fisheries.


Much like cell phones and computers, hearing aids are replaced with new models within months of being released on the market. Companies such as Unitron, a leading global provider of hearing instruments with distribution in more than 60 countries, have to refresh their entire product line almost every two years to remain competitive. The only hearing aid company with headquarters in Canada, Unitron employs more than 170 people in its Kitchener office and relies heavily on research and development to keep its devices at the leading edge.


Construction sites are like complex beehives, full of workers, each with an important task to perform and the common goal of finishing the project. Unlike bees, however, construction workers aren’t naturally programmed to know what to do. They have to remain in constant contact with project managers to stay on track and on budget. Productivity researchers have observed that construction companies find it difficult to communicate in a timely manner because they don’t have the right technology.


Using technology tested at Queen’s University’s GeoEngineering Centre, the City of Barrie saved its taxpayers some $10 million. Barrie wanted a long-term solution to protect the aquifer feeding its drinking water system, located under an aging landfill in the middle of the city. In building a new landfill, it became the first city in Ontario to use a geosynthetic clay liner, a product that had been permitted in Ontario since 1998 but had never been approved by the province’s Ministry of the Environment because of a lack of research.


Saskatchewan’s mining industry creates direct and indirect employment for more than 30,000 people. It spawns economic opportunities for remote communities in northern Saskatchewan, where AREVA Resources Canada Inc. operates the world’s most technologically advanced uranium processing and tailings management facilities at McClean Lake.


Starting any business is hard work. It’s especially difficult when you need specific academic knowledge to succeed. Marie-Claude Héroux and Grégoire Dorval launched a mushroom production business called Champignons Advitam Inc. in Saint-Ours, Que., in 2007.


The Canadian wine industry has seen steady growth over the last few years — sales of Canadian wines in 2010 totalled $1.85 billion, and the industry directly employed more than 3,500 people in 2009. Researchers at the Wine Research Centre at The University of British Columbia are helping the industry remain competitive in a global market that is estimated to grow to approximately $200 billion by 2014.


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