Government of Canada support for colleges boosts industry collaborations

Winnipeg, Manitoba — The Government of Canada understands that protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand. The global clean…
Red River College of Applied Arts Science and Technology

Winnipeg, Manitoba — The Government of Canada understands that protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand. The global clean technology market is expanding rapidly, which presents the country’s researchers and industrial sectors the chance to work on innovations that will support sustainable growth and deliver prosperity for all Canadians. Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is no exception. The sector is continually improving its vehicles’ emissions control and fuel efficiencies, but it needs access to local test facilities to meet industry standards and stay competitive.

On behalf of the Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk today announced that the Government of Canada will invest more than $6.3 million for eight projects at colleges across the country, including one that will allow Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector to develop new, sustainable technologies. The funding is made through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF), a program that helps colleges work with Canadian businesses to innovate and thrive, and the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which helps institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

The announcement was made at Red River College in Winnipeg, which is getting $1 million to build the MotiveLab, a local heavy vehicle testing facility. The lab will not only reduce out-of-province travel for vehicle testing but also give local manufacturers a space to do research and make more environmentally friendly products that perform well in extreme climates.


“These investments allow the country’s extraordinarily talented researchers the opportunity to contribute to better health outcomes, a cleaner and greener environment, good jobs for the middle class and the competitiveness of Canadian business. Research infrastructure investments through the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund promote industry-college collaboration, which spurs innovation and can deliver the products and services that benefit
all Canadians.”

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"Collaborations between our colleges and local companies provide valuable experience to a new generation of researchers, students and highly skilled workers who will be our leaders of tomorrow. I look forward to the opportunities that will surely be inspired by today’s significant investment in Red River College.

The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development
and Labour

“Giving local businesses access to state-of-the-art research equipment and expertise is essential to ensuring their competitiveness in the global marketplace,” says Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “Smart, innovative companies around the country know that colleges are a valuable source of innovative solutions that will help them succeed.”

Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“Red River College continues to be a leader in advancing research and innovation in Manitoba and across Canada. The support announced today will ensure that we can continue to build our partnerships with industry by providing them with access to cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art facilities to help them innovate,” says Paul Vogt, President and CEO of Red River College. “Colleges play an important role in building and strengthening our economy, and I applaud the Government of Canada for supporting our research pursuits. When our colleges and institutes do well, so does our country.”

– Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College

"MotiveLab will not only be a development/test facility that local industry‎ partners have been asking for to support their R&D needs; but it will also provide research infrastructure that will accelerate our NSERC-supported vehicle technology research program.”

– Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director, Research, Partnerships & Innovation, Red River College

Quick facts:

  • Created in 1997, the CFI is contributing close to $5 million for tools and equipment through the College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) to eight projects at eight colleges across Canada.
  • The CIIF enhances the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by giving them state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to build partnerships with the private sector in a specific area of strategic priority to the institution.
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $1.4 million is being awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which helps institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.
  • This CIIF was announced along with the NSERC College and Community Innovation Program, which has awarded $32 million to 32 projects in support of university-college research collaboration, equipment, technology access centers and partnerships between colleges and companies.

Related products

A full list of the funded projects is available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the difference CFI funding makes in Canada.

Associated links    

College-Industry Innovation Fund

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator – An online directory of CFI-funded labs that are available to collaborate with the private sector.


Veronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
Veronique.Perron [at] (Veronique[dot]Perron[at]canada[dot]ca)

Media Relations
Innovation, Science, and Economic
Development Canada
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic [at] (ic[dot]mediarelations-mediasrelations[dot]ic[at]canada[dot]ca)

Malorie Bertrand
Media Relations and
Communications Officer
Canada Foundation for Innovation
613-943-2580 (office)
613-447-1723 (mobile)
malorie.bertrand [at] (malorie[dot]bertrand[at]innovation[dot]ca)



College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF)

The College-Industry Innovation Fund provides colleges with funds to acquire significant research infrastructure that will enable partnerships with the private sector to support business innovation. This will boost their applied research and technology development capacity in any field of the natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and health sciences, in order to help them expand existing partnership opportunities and attract additional private sector partners.

Projects Funded


Project Title

Maximum CFI Contribution

Cégep de Trois-Rivières

Consolidation de la capacité de recherche en caractérisation microstructurale, mécanique et électrochimique


Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Food Innovation and Technology


George Brown College

Supporting Food and Beverage SME Product Innovation: GBC Food Science and Culinary Arts Applied Research Infrastructure


Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Establishment of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Research


Lambton College

Centre for Industrial Material Development


Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology

MOTIVE LAB: Vehicle Development & Test Centre


Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Advanced Multimaterial Additive Manufacturing: Product and Process


The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Nanomaterials Integrated Smart Technology Development for Energy Infrastructure Health Monitoring



8 projects / projets



As part of this announcement, an additional $1,470,018 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.