Durham College awarded membership in Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation

September 25, 2009

Consortium dedicated to helping province’s business and industry become more competitive

OSHAWA, ON. – Durham College announced today that it has been granted membership in the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), a consortium comprised of 20 Ontario colleges that is dedicated to helping business and industry become more competitive in the ever-changing global economy.

The result of a $10-million investment over three years in the 2009 Ontario Budget through the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, CONII assists small- to medium-sized enterprises with hands-on applied research, technology transfer and commercialization.

The membership is an important milestone for Durham College’s ongoing reputation as one of the leading colleges in the province and is the result of a three-month application process spearheaded by the college’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

“Durham College’s membership in CONII is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Don Lovisa, president of Durham College. “It will allow us to formalize and expand our role in applied research while enhancing the teaching and learning possibilities that exist on our campuses. In addition, we are excited about the opportunity to share our innovative research and faculty expertise with our community and beyond to help businesses adapt new technologies and products for the marketplace.”

The application process featured an extensive amount of background work and preparation by the college and included a formal application to the CONII Industry Selection Panel in August. Following the application, the panel recommended to the CONII board that Durham College be accepted as a member in September.

A key component of the Ontario government’s plan to help speed up the research and development process for businesses, CONII is designed to move products to market more quickly and enhance the province’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. In addition to providing support to businesses, it also provides financial support to colleges, enabling them to provide businesses with quicker access to the expertise of Ontario’s top researchers and the most state-of-the-art equipment and research tools available.

Each college will receive core funding for college-selected eligible expenditures for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years in recognition of the operating costs of an industry Innovation Centre, qualified industry innovation projects and professor releases including direct project costs and centre overhead.

Funding will also be pre-allocated each year for additional industry project grants or releases for professors using a formula based on the historical activity of each college as well as other relevant factors. Becoming a CONII member will allow Durham College to pursue other research funding opportunities with the federal and provincial governments to expand its support of the local industry becoming more competitive.

Current CONII research ranges from developing specialized software for 3-D game developers to designing and building innovative optical components or developing more efficient light sources. Durham College plans to initially focus on energy, health sciences and technology.

Established in 1967, Durham College is dedicated to ensuring students receive a high-quality education, on-the-job work experience and a diverse learning environment so they can graduate with the market-ready skills needed to succeed and make a difference in the world. These are just a few of the reasons the college has a graduate employment rate of 86 per cent and an employer satisfaction rate of more than 92 per cent.

More than 20,000 students study at the college’s Oshawa and Whitby campuses each year, securing their futures through a variety of full- and part-time, apprenticeship, continuing education and career development programs in a number of different disciplines including business, information technology, energy, media, art, design, skilled trades, general arts and sciences, justice, emergency services and health care.

In 2011, the college will open a new 35,000-square-foot Student Services building and complete the ongoing expansion of its Whitby campus that will add 20,000 square-feet to the Skills Training Centre in addition to enhancing the learning experiences of students in the college’s new Renewable Energy Technician and Energy Audit Techniques programs, which are both currently full. It will also enable Durham College to meet the new and growing energy industry demand for skilled Ontarians who are able to plan, install and maintain the current and next generation of green energy systems and technologies.

Several of CONII’s research areas tie directly to Durham College’s current programs in areas including alternative and renewable energy, construction, digital media, environmental technologies, health and life sciences and manufacturing and materials. The CONII office at the college will be operational in the next month with interested businesses asked to contact its Office of Institutional Research and Planning at 905.721.2000 ext. 3669 or institutionalresearch@durhamcollege.ca until that time.


About Durham College
At Durham College, the student experience comes first, an approach it has taken for more than 40 years. Through a vast range of market-driven programs that are taught by exceptional professors with real-world experience, students develop the skills required to meet the ever-changing needs of employers and the job market. Moving forward, Durham College’s expansion plans will see its Whitby campus grow by 40,000 square feet including the construction of an energy-neutral living laboratory for new technologies and education that will serve the growing needs of the emerging energy sector. The expansion will also provide new opportunities for skilled trades training, an area vitally important to Ontario’s ability to grow and prosper in the years ahead. Durham College has more than 6,300 full-time students, thousands of part-time students and more than 1,400 apprentices. For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

Media contact:
Allison Rosnak
Communications, Marketing and External Relations
905.721.2000 ext. 2333


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