Archived — Applied Research and Commercialization Collaboration Agreement Announcement

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The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

Conestoga College
Kitchener, Ontario

March 4, 2011

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests. Thank you for joining us today.

I would like to thank Conestoga College for hosting us today for this important announcement.

Conestoga has developed an outstanding reputation as one of Canada's most successful centres for applied research. The fact that you've established a new program–called Conestoga Applied Research and Innovation–designed specifically to work with small- and medium-sized enterprises, shows that you see the potential this area holds.

Here in southern Ontario, with the economic recovery still fragile, we are focused on creating jobs and economic growth.

Thanks to Canada's Economic Action Plan, 240,000 more people in Ontario are working today than in May 2009. The economy in our region and across Canada is doing better than other countries, but we realize the economy isn't just about numbers–it's about people, families and their financial security.

As we emerge from some challenging economic times here in Ontario, the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring our communities and businesses have the support they need to move from economic recovery to growth and prosperity.

An important part of our Economic Action Plan was the creation of FedDev Ontarioin 2009, to meet the specific needs and priorities of the people of this region.

In its first year and a half, FedDev has committed more than half a billion dollars in community and economic development funding to projects all across southern Ontario. This has created new jobs, increased business activity and economic opportunities.

Consumers are spending again and the economy is growing because of it. We need to build on this momentum.

And the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, which I'm here to talk to you about today, is playing a key part in this.

Our ideas are one of our greatest strengths. But we are faced with the challenge of commercializing that research so that we can grow our small- and medium-sized businesses into global leaders.

That's why last year FedDev Ontario launched the $15-million Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative.

And it's why last October the Government of Canada announced that almost $750,000 of that funding would be going to Conestoga College.

The Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative is designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario work with colleges and universities to bring promising innovations to the marketplace.

It allows smaller enterprises to work closely with colleges and universities to meet their research and development goals. It will also provide companies with an opportunity to experiment with new products or production methods in a cost-effective way.

And that's why we are here today.

I am thrilled now to be able to announce Conestoga College's first project made possible through FedDev Ontario's Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative.

This project will see the college work with Rimowa, one of the world's leading high-tech luggage manufacturers, with North American headquarters right here in our region, to develop new processes to streamline its manufacturing operations.

This will allow Rimowa to expand their local production so they can manufacture aluminum suitcases in Cambridge to meet growing demand for its products around the world.

By investing in projects like this, we are ensuring businesses and communities have the tools they need to innovate so the economy can grow now and in the future.

In fact, recently our government, through FedDev Ontario, has launched a number of new Initiatives to encourage greater collaboration among business, universities and colleges.

These Initiatives are designed to position the region to effectively compete in the global economy, and ensure we continue to grow and bring to market the brightest ideas.

In closing, I'd like to thank Conestoga College for responding so positively to our Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, and offer my congratulations to the college and Rimowa. I look forward to seeing the results of this great partnership.

Thank you. Merci.

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