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Loyalist Joins Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation

May 24, 2012

College’s Eligibility for Project Funding Will Help Industry Partners Advance


Belleville, Ontario, May 24, 2012 – Loyalist College is proud to announce that it has been granted membership into the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), within the Network for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NIE). The NIE Board of Directors approved the recommendation from its Member Selection Panel, comprised of external industry leaders, to include Loyalist on April 1st. In addition to funding for applied research activities, Loyalist is now also eligible for project funding to assist enterprises to build the success of their business.


“Forging new partnerships allows us to further engage our students and faculty by putting their skills to the test to resolve real technical and business challenges,” said Loyalist President Maureen Piercy. “By driving industry innovation, we are preparing our students for workplace demands while improving a company’s productivity and increasing prosperity within the Quinte region. As a CONII member, we have the applied research capacity necessary to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the innovation, data, and analysis to succeed in a competitive and increasingly complex industry.”


As one of 23 colleges in the CONII network, Loyalist is dedicated to helping SMEs to get ahead by connecting them to the applied research and commercialization expertise of Ontario’s member colleges. Loyalist’s Research Services Office will work with SMEs to develop their project proposal, establish timelines, and identify and secure funding support of up to $30,000. Once a proposal is finalized and the funding is secured, Loyalist will execute the project through activities ranging from product development to prototype production.


“We are very glad to welcome Loyalist as the newest member of CONII,” said CONII Executive Director Vanessa Williamson. “We regard expansion and further development of CONII as a key element for small business innovation in Ontario, and we look forward to the contribution of Loyalist to this important effort.”


In the Canadian economy today, 98 percent of enterprises are SMEs and 70 percent of new jobs are created by SMEs. According to the Association of Canadian Community Colleges’ (ACCC) Applied Research Report 2012, the demand for innovation is propelling exponential growth in college-industry applied research collaboration. The 4,444 SMEs benefiting from applied research reflected a 17 percent increase from the 3,795 SMEs of the last period, and an eight-fold increase from the 515 businesses reported in 2005-2006. The authors also reported that 13,585 students engaged in applied research in 2010-2011, up significantly from 2,500 only three years ago.


If you are an SME that is faced with a practical problem, which you would like Loyalist’s help with, please contact Ross Danaher, Director, Library and Research Services, at: or 613-969-1913 ext. 2339.


CONII began in 2006 as an applied research and development network – based at ten of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions. Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation provided $3.5 million over three years to give Ontario-based SMEs increased access to the expertise of Ontario’s top researchers, and to the sophisticated equipment and research tools that exist within the member colleges. In 2009, Ontario announced a further three-year, $10.2 million dollar contribution to CONII. This enabled the expansion of the network from ten to more than 20 colleges. As part of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), CONII colleges can help Ontario businesses speed up their R&D process and move their products to market more quickly, which enhances the province’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. For more information on CONII, please visit:


Loyalist College prepares students for a rewarding career by combining highest academic standards with hands-on training from industry experts. Programs range from apprenticeships and certificates to diplomas and post-graduate studies. Loyalist offers more than 60 full-time programs and 77 university transfer agreements around the world. The best testament to the College’s value is from students, 97 per cent of whom say they would recommend Loyalist to a friend. Loyalist is committed to helping students find great jobs, as well as supporting and enhancing the economic and social development of all individuals in its communities. For more information on Loyalist College, please visit:


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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Media Relations Specialist, Loyalist College,, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2536