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  • News
  • February 23, 2018

Ontario Enhancing Research Opportunities at Conestoga College in Cambridge

Province Investing in 61 R&D Projects

Ontario is supporting projects across the province that will connect college students with businesses to tackle R&D challenges and launch innovative new products and services.

Kathryn McGarry, MPP Cambridge, visited the city’s Gaslight District, site of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning’s new Applied Research Hub, to announce that the local college is one of 22 across the province receiving funding for a total of 61 projects supported through the Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF).

The projects at Conestoga will enhance technology adoption, support innovation and increased productivity, and contribute to a more secure and sustainable future for our community. They include:

  • Secure and Sustainable Lifecycle Technologies Initiative (SSLTI) - includes a range of projects that address the challenges of cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world as well as the growing need for efficient and effective e-waste recycling. This initiative will result in the implementation of new processes and technologies that will form substantive parts of the economy. CARDF is providing an investment of $1 million to the initiative through the College Strategic Sector / Cluster / Technology Platform program.
  • Enhancing Technology Adoption - Conestoga will work with a range of companies (small, medium and large) across the Waterloo – GTA Innovation Corridor to provide technology solutions for industry challenges related to Smart Manufacturing, Food Processing, Supply Chain Management, and Engineering & IT. CARDF is providing an investment of $250,000 through the Stream 2 College Voucher for Technology Adoption program.
  • Supporting Innovation and Increased Productivity – In collaboration with industry partners, Conestoga will develop applied research solutions for real-world needs. Three projects to date are being supported through a total investment of $59,500 provided by the CARDF Stream 3 College Voucher for Innovation and Productivity program:
  • Assessment of Beef Tenderness through Hyperspectral Imaging ($20,000) – This project addresses a well-known issue in the beef industry by providing processors and consumers with reliable information about steak tenderness and flavour.
  • Freshness Preservation for Air-Dried Beef Snack ($20,000) – This project will develop a new packaging system for a protein snack product that will extend the shelf life of the product, providing benefits to the company, to consumers and to the regional economy.
  • Automated Modular Bottling Line Equipment ($19,500) - This project will develop a prototype for an automated guide rail system.

In addition to addressing the needs of local business, industry and community, applied research at Conestoga and Ontario’s other colleges provides opportunities for students to gain real-world experience as they prepare for successful careers. 

Helping students succeed in the innovation economy is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“Our province needs talent to continue to sustain its growing innovation eco-system. Investing in applied research and development is a step towards a brighter and more prosperous future for our province. By bringing together colleges and the R&D sector, we’re creating opportunities for our students and ensuring they are ready for the jobs of tomorrow.”

— Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

“Ontario’s college students are bright, ambitious and ready to take on real world challenges. When students have the opportunity to apply their education in practical ways, they’re even better equipped to participate in the skills-based economy we’re building in the province. These projects will encourage students to explore their full potential, immerse themselves in industries and help us keep Ontario’s R&D sector competitive.”

— Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

“Connecting businesses and colleges is critical to keeping Ontario’s economy strong and growing. At the same time, it offers students real-world, hands-on education and experience to ready them for success in a time of rapid economic change.”

 — Kathryn McGarry, MPP Cambridge

“We greatly appreciate this investment in real-world research that will drive innovation and economic growth across our community and throughout Ontario while helping students develop the skills and knowledge they need to launch successful futures. “

— John Tibbits, President, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning


  • Conestoga is receiving $1,309,500 for five projects through CARDF.
  • More than $13 million has been provided to 22 colleges across Ontario for applied R&D funding through CARDF.
  • CARDF was announced in January 2017 — an investment of $20 million over three years administered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence.
  • About 10,000 students each year work with more than 750 companies on research and development activities across Ontario.
  • This program is part of Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative, a five-year commitment of more than $650 million to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
  • Ontario’s colleges and universities offer more than 200 co-operative education programs in the information communications and technology fields.


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