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Seneca’s applied research helps Southern Ontario businesses bring ideas to market

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, left, takes a closer look at the Workbike, a innovative new product developed by RND Limited that allows people to mow their lawn and exercise at the same time. This is one of many Seneca applied research projects currently underway at the College.

August 22, 2011 – Seneca College has partnered with 16 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help bring products and services from idea to reality.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario visited Seneca College’s Markham Campus today to celebrate these collaborations and learn about the progress of the applied research projects now underway.

Seneca received $750,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, the maximum grant available under the program.

"Seneca has partnered with innovative small and medium-sized businesses from across Southern Ontario to bridge the gap between research and commercialization," said Seneca College President David Agnew. "This funding provides great opportunities for our students and faculty to work with SMEs and contribute to the economic prosperity of the region."

The Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative is a pilot project aimed at addressing the need for research and commercialization in southern Ontario and encouraging collaboration between SMEs and post-secondary institutions.

"Seneca College has a wealth of research, marketing and business resources in both its students and faculty that can give an entrepreneur an added advantage to create the next generation of technology or solution,” said John Breakey, CEO of UNIS LUMIN. “Seneca College’s Office of Research and Innovation provides a simple mechanism to leverage these resources."

SMEs participating in this initiative are benefiting from Seneca’s expertise in many schools and centres including advanced technologies, financial services, communication arts, computer studies, electronics, computer engineering technology and health sciences.

"This program has been a rewarding experience for our company, which will yield immediate potential for growth and terrific opportunities for future business development not just in Canada but into the U.S. and Europe as well,” said Kim Robinson, President, International Club Network Ltd. “The opportunity to work with Seneca through this program has allowed us to pursue the development of an enriched technology platform that would not have been possible with our available resources.”

“This program is a shining example of how the government, industry and academia can work together to meet the needs of businesses, create jobs and products for export markets,” said Terry D’Silva, CEO of Tertec Enterprises Inc. “Seneca is a valued partner in meeting these goals, providing analysis and support, and sharing student and faculty expertise.”

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario helps southern Ontario communities and businesses diversify and strengthen their local economies by helping them to become more competitive, innovative and productive.

From L to R: Chungsen Leung, MP – Willowdale; Cindy Hazell, Seneca Senior Vice-President; The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario; Kim Robinson, President, International Club Network Ltd; and David Agnew, Seneca President.

Minister Goodyear and Seneca President David Agnew speak with Terry D’Silva, CEO of Tertec Enterprises Inc., one of the College’s SME partners.

Minister Goodyear and MP Chungsen Leung spoke with each SME representative to learn more about their applied research projects.