Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Algonquin College and The Ottawa Hospital form new partnership


OTTAWA — Algonquin College and The Ottawa Hospital are embarking on a unique partnership in health research, innovation and training. The College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hospital’s research institute to “encourage and facilitate the development of mutually beneficial linkages” in areas such as digital health, clinical trials and biotherapeutics manufacturing. Continue reading

Indigenous student success program launched by Algonquin College and Cambrian College

MOU SigningAn innovative program that aims to enhance Indigenous student recruitment, retention, and success is underway at Algonquin College and Cambrian College. Both institutions will be working with Indigenous communities on a new Indigenous Student Performance Success Program focused on producing research that will identify factors that help or hinder Indigenous students as they pursue postsecondary studies at each institution. On Monday, November 21, at the Higher Education Summit in Toronto, Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen and Cambrian President Bill Best signed an agreement that will enable the two Colleges to collaborate on research that will enhance the postsecondary experience for Indigenous students. Continue reading

Algonquin College and The Ottawa Hospital form new partnership


OTTAWA — Algonquin College and The Ottawa Hospital are embarking on a unique partnership in health research, innovation and training. The College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hospital’s research institute to “encourage and facilitate the development of mutually beneficial linkages” in areas such as digital health, clinical trials and biotherapeutics manufacturing. Continue reading

Algonquin in “Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges”

The 2016 edition of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges was released on Thursday — and Algonquin College continues its upward performance.

The College is now in 20th spot in the rankings, up from 24th in 2015.

“This is a great motivation boost for our Algonquin College community as we continue to deliver in our strategic priorities around innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Cristina Holguin-Pando, Director, Partnerships, Applied Research & Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. “It’s a journey that really gained momentum through our current strategic plan, and will be consolidated in the new strategy documents that will see Algonquin College at the forefront, delivering an education model based on innovation and entrepreneurship leadership in a few years ahead.”

Other stats from the report include:

• Algonquin’s research income rose 51.1 per cent from the previous period, taking the fourth spot in research income percentage growth.

• Algonquin is now third in the number of paid students conducting research among Canada’s large colleges.

• Algonquin takes the seventh spot in the country in terms of faculty members leading research projects.

• In total grants received from the federal government’s Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) in the 2011-2015 period, Algonquin ranks fourth across Canada with more than $6 million research income.

“It is truly rewarding to evidence the college’s success by consistently increasing the number of faculty, and of course students, engaged in applied research projects,” said Holguin-Pando. “While it is always exciting attaining growing levels of funding, the reality is that funding availability is in decline, making it increasingly challenging.”

The report, compiled by Research Infosource Inc., noted that combined research income of 15 Ontario colleges fell by 4.6 per cent.

“Although many individual colleges performed well the total Ontario college income drop of 4.6 per cent somewhat underperformed the national trend of 0.5 per-cent growth,” said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource, in a press release. “Of concern is that industry funding of college research in the province declined by -21.8 per cent, falling to $2.9 million. The positive news is that the number of formal research partnerships grew by 37.6 per cent and the number of completed research projects expanded by 17.5 per cent.”

And Holguin-Pando said there are plenty of signs that Algonquin is on the right track.

“The best indicator, the real success story here, is in our ability to provide our faculty and our students with opportunities to meaningfully engage with industry partners in solving real-life problems that are at the cutting edge of technology,” she said. “This is what we do best.”

More information, and the full rankings, are available here.

New learning centre gets $24.8 million from federal, provincial governments

It’s full-steam ahead!

After months of anticipation, the college has been given crucial federal and provincial funding that will allow us to transform the library into a state-of-the-art learning and entrepreneurship centre.

Ottawa West-Nepean MP Anita Vandenbeld was on the campus Wednesday to announce the federal government’s $21.9-million contribution, and Bob Chiarelli, the area’s MPP and the Minister of Infrastructure announced a $2.9-million contribution from the province.

Vandenbeld lauded the project, saying the new centre will help produce “students that will turn ideas into solutions, solutions into jobs, and start-up companies into global investments.”

In her remarks, Cheryl thanked both ministers for their support as well as MP Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who was also on hand for the announcement.

She noted that Wednesday’s groundbreaking for the $45-million transformation, which took place in the C building courtyard, was an exciting moment, particularly because of what it represents.

“We’re excited not just about today’s announcement and groundbreaking, but also about being part of a wider wave of growth and expansion across this city, because that’s what today is really about, city-building.”

The college is one of a number of post-secondary institutions to receive funding from the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Strategic Investment Fund and the Province of Ontario’s Facilities Renewal Fund this year.

Earlier this year, the Board of Governors approved in principle to fund up to $20 million from the college’s capital budget and reserve funds.

The new centre, which will be located in a portion of C building, will encompass the Algonquin College Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Centre and the Algonquin College Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship.

Cheryl called it “a place like no other,” saying it will be a place that puts entrepreneurship at the heart of everything the college does, a place that pushes the envelope with innovation and ingenuity, and a place that recognizes the unique culture and talent of its indigenous students.

“Since I know the caliber of our learners and the excellence of our faculty,” she said, “and since this announcement guarantees we can create the best possible environment for them to unleash their talents, I will say this: ‘I can’t wait.’”

And she won’t have to. The project is now officially underway.

Information about the project will regularly be posted to myAC so that employees can be kept in the loop. In addition, for all disruption and construction-related news, go to the dedicated website

To see videos of the funding announcement and the groundbreaking ceremony, go to

Photo: From left: Cheryl, Ottawa Centre MP and Minister of Environment and Climater Change Catherine McKenna, Algonquin Students’ Association President Egor Evseev, Ottawa West-Nepean MPP and Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli, and Ottawa West-Nepean MP Anita Vandenbeld take place in the groundbreaking in C building courtyard.

English expert addresses Future of Health and Wellness Breakfast

Don’t try to forecast future health-care demands and work-force needs using numbers, a British expert in health-care modelling told a gathering at Algonquin College on Thursday.

Instead, test the impact of “different futures” by getting expert advice and building scenarios.

Hear all of Willis’ remarks here.

About 100 senior leaders from the local health and wellness industry gathered at Restaurant International on Thursday morning to hear Dr. Graham Willis explain what he and his research team are doing differently. Dr. Willis is the Head of Research and Development, Workforce Analysis, Strategy and External Relations, for the Department of Health, England.

“Don’t try and forecast, try and think of a range of futures and use them to try and test your ideas,” he said. “We can use this (method)to explore the system without getting caught in the numbers.”

Dr. Willis’ framework also focuses on skills rather than job titles or functions to further improve the ability to predict future demand. He said this method also moves the analysis away from individual numbers and helps researchers think about the workforce as a whole, working together.

The gathering was the seventh event in the Future of Health and Wellness Speaker Series, hosted jointly by Algonquin College and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network.

You can hear all of Willis’ remarks here.

Photo: Algonquin College Vice-President Academic Claude Brulé, Champlain LHIN Chief Executive Officer Chantale LeClerc, Dr. Graham Willis, Cheryl, and Barbara Foulds, Chair, Healthy Living Education Steering Committee, left to right.

Sir Terence Matthews to Co-Chair New Advisory Panel on Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen


Oct. 6, 2016

Sir Terence Matthews to Co-Chair New Advisory Panel on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
with Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen

Oct. 6, 2016 (Ottawa) — Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen is pleased to announce a new President’s Advisory Panel on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to help guide the College in the coming years.

Canadian business magnate and high-tech entrepreneur Sir Terence Matthews will be co-chairing the panel with President Jensen, who was recently named to the board of directors of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship — making her the only Canadian representative on the board of the American organization.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Terry and our other panel members to Algonquin College — each one of them brings a different perspective and different skills to the table,” said Jensen. “Our students already have an entrepreneurial spirit, but this panel is going to give them the edge when it comes to turning their dreams into reality.”

The panel had its first meeting on Oct. 5 and enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion on topics such as 5G networks and building smarter cities.

Other members of the panel who participated in Tuesday’s meeting included:

  • Eli Fathi, Chief Executive Officer, Mind Bridge Analytics
  • Ian Faris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Oster, President, Ottawa Community Loan Fund
  • Paul LaBarge, Founding Partner, LaBarge Weinstein
  • Peter Charbonneau, Lead Director Mitel
  • Brian O’Higgins, Executive Fellow, Mistral Venture Partners
  • Robert Hanlon, Chief Operating Officer, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

The panel will advise on innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the College, overall strategic direction, fundraising strategies, potential partnerships and will also provide input on entrepreneurship programming and supports.

Under President Jensen, Algonquin College has increased its focus on entrepreneurship. In February it opened Ignite AC, an entrepreneurship centre for students that offers mentorship, guidance and resources.

More recently the College submitted a multimillion-dollar proposal to the federal government to help fund its state-of-the-art Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Centre and Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship. An announcement regarding this proposal is expected very soon.

For more information:

Ruth Dunley, Communications Officer

Public Relations and Communications, Algonquin College
Office: 613-727-4723 ext. 6452

Mobile: 613-406-0970
About Algonquin College:

The mission of Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology is to transform hopes and dreams into lifelong success. Algonquin College, an Ontario public sector community college, does this by offering hands-on, digitally connected, experiential learning in more than 185 programs. Based in the Ottawa Valley, Algonquin College is the largest polytechnic institute in Eastern Ontario.

Siemens partnership powers education at Algonquin College

web cogen plant

Algonquin College President, Cheryl Jensen, and Siemens Canada CEO, Robert Hardt, came together on Earth Day to unveil a new high-efficiency co-generation power plant at the College’s Ottawa campus. The organizations also strengthened ties by signing a Memorandum of Understanding that will benefit Algonquin College students by providing opportunities to learn first-hand in a “living lab” for the future of energy systems.

The co-generation natural gas plant will generate two megawatts of power – enough to cover the baseline power needs of the Ottawa campus. Algonquin College and Siemens Canada will continue to collaborate on leading edge academic programming that will maximize experiential learning opportunities for students and lead to new applied research opportunities. In addition, the College has announced a new graduate certificate program to debut in January 2017. Energy Management is aimed at students with existing credentials who are looking to further their careers in the energy sector.

“This project is a game-changer in our efforts to maintain our facilities, control our costs, and expand the learning opportunities for our students,” said Cheryl Jensen, President, Algonquin College. “Delegations the world over have visited our Ottawa campus because of the innovative thinking behind this project. This project has become a trend-setter, and we thank Siemens Canada for their creativity and their partnership.”

Ontario’s Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, Ottawa West-Nepean MP Anita Vandenbeld, and German Ambassador Werner Wnendt were on-hand to tour the new plant and the future site of the new Energy Innovation Centre that will showcase inventive technologies for sustainable energy generation and energy management.

“I want to congratulate Algonquin and Siemens as they unveil this innovative project”, said Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. “This facility will have long-term positive impacts on our local college, our region, and on our province. It will provide innovations in technology to reduce electricity costs, better manage energy use, and improve the training of the next generation of power workers and energy system innovators.”

”Canada’s energy landscape is changing dramatically and the industry innovation needs to happen in a real-world setting,” explains Robert Hardt, CEO, Siemens Canada. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s skilled workforce and strong private-public partnerships like the one between Siemens and Algonquin are vital to enhancing education and research in the energy space, ensuring Canada remains competitive and sustainable.”

Algonquin College’s Guaranteed Energy Savings COntract (ESCO) with Siemens is a 20-year, multi-million collaboration that has resulted in numerous efficiency and sustainability retrofits to the Ottawa campus. Installing the co-generation plant represents ‘Phase 3’ of the ESCO2 agreement, and confers a number of benefits for Algonquin College:

  • Reduces the College’s energy expenses
  • Reduces the College’s deferred maintenance (outstanding repairs and maintenance)
  • Allows the College to continue to operate in an electricity outage
  • Opportunities for students and programs to conduct applied research projects

The heat generated by the plant will also be retained by this new system and used to heat and cool the College, further reducing Algonquin’s energy expenses.