Canada's innovation community has been at the forefront of research and discovery. Whether in natural sciences and engineering, life sciences and medicine, or social sciences and humanities, Canadian universities, hospitals, colleges and companies have been leaders in turning leading-edge research into benefits for our economy and society as a whole.

Research Infosource is proud to showcase and celebrate our partners' research and innovation successes.

Feeding the population in a way that’s sustainable and healthy is one of this century’s great challenges. That’s where Food from Thought comes in.

Food from Thought is a $76.7 million research program at the University of Guelph designed to increase our ability to leverage big data to benefit food production and biodiversity. Such research and innovation will help transform food systems’ sustainability and productivity.

Food from Thought has more than 30 principal investigators, nearly 100 co-investigators and collaborators, hundreds of graduate students, dozens of partners, and $100 million in in-kind and partner contributions.

The research program includes leading-edge projects in the areas of livestock, crop sciences, pathogens in food and livestock, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and integrated food systems.

Food from Thought is funded in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Food from Thought principal investigator Prof. Bonnie Mallard received the Governor General’s Innovation Award last year for her work on the High Immune Response technology for improving dairy cattle health.

In addition to a busy neurosurgery practice, Dr. Matthew Hebb maintains a highly productive research program at Lawson Health Research Institute, the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Hebb is creating tools to advance Parkinson’s Disease research and therapeutics across the globe. Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by progressive neurological impairment caused by the death of cells in the nervous system. Dr. Hebb’s team provided a novel description of brain-derived progenitor cells (BDPCs) that could protect and stimulate re-growth of disease-affected neurons. This discovery may offer critical insight into the disease process and provide a new personalized source of brain-derived cells for delivering therapy back into the same individual. By using a patient’s own BDPCs, Dr. Hebb hopes to slow or halt disease progression and stimulate regeneration of damaged brain circuitry. BDPCs may further advance drug, genetic and functional screening across broad patient populations. This work also resulted in a patent and partnership with STEMCELL Technologies to develop innovative research tools for Parkinson’s Disease and other incurable neurological diseases.

In the face of climate change, food and water security are major global challenges. With an unparallelled life sciences cluster – that includes Canada’s only synchrotron – and two Canada First Research Excellence Fund programs, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is uniquely equipped to address them.

• The $177-M Global Water Futures network – the largest university-led water research program ever funded worldwide – is transforming the way communities, governments and industries in Canada and other cold regions of the world prepare for and manage increasing water-related threats including floods and droughts. GWF is led by the USask Global Institute for Water Security and three key university partners: McMaster University, University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University.

• The $42.7-M “Designing Crops for Global Food Security” program led by the USask Global Institute for Food Security is transforming crop breeding and providing innovative solutions to national and global food security. Building on the university’s success in developing more than 400 commercial crop varieti es, the Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre aims to become a unique global resource for plant breeders to develop new targetted crop varieties and boost crop yields.

USask plant scientist Leon Kochian, Canada excellence Research Chair in Food Systems and Security, is getting at the roots of food security.

Ryerson researcher Dr. Victor Yang has shone a light on effective surgical procedures.

His innovation in advanced structured light imaging has allowed surgeons to see below the surface of their patients’ anatomy. The new technology, commercialized by 7D Surgical, combines LED surgical light for spine and brain operations. The device captures the light reflected off the surface of the operation site to create a three-dimensional topographical image. Linked with a patient’s CT or MRI scans, surgeons can get a better picture of the structures underneath the skin.

With this speedy image generation, surgeons can complete tedious procedures in less time and with improved results. The imaging technology can also reduce risk of complications.

More than 500 procedures have been performed using this technology. Its recent applications won the 2018 Innovator of the Year Award at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Both Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved the device. To date, it is used in more than a dozen hospitals in North America and New Zealand, with the possibility of further global rollout.

For the past 10 years, Huawei Canada has been investing in research and innovation, positioning Canada as a global 5G leader. Huawei now employs almost 1000 people in Canada, and with a team of 600 researchers and scientists, we are committed to helping drive forward Canada’s innovative and competitive ICT ecosystem. Through partnerships with Canadian universities, incubators and small businesses, Huawei has continuously invested into the Canadian economy through research initiatives, and we are helping attract the best and brightest to Canadian schools for advanced communications research. Along with other global ICT players looking to Canada, the result of this investment is a diverse base of skilled technology talent that will help Canadian companies across all industry sectors harness transformative technologies such as 5G. Huawei Canada is proud to again be recognized as one of Canada’s leaders in investing in Research & Development in Canada.

Gerry Wright, director of the IIDR at McMaster University and a global expert in antibiotic resistance research
Infectious diseases and drug-resistant infections are a serious global threat to our health and our economy. It’s estimated they will kill more people than cancer and cost the world $100 trillion in lost economic output by 2050. To combat this threat, scientists in the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) at McMaster University are bridging the divide between basic research and the clinic to develop life-altering drugs, vaccines and prevention strategies. IIDR researchers – an extraordinary and diverse group of world-leading experts – are conducting groundbreaking research in antibiotic resistance mechanisms, new drug discovery, and innovations in therapeutic alternatives to antibiotics. Their work has already resulted in more than 200 filed patents and the launch of three new start-up companies. And, now, they’re leading a charge with their partners to establish a first-of-its-kind centre of excellence, designed to propel economic growth, entrepreneurship and job creation; attract further collaborations and partnerships; and position Canada as a global leader in, and exporter of, health technology, research and innovation.

Lakehead University researchers know how to make a difference for our local, national, and global communities. Dr. Charles Levkoe, our Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, believes the right to food is critical for the future. Dr. Levkoe’s participatory action research explores how civil society organizations are contributing to the development of the Government of Canada’s food policy.

Forest ecologist, Dr. Han Chen studies the effects of global changes – including biodiversity loss, climate change, and forest diversity disturbances – on Canada’s boreal forests. Dr. Michael Rennie, Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries, is another champion for ecological sustainability. His research team helps recover overfished populations and lakes impacted by industry to restore freshwater ecosystems.

At Lakehead University, we are proud to train students who are the next generation of changemakers. The opening of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES) will mark the launch of Ingenuity – Lakehead’s first student business-incubator zone. We look forward to seeing how our student innovators will transform Thunder Bay, Simcoe County, and beyond.

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division is comprised of faculty, researchers, students, and an administration team who work on innovative projects helping businesses leap forward in the marketplace. This R&D arm for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Niagara region has been steadily growing in the past decade, evolving business practices and focusing in on specific research areas, including advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, and precision agriculture and environmental technologies. The team works hard to provide meaningful experiences for students and industry, and was delighted by several recent honours, including a silver award for Applied Research and Innovative Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada, given out last spring. And just last month, Niagara College earned the 2018 Gold Award of Excellence in Applied Research and Innovation, from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP). In each case, the award was made not to one individual project, but to the division itself, validating the gratification the team feels regarding its sustainable growth to date.

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Navigating through the healthcare system can be challenging and frustrating – but it doesn’t have to be.

St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS) is redesigning how care is delivered through an Integrated Comprehensive Care (ICC) program. This pioneering model assigns patients a care coordinator who meets them in the hospital and is available throughout their journey over a hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

An ICC coordinator can answer questions and dispatch a team of nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals right to the patient’s home. They collaborate with doctors and take charge in booking follow-up visits and referrals. The ICC team works together as one, utilizing one health record, so no matter where our patients’ journeys lead them, the frontline staffs are thoroughly aware of all aspects of care.

The ICC program not only allows patients the convenience of personalized attention, it also reduces hospital re-admissions, visits to the ER, and it has proven to be an efficient use of healthcare resources.

Perhaps the most significant achievement from the ICC program at SJHS is that patients and their families leave the hospital happy, with confidence and assurance that they don’t have to journey through the system alone.

Red River College is driving innovation in Manitoba and around the world. From battery-run buses to sustainable skyscrapers, we work with industry on ground-breaking projects with lasting results.

Consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top 10 research colleges, Red River College creates impact in the fields of advanced design and manufacturing, clean technology, digital technology, and health, nutrition and social sciences.

We’re growing to meet the needs of industry. The Innovation Centre will be home to the College’s business and information technology programs – a site of collaboration between students and their future employers.

The Smart Factory will combine emerging technologies while building on our Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing. Our vehicle test facility MotiveLabTM will be the first of its kind in Western Canada, a space where manufacturers can conduct testing with temperature capabilities between +50° C and -40° C.

A new culinary research and innovation lab will enable researchers, faculty and students to collaborate with the agri-food industry on new products and services.

What we’re doing is working. Visit

Armed with notable funding and global partnerships, Carleton University’s James Milner, professor in the Department of Political Science and a team of researchers and practitioners are working with partners in major refugee-hosting states to promote protection and solutions for refugees.

“While Canadians have demonstrated their commitment through the resettlement of Syrian refugees, 86 per cent of the world’s refugees remain in the global south. Resettlement opportunities only exist for one per cent of these refugees,” says Milner.

The project, Civil Society and the Global Refugee Regime, will study current efforts to implement global refugee policy, identify factors that impact implementation and identify better outcomes. The group will begin with the cases of Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon and Tanzania.

The project will provide hands-on training for 96 graduate students over seven years. They will host annual summer institutes in Canada and affected countries, train refugees and NGO workers in citizen journalism, support fellowships at Carleton for six visiting fellows from the global south and implement professional development programs for NGOs.

Sheridan’s Centre for Mobile Innovation (CMI) is focused on developing mobile health solutions, collaborating with a wide range of industry, community and healthcare partners. In Spring 2017, CMI received a five-year $2.3 million NSERC College and Community Innovation Program – Innovation Enhancement Grant, along with an additional $1 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund. This investment provided CMI the dedicated opportunity to continue its collaborative work between professors, students and industry partners in developing innovative mobile solutions and adaptive technologies that benefit our communities.

CMI continues to build on Sheridan’s extensive applied computing expertise. Whether through the development of specialized apps, machine learning, the Internet of Things, or augmented/virtual reality, CMI professors and students work closely with industry to develop innovative mobile solutions that will boost their competitiveness and profitability.

New breakthroughs in mobile applications continue to develop through applied research by faculty and students at Sheridan’s Centre for Mobile Innovation.

Brock University President Gervan Fearon, left, and then-Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science Reza Moridi, right, listen as Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute Director Debbie Inglis explains the virtual reality technology they’re trying out at an event held in January 2018.
Imagine being able to shop at a winery or the LCBO while listening to classical music and savouring the aromas of chardonnay and pinot grigio, all without leaving your seat.

Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is establishing the world’s first mediated-reality wine laboratory that will create a variety of environments in which people purchase and consume wines.

Researchers will examine how sights, smells and sounds impact the research participants’ choices of where and under what conditions they purchase and drink wines. This greater understanding of consumer behaviour will help the industry to best market their wines to potential customers.

The concept of coupling consumer behaviour with technical tools of augmented and virtual reality puts Canadian researchers on the forefront of this research.

CCOVI is also upgrading their winery with 30 stainless steel variable volume tanks controlled by a computerized glycol heating and cooling system, enabling researchers to determine ideal fermentation conditions in each tank for a range of wine styles and varieties.

Camosun College: Applied research is who we are.

Accounting to athletic therapy, carpentry to criminal justice, early childhood learning to engineering technology – applied, real-world learning is woven into everything we do. Practical preparation through industry and community partnerships empowers our graduates to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce. Over the last year, we’ve accomplished great things – from launching our Babcock Canada Interaction Lab, to breaking ground on the new Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness, to supporting diversity and inclusion, enhancing the student experience, and so much more.

Located in Victoria, BC’s vibrant coastal capital, Camosun College is a national leader in applied research, advanced manufacturing, and technological innovation, and home to the province’s only Technology Access Centre. With 19,000 students, 160+ programs, and a strategic direction that prioritizes interdisciplinary education, innovation and community partnerships, Camosun offers students a world-class college experience. We are proud of our students, staff, faculty, and community who have made us one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges.