Infrastructure funding seen in positive light by Lambton College

Growth of applied research is in line with objectives for $2-billion investment

The Federal Government’s recently announced Infrastructure Program, which includes the investment of some $2 billion into sustainable growth at post-secondary institutions, is being positively received by officials at Lambton College who see the continued growth of applied research as falling directly in line with the program’s objective—the stimulation of spending for innovative skills development, training, and applied research.

As per Lambton College’s Strategic Mandate, the College officially established the Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies in summer 2015 to meet the evolving needs of the energy and bio-industrial sector.

At its core, the Centre provides superior post-secondary and corporate education to regional, national and international students, and corporate partners in the area of energy, bio and supporting sectors. Additionally, the facility also supports industries and businesses through applied research and is viewed by key regional proponents, such as Western Sarnia-LambtonResearch Park and Bio-Industrial Innovation Canada, as vital to the creation of bio-hybrid/chemistry and sustainable energy clusters in the region.

The College’s growing success in applied research hasn’t gone unnoticed. According to Research Infosource Inc., which releases an annual list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, Lambton College currently sits 11th overall in the national rankings. Provincially, Lambton College ranks fourth among all Ontario research colleges. The report also revealed that LambtonCollege ranks fourth in Canada with respect to research growth and intensity.

New infrastructure funding from the government would allow the College to upgrade existing 25-year-old infrastructure to include state-of-practice revisions to the building envelope and develop co-generation capabilities that will significantly improve the environmental sustainability of the Centre, while serving as a teaching platform for several advanced technology programs.

Since 2013, Lambton College’s relationships with industry and business have provided a solid platform, which has grown to a current total of 181 projects in collaboration with 84 small partner organizations (including 64 start-up companies), 41 medium-sized partner organizations and 11 large partners. Of the current project portfolio, 45 have been or are currently in collaboration with clean-tech companies. The economic impact of Lambton College’s Applied Research & Innovation department has also led to the creation of community jobs through various projects. In the last three years, the College has hired a total of 204 students and external researchers for various research projects.

Equally important, the Centre will provide facilities to advance the development and commercialization of the next generation of bio-based and energy-related technologies and products, resulting in revenue growth, job creation and highly-skilled graduates qualified for employment in areas of current and emerging industrial demand.

The introduction of the government’s new infrastructure funding, coupled with an expanded Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies will further position Sarnia-Lambton and Lambton College as a national leader in education, industry-related applied research, innovation, development and commercialization, ensuring both the College and community’s goals coalesce for a progressive tomorrow.

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