Our advocacy efforts over the past year were laser-focused on ensuring the government understood our members’ critical role in Canadian innovation. CICan, through active collaboration with the college community, the support of national business associations and student groups, and through deep engagement with government, was able to advance the compelling case from investment in college applied research. We were thrilled to see our efforts pay off, as evidenced by the recent federal budget announcement of a $108.6 million over three years investment in applied research through the existing Tri-Council College and Community Innovation Program. The budget not only demonstrates that the government recognizes the growing importance of colleges and institutes as a path to economic resiliency and competitiveness for Canadian SMEs but our outstanding ability to influence government decisions and policies in support of our members.
We were also pleased to see Canada Infrastructure Bank recognize our instrumental role in Canada’s ongoing transition to a clean growth economy through the Building Retrofits Initiative – a part of a $5B portfolio. Our advocacy efforts resulted in significant benefits for our members, including reduced minimum deal size, from $50 million to $1 million, streamlined technical and financial analysis requirements and support in crowding in private capital to make funding from the bank more accessible.