SECD recognized as Feds launch new fund to strengthen communities, support social innovation research in Canadian colleges January 14 2015

The Hon. Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently announced a new Community and College Social Innovation Fund that will increase colleges’ capacity to engage in collaborative projects with community organizations and businesses to address such social issues as poverty, crime prevention, community safety and economic development.

“Our government understands that local community organizations are essential in addressing social issues like economic development, poverty, education and integration in Canadian communities,” says Holder (shown above, fifth from left). “The Community and College Social Innovation Fund will connect the innovative talent of researchers and students at colleges and polytechnics to meet the research needs of local community organizations to build stronger, safer, healthier communities.”

The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) was featured as an excellent example of such projects. Working with community and international partners, SECD is making the current science available to anyone who is interested in learning more about the profound impact of early child development on the health and well-being of both individuals and communities.

“We created a terrific online learning resource that is making a real contribution to the quality of education and training of parents, social workers, early child educators, nurses and other professionals working on the front line with children and families, not only here in Winnipeg, but across Canada and around the world,” says Janet Jamieson, Research Chair of the School of Health Sciences and Community Services and project lead for SECD, Red River College.

Holder made his announcement from RRC’s Roblin Centre, where he also met with Janet Jamieson, to discuss her department’s initiative.

Administered through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the fund allows colleges and polytechnics to partner with community organizations and businesses to apply for funding of up to $200,000 (plus an additional 20 per cent to offset overhead and administrative costs) to undertake collaborative projects that address community issues.

The new fund will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation projects, which could take the form of products, processes or programs that create positive social outcomes for communities.

“Social innovation requires breakthrough ideas, applied research and community collaboration,” says David Rew, Interim President of RRC. “We welcome the government’s recognition that colleges like RRC are instrumental in making meaningful contributions to advancing solutions to issues that face communities, not only in Manitoba, but [throughout the globe].”

Red River College University of Toronto AKDN - Aga Khan Development Network