Smart Economies are Productive Economies

A History of Applied Research Excellence

As Canada strives to increase its competitiveness in innovation and productivity, George Brown is delivering on its commitment to applied research, where it ranks third among Canada's colleges.

To date, George Brown has received more than $40 million in research funding from provincial and federal programs, which has been matched by industry investments. This government and industry support has resulted in a series of applied research accelerators aimed at solving sector-specific challenges. These include:

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM): Advanced manufacturing for the construction industry, using complex 3D rendering of buildings to ensure efficient builds and management of building resources over time.
  • NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Smart Connected Buildings: Will enable Canadian companies to take a leadership role in the global market for intelligent building automation systems while enhancing George Brown's capacity in research and training.
  • Smart Building Automation Lab: Leverages our Building Automation Lab and the Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in this area.
  • Advanced Prototyping Lab: Industry can rapidly develop new products for advanced building technology and smart devices, from medical to consumer.
  • Building Sciences Lab: Provides testing to increase energy efficiency, including cladding.
  • Research Labs in Interprofessional Health Technology Development: Provides simulation and prototyping environments for developing and testing new products and health services across the continuum of care and across a range of health services.
  • Food Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt): A designated Technology Access Centre facility that specializes in Consumer Creative Recipe Design and Testing, Food Product Development and Commercialization, Sensory Evaluation, Nutrition and Ingredient Label Creation and Food Quality System Consultation.
  • Business Accelerator and Entrepreneurship spaces: Spaces are collocated with our research labs across our campuses. These provide the infrastructure where industry, college researchers and their students develop and monitor projects.
  • Digital Media and Gaming Incubator: Supports the city's digital sector by providing affordable space, business and professional services and technology to start ups.
  • Institute Without Boundaries, where students from a wide variety of study areas work with industry experts to solve real-world problems through social, ecological and economic innovation.

All of these research accelerators are designed to build the capability for interdisciplinary action and thinking, which will help to drive Ontario's economy while closing the productivity gap. George Brown is committed to supporting and advancing industry and community problem-solving through excellence in applied research, commercialization and scholarship.

Design Centre for the Smart Economy

The latest plan in George Brown's series of research and commercialization labs is the concept for the Design Centre for the Smart Economy (DCSE). To be developed in partnership with OCAD University, the DCSE will serve as an umbrella for a variety of applied research areas that work with academic and industry partners to take products and services to market while equipping graduates with practical innovation skills and knowledge.

"Smart economies are productive economies. In support of Canada's science, technology and innovation strategy, George Brown is connecting industry with innovators in order to promote innovation and industry growth," said Anne Sado, President of George Brown College. "By creating opportunities for students to solve real industry problems in highly-engaging learning environments, George Brown is supporting them to become candidates of choice for their future employers."

Get Involved

We need your help to realize this vision. Smart economies are productive economies, and by working together with our industry and community partners we can foster greater innovation and productivity through the design of products and services that will help Canada and Ontario energize and transform.

Contact us at to learn more and join our mailing list and to receive updates and to find out how you can get involved in the development of George Brown College's Design Centre for the Smart Economy.