George Brown College Secures Funding for Design, Food and Beverage Research

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George Brown College received federal grants—one for the Design Centre for the Smart Economy and the other for our Food Innovation and Research Studio.

TORONTO – George Brown College has been named as recipient of two grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's College and Community Innovation Program (NSERC-CCIP).

The results were announced on May 2, 2017 by the Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan. The NSERC-CCIP supports applied research and collaborations that lead to commercialization and technology transfer while facilitating the development of new technologies and innovative collaboration in communities across the country.

These funding includes an NSERC-CCIP Innovation Enhancement grant for George Brown's Design Centre for the Smart Economy, or DCSE ($2,300,000 over 5 years) and a renewal of the Technology Access Centre grant for our Food Innovation and Research Studio, or FIRSt ($1,750,000 over 5 years).

The announcement was made as part of $37.4 million in new funding for 37 projects at colleges, institutes and CÉGEPs across Canada to support applied research and development activities with industry partners.

"The launch of the DCSE and the continuation of FIRSt will enable more Canadian companies to partner with the college to find timely solutions to modern day innovation challenges," said Dawn Davidson, Associate Vice President (Acting), Research and Innovation at George Brown College.

"Key to both awards is the development of customer-focused solutions including new products, services and systems. FIRSt uses market intelligence and customer sensory evaluation, blended with food science and culinary expertise, to provide food product concept to commercialization technical support and business innovation services to the GTA food industry; while the DCSE will deliver design-driven, customer- and user experience-focused digital and information technology solutions to diverse industries—enabling them to adopt new technology enabled business models and remain prosperous in the context of Industry 4.0."

This funding represents an opportunity to engage in larger-scale, multi-year projects with industry partners, creating a lasting bridge between Canadian companies and their ability to innovate easily and quickly.

About the Design Centre for the Smart Economy (DCSE) 

The DCSE will assist Toronto's small and medium-sized businesses in the technology sector to adopt new approaches to designing and developing customer experiences, digital service design ecosystems, computing platforms and alternative user interfaces that are shaped by technology. George Brown faculty and student expertise in gaming and interactive digital media, interaction design and development, user experience and user interface design, usability testing and validation of technology, virtual effects, graphic design, branding and information technology will catalyze innovation with industry partners. The DCSE research vision aligns with key stages of the design process that are essential to fostering innovation and outputs that lead to successful commercialization.

About the Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt)

FIRSt supports product development in Ontario's food and beverage industry by integrating expert applied research with cutting-edge research laboratories and test kitchens to ensure new food and beverage products are developed and optimized in a timely, cost-effective and customer-focused manner. To date, FIRSt has helped 131 clients develop 212 new products, optimize 235 existing products, move 52 products to market, and provide 273 marketing research services.


For more information, please contact:

Jodi Serwatuk
Corporate Communications Manager 
Office: 416.415.5000 ext. 3767