Industry and community partners

Innovative solutions for your business

We can help you innovate and bring new ideas to life by connecting you with faculty, researchers, and students with the expertise and experience required to address your research and development needs. We help our partners access the experts and extensive research infrastructure in Conestoga’s cutting-edge research centres and institutes. By working with Conestoga, you can access various  funding opportunities that help cover the cost of collaborative research and development projects.  


How to get started

Industry and community partners are intended to be active participants throughout the project's lifecycle to enhance its success for your company. Depending on the scope and requirements of the project and funder, research partners may be required to contribute cash or in-kind toward the project. 

Complete the project intake form to get started. 


What is the engagement process?

Once an initial connection has been established, a “discovery” meeting with our Engagement team is an essential next step toward identifying opportunities for collaboration. Partners will be asked to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement to enable more detailed project scoping. 
Our team will work with you to identify realistic objectives, timelines, and budgets for any proposed activities. It will also be essential to clarify how your organization will contribute to the project; this will often take the form of cash or in-kind contributions such as personnel time, data, materials, use of equipment, etc. (refer to FAQ at bottom of page). Cash and in-kind amounts are often specified by the funder. These important contributions, such as intellectual property, will eventually become part of a Research Collaboration Agreement between the college and your organization that will define all parties' contractual relationship and expectations. 


In-kind contributions are cash-equivalent goods or services that would otherwise have to be purchased with project funds if they were not donated. Examples include:

  • Access to unique databases
  • Analytical and other services 
  • Used, new, or loaned equipment 
  • Faculty remuneration, including payment for faculty release from teaching duties 
  • Materials 
  • Patents and licenses 
  • Salaries, including actual salaries and benefits for staff (up to $100 per hour)
  • Software
  • Travel
  • Use of facilities 

An organization's goods, services, and staff time are in-kind contributions. For more information, visit the NSERC website

View Conestoga’s Intellectual Property Policy. Typically, any IP generated from an applied research project (foreground IP) is assigned to the industry partner as specified in the Research Collaboration Agreement. In rare cases, pre-existing IP owned by the college (background IP) may be utilized for the research project that may require protection and/or licensing.​​​​​​​

A Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) is a contract between two or more parties cooperating in conducting research. This standard agreement formally outlines a research partnership, objectives, nature of the collaboration, identifies project leaders, intellectual property/commercialization rights, limits on liability, publication rights, and other standard terms.

All funded research projects conducted through Conestoga College must have a signed RCA before the start of the project.

The length of a partnership varies based on the research project and the type of funding secured. A project can last anywhere from one semester (four months) to multiple years, depending on the funding program.

Depending on the funding program, small and medium-sized, for-profit enterprises (SMEs) and larger organizations are invited to partner with Conestoga College and are eligible for funding. 

Multinational corporations must typically have operations in Canada to be eligible for Canadian funding programs. 

Canadian public sector and not-for-profit organizations such as municipalities, public utilities, Indigenous organizations, hospitals, industry associations, and community organizations are welcome partners and are also typically eligible for funding. 

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