TORONTO: Canada's leading research colleges posted a combined research income of $201.7 million in Fiscal 2016 compared with $167.8 million in Fiscal 2015, a gain of 20.2%, according to Research Infosource Inc., which today released its annual ranking of Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges.
Toronto's George Brown College led the Top 50 with $13.2 million of research income, followed by Fanshawe College ($12.3 million) and Lambton College ($11.0 million).
"On the surface, an overall 20.2% gain in research income is an outstanding result," said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource, "but appearances can be deceiving. Most of the increase was driven by one-time federal government grants that have skewed the underlying trends, and which will not be repeated next year. The increased funding was distributed to a minority of colleges, but nonetheless it affected the national total."
Colleges reported a total of 2,845 active formal research partnerships with external organizations, a 10.5% gain over Fiscal 2015. Colleges also indicated they had completed 2,766 research projects, a 12.8% improvement over the prior year. The number of college researchers rose by 12.9% to 2,379. However, the number of college students paid to engage in research increased by only 1.9% to 2,075.
Overall year-over-year income growth was strongest at Fanshawe College (564.4%), George Brown College (245.2%) and Cegep de Sept-Îles (95.3%). Twenty Quebec colleges captured 37.4% of the national income total followed by 13 Ontario institutions (36.9%), and 6 Alberta colleges (8.6%).
College research funds received from industry sources rose to $40.5 million, a gain of 8.4% over Fiscal 2015. Industry research income increased at 26 colleges compared with 22 colleges where industry income fell, and 2 colleges were flat.
"A rising tide of college research income and research activity is certainly to be welcomed," said Mr. Freedman, "but one-time federal research grants to a minority of colleges are no substitute for sustained base funding. The challenge for the funding winners is to translate the federal government largesse into increased levels of research activity."