Seneca has received a $2 million grant from the federal government to establish the Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences (SCILS), a unique applied research facility in the postsecondary sector. The funds have been awarded through an Innovation Enhancement grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
SCILS builds on Seneca’s long-established strengths in biological sciences and applied chemistry, providing partners with unparalleled access to talent, infrastructure and funding opportunities to support the life sciences industry in Ontario. Through SCILS, with support from Seneca Innovation, Seneca students and faculty can connect directly with industry partners to develop, enhance and validate needed innovations in the areas of diagnostics and cosmetics.
“Seneca’s applied research projects through SCILS will provide practical solutions to real-world challenges in the field of life sciences,” said Ben Rogers (photo), Dean of Seneca Innovation. “The funding received through NSERC will enable our student and faculty researchers to extend the breadth of their collaborative projects with industry.”
The life sciences sector, which contributes about $58 billion to Ontario’s GDP, includes medical devices and equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, agriculture feedstock and chemicals and medical cannabis.
NSERC also announced funding through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund to support two additional applied research initiatives at Seneca, which include:
• the development of an Online Assistance System for Tax Filing, in partnership with Prosper Canada, to support community organizations in delivering tax-filing assistance to individuals living on low income
• the creation of an Interactive Web-Based Assistive Communication Platform, in collaboration with Linggo, to mitigate challenges that people with complex communication needs in remote communities face in accessing healthcare services