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The Durham Advantage


Durham Region is quickly becoming an internationally recognized leader in research and development, with innovation taking place everywhere. From technology development and prototyping to commercialization, small and mid-sized businesses are collaborating with post-secondary institutions to bring innovative products to market, and increase their productivity and competitiveness.

Durham College

Durham College belongs to the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), (Visit which is a network of 20 colleges dedicated to connecting business and industry to the applied research and commercialization expertise of Ontario's colleges.

Durham College’s Office of Research Services and Innovation (ORSI) offers small- and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to partner on activities such as applied research, engineering design, technology development, product testing, and certification. The college’s facilities can be used for 3D drawings, rapid prototyping, plastic injection moulds and various destructive and non-destructive testing on all prototypes.

ORSI is comprised of three teams:

  • Applied research;
  • Institutional research and planning; and
  • Program development and quality initiatives.

Additional applied research and testing priorities include the fields of alternative and renewable energy, construction, digital media, environmental technology, health and life sciences, and manufacturing and materials.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

The Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization (OTTC) connects innovative research projects conducted at the university with business and industry. It serves as a contact point to facilitate constructive interaction with the university community, connects the right individuals with appropriate research programs, and negotiates agreements and licenses on technologies ready for commercialization. OTTC’s activities include:

  • Accessing funding for technology development;
  • Creating commercialization strategies;
  • Negotiating agreements;
  • Protecting intellectual property; and
  • Policy development.

UOIT has been awarded nine Canada Research Chairs and six Industrial Research Chairs in a diverse range of disciplines including:

  • Aquatic Toxicology;
  • Advanced Energy Systems;
  • Health Informatics;
  • Decomposition Chemistry;
  • Robotics and Automation;
  • Digital Technologies for Collaborative Knowledge Discovery;
  • Innovative Design Engineering;
  • Nuclear Fuel; and
  • Health Physics and Environmental Safety.

Canada Research Chairs advance basic research and Industrial Research Chairs undertake major research projects of interest to industry in science and engineering.

Spark Centre

Spark Centre is a place where entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, researchers and students come together to exchange ideas, help each other succeed, and form an innovation ecosystem that creates jobs and wealth in Durham. The Spark Centre is one of 14 not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).


The Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) is the first testing and research centre of its kind in Canada, and in many respects the world. ACE offers a full range of test chambers including one of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels on the planet. In this chamber they can create:

  • Wind speeds in excess of 240 km/hr;
  • Temperatures ranging from minus 40C to plus 60C; and
  • Relative humidity ranging from five per cent to 95 per cent.

ACE is wholly owned and operated by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and is located on the north campus in Oshawa, Ontario. more

The Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE)

General Motors

General Motors of Canada outlined its commitment to significantly invest in research and development (R&D) activities in Canada. Between 2009 and 2016, GM is making investments totalling $850 million in R&D in Canada, which will provide long-term sustainable benefits to GM and the Canadian automotive sector through 2016 and more

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