The Canadian government has provided federal funding for hundreds of students and dozens of faculty members at Algonquin College, www.algonquincollege.com, Ottawa, Ont., and La Cité collégiale, www.collegelacite.ca, Ottawa, Ont., to develop new cutting-edge construction technology.

The research could allow homebuyers to take 3D tours of a house before it is built, produce infrared technology to measure where heat leaks out of homes, or develop new pavement that will resist water erosion, while creating jobs for tradespeople.

It will also help the colleges train new tradespeople and make the manufacturing of construction materials cheaper, quicker, and of higher quality, saving Canadian construction firms time and money.

The result will be improved designs, decreased rework or fewer costly delays while design issues are addressed during construction, improved worker safety, and reduced cost overruns.

A productivity enhancement of only 2% for the industry represents a savings of $1.8 billion per year. The construction industry accounts for an estimated 12% of Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product) and it is responsible for repairing or renovating more than $150 billion of Canada’s infrastructure each year.

The National Capital Region is receiving more than $4 million: an Innovation Enhancement Grant of $2.3 million throughout five years to Algonquin College and a Technology Access Centers Grant of $1.75 million throughout five years to La Cité collégiale.

The funding was awarded through the CCI (College and Community Innovation) program and the CIIF (College Industry Innovation Fund) program. These programs fund research projects and partnerships between Canadian colleges and private businesses.

Since its launch in 2009, the CCI Program has supported 1,124 projects at 102 colleges across Canada.

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