What is Tech-Access Canada?


Tech-Access Canada is the formal, national network of Canada’s 30 Technology Access Centres. Based in Ottawa, Tech-Access Canada facilitates the sharing of best practices between member TACs; works to harmonize service models across regions; and promotes college applied research to external audiences.

The network enables the TACs to serve any company, anywhere in Canada, and help them access the expertise, equipment, and facilities they need to solve their innovation challenges. The network’s members provide clients and partners from across Canada with access to:

  • expertise and experience of over 1,000 business innovation and applied R&D experts;
  • over 2.4 million square feet of innovation and applied research space; and
  • over $250 million worth of highly-specialized equipment and facilities.

Tech-Access Canada launched in September 2015 and is located in downtown Ottawa.

Tech-Access Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) towards this initiative.

Canada’s Technology Access Centres (TACs) provide value-added applied research and problem solving services for firms. In doing this, TACs make a concerted effort to collaborate with private sector companies who are well placed to contribute to their work.

The TACs avoid undertaking any routine work that is already provided adequately by private industry and strive to avoid undue competition with our colleagues in the private sector.

If you feel that a TAC is offering services that are contrary to this philosophy, please speak to the TAC or their affiliated college directly to attempt to resolve the issue. If that approach is not satisfactory, please contact Tech-Access Canada to discuss the matter further.

What is a Technology Access Centre (TAC)?


A Technology Access Centre is a centre affiliated with a Canadian college or cégep applied research office that provides access to specialized technology, equipment, and expertise to local industry – particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises – with the goal of enhancing their productivity and innovation.

Currently, there are 30 TACs enabling innovation in Canada from coast to coast.

A TAC helps Canadian businesses advance their products, processes and services by:

  • conducting research and development projects focused on company problems
  • offering specialized technical services and advice
  • providing companies with training related to new types of equipment and processes

TACs also connect companies to additional sources of advice, service, expertise and funding.

Canada’s Technology Access Centres (TACs) provide value-added applied research and problem solving services for firms. In doing this, TACs make a concerted effort to collaborate with private sector companies who are well placed to contribute to their work.

The TACs avoid undertaking any routine work that is already provided adequately by private industry and strive to avoid undue competition with our colleagues in the private sector.

If you feel that a TAC is offering services that are contrary to this philosophy, please speak to the TAC or their affiliated college directly to attempt to resolve the issue. If that approach is not satisfactory, please contact Tech-Access Canada to discuss the matter further.

Where are the TACs Located?


When Were the TACs Created?


In 2010, as part of its College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, NSERC launched its first Technology Access Centre (TAC) applied research funding competition, with the intent of enhancing the ability of companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to become more productive and innovative by providing ready access to Canadian college and cégep specialized expertise, technology and equipment. TAC Funding supports core operations for five years and is renewable.

The TAC concept is based on the successful Centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT) model developed over the past few decades by the Government of Québec.

College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program TAC competition / Number of awards:

  • 2011 (9)
  • 2012 (6)
  • 2013 (6)
  • 2014 (4)
  • 2015 (5)

Why work with a TAC?


Canada’s Technology Access Centres are local, accessible, and affordable, linking Canada’s competitiveness with skills training and future-proofing the innovation economy.

A TAC helps Canadian businesses advance their products, processes and services by:

  • conducting research and development projects focused on company problems
  • offering specialized technical services and advice
  • providing companies with training related to new types of equipment and processes

TACs are a source of pride in their communities and help build resilient regional economies. They are the innovation hub of a region, helping firms to improve a product or process, and get these to market faster. TACs allow industry partners to gain access to advanced technologies, equipment, services and expertise that they would not typically be able to access due to financial constraints or internal resources.

TACs collaborate widely. They occupy a unique niche in the innovation ecosystem and have equipment and expertise that other service providers often do not have. The complementary capabilities of Canada’s TACs enhance those of universities, private laboratories, government institutes, and other colleges.

TACs are a facilitator of technology transfer and technological advancement. TACs are linked to all of the players in a specific industry, making them well-positioned to propose collaborations involving several partners. They act as a launch platform for industry, resulting in more products and services entering the marketplace.

Canada’s Technology Access Centres (TACs) provide value-added applied research and problem solving services for firms. In doing this, TACs make a concerted effort to collaborate with private sector companies who are well placed to contribute to their work.

The TACs avoid undertaking any routine work that is already provided adequately by private industry and strive to avoid undue competition with our colleagues in the private sector.

If you feel that a TAC is offering services that are contrary to this philosophy, please speak to the TAC or their affiliated college directly to attempt to resolve the issue. If that approach is not satisfactory, please contact Tech-Access Canada to discuss the matter further.

About Tech-Access Canada


In 2010, as part of its College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, NSERC launched its first Technology Access Centre (TAC) applied research funding competition, with the intent of enhancing the ability of companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to become more productive and innovative by providing ready access to Canadian college and cégep specialized expertise, technology and equipment.

TAC competitions are extremely competitive in the college community. TAC applications are peer-reviewed involving a site visit from international experts, and are awarded entirely based on the merit of the proposal. TAC Funding supports core operations for five years and is renewable.

The TAC concept is based on the successful Centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT) model developed over the past few decades by the Government of Québec.

Tech-Access Canada will enable Canadian colleges and cégeps to take a leadership role in supporting economic development in Canada across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and health disciplines.

The 30 TACs, which have been meeting regularly since 2013 to share best practices regarding establishing and operating this type of applied research centre, have recognized common challenges in driving industry innovation that will be aided through harmonious and standardized approaches to college applied research.

The creation of a formal, national TAC Network is seen as the most effective way to harmonize and promote college applied research through the TACs.

This will help ensure that industry partners, college stakeholders, and government funders have a shared understanding of the value of TACs as representative of college applied research and their collective value to enhancing Canadian economic development.

All 17 TACs and 13 CATs are participating in the creation of Tech Access Canada, providing cash and in kind support over two years as part of the collective commitment to supporting college and institute applied research in Canada.

The network enables the TACs to serve any company, anywhere in Canada, and help them access the expertise, equipment, and facilities they need to solve their innovation challenges. The network’s members provide clients and partners from across Canada with access to:

  • expertise and experience of over 1,000 business innovation and applied R&D experts;
  • over 2.4 million square feet of innovation and applied research space; and
  • over $250 million worth of highly-specialized equipment and facilities.

Tech-Access Canada launched in September 2015 and is located in downtown Ottawa.

Tech-Access Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) towards this initiative.

Testimonials


NAIT’s Centre for Sensors and System Integration (CSSI) team has been instrumental in developing our prototypes. Their technology know-how has greatly supported our need for system integration, testing, building, and trouble-shooting of our alpha and beta prototypes. We have also tapped their knowledge of the region’s innovation community to seek out new applications for our particle-monitoring technology. It’s been our pleasure to work with NAIT and CSSI.


Shlomi Schelpak, CFO – Alberta Nano Monitoring Systems, ANMS, partner of the Centre for Sensors and System Integration, NAIT

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