Feds give Algonquin College $2.3M for Ottawa big data centre

Algonquin College

Ottawa startups and enterprises may find it easier to harness the power of big data to grow their businesses after Algonquin College announced Tuesday it’s building a Data Analytics Centre with the help of federal government funding.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is providing $2.3 million over five years to Algonquin through its College and Community Innovation program. The funding is part of a total of $37.4 million announced Tuesday for college initiatives across Canada. Algonquin College’s funding was among the highest amounts, matched by five other projects.

The big data centre is meant to provide students and partner businesses with access to machine learning analytics, data mining and artificial intelligence resources. Algonquin’s application to NSERC was supported by numerous local partners, including Mitel, Gymtrack, Invest Ottawa, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

“The CCI program is uniquely positioned to connect colleges with industry partners, allowing companies to access state-of-the-art facilities and applied research expertise that help accelerate product development and validation, and train the next generation of talent for the 21st-century job market,” said NSERC’s vice-president of research partnerships Bettina Hamelin in a statement.

“In every business, having a strong understanding of your data and using it to better serve your clients is becoming increasingly important, and we want to ensure our learners are equipped for success when they enter the workforce,” said Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen in a statement.

The hub for big data will be housed inside the school’s Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Centre once construction finishes later this year.

This is Algonquin College’s fifth successful CCI funding application.

Carleton University also received $95,000 of funding over two years in a partnership with Humber College to explore drinking water treatment through biofiltration.