Two years running!

CNA ranks first in Atlantic Canada for college applied research

2/14/2022 10:04:14 AM

STEPHENVILLE, NL – College of the North Atlantic (CNA) retains the top spot for applied research among colleges in Atlantic Canada for the second year in a row, according to the recently released Research Infosource’s Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges.

Liz Kidd, CNA President and CEO, says she was ecstatic to hear the news.

“It’s testimony to how external stakeholders continue to recognize Newfoundland and Labrador’s public post-secondary college as a leader in building and supporting the future of this province and our economy,” said Kidd. “To have this distinction is an honour in itself, but to be ranked first in Atlantic Canada for two years in a row, makes our leadership team, and the CNA community as a whole, extremely proud.

We know our communities at large are benefitting from the incredible research carried out by the college’s Office of Applied Research and Innovation (OARI) and faculty. Most importantly, we engage many talented students each year to actively participate in applied research projects that are making a difference to stakeholder industries.”

CNA is considered a medium-sized college, and Kidd says the fact that CNA remains in the country’s top 22 for overall research ($4.2 million) is highly encouraging. Other rankings include: ninth nationally for the number of research partnerships, and 13th nationally for both the number of completed research projects and number of paid student researchers. These funds are used to support CNA’s goal of being a leading edge and progressive institution that is focused on enhancing its learners’ experience, as well as transforming industry sectors.

Dr. Michael Long, CNA’s Associate Vice-President of Applied Research & Innovation, says the college’s OARI department is focused on several new projects. Among them are:
  • Cooperative Education & Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) funding to support applied research in rural communities;
  • LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and 3D scanning technologies – specifically used for reality capture and digitization projects; and,
  • CNA’s partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation’s MICA (Mining Innovation and Commercialization Accelerator) Network.
“CNA research teams have conducted incredible work over the last year to support the innovation needs of companies across the province and the country,” said Long. “This year was exceptional on a number of fronts, but particularly so with work conducted in the reality capture and digitization field. CNA worked with companies across the mining, forestry, tourism and aerospace sectors, to name a few, utilizing our growing suite of on 3D scanning technologies, such as handheld and drone-mounted photogrammetry and LiDAR – subjects addressed in our Geomatics Engineering Technology and GIS Applications Specialist programs. We are very interested in new technologies and methods to digitize our environments since truly innovative companies are increasingly focused on applications in this space.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) continues to contribute greatly to the college’s overall applied research portfolio. The centre, which is located at CNA’s Corner Brook campus, provides a co-ordinated, central point of access to engage government, career and employment services providers, skills development organizations, and stakeholders in the business and community sectors throughout NL.

Sharon McLennon, NLWIC Director, explains that NLWIC has funded 20 research projects that are currently underway with partners across multiple sectors, throughout Canada and globally. These projects were selected on established criteria that focus on job creation and economic development, as well as and the objectives of the NL Research and Innovation program. The centre’s goal is to promote and support the research, testing and sharing of ideas and models of innovation in workforce development that will positively impact employability, employment, and entrepreneurship within the province’s labour market and particularly under-represented groups.

“We’re proud that NLWIC has contributed to CNA’s recognition in the Top 50 Research Colleges, for the second year in a row, for its work in applied research and innovation that contributes to the health, well-being and prosperity of the province,” she said. “Our NL Workforce Innovators are community-based applied researchers driving innovation in research development in this province. Seven of the 20 NLWIC-funded research projects are completed to date. Through our applied research projects and other research collaborations, NLWIC will continue to innovate workforce and workplace development in our province to address labour shortages and the need for a diverse, inclusive and high-performing workforce now and into the future.”

For more information about CNA programs, visit: To learn more about CNA’s Office of Applied Research and Innovation, visit here.

Media Contact:

Michelle Barry
Communications Manager
College of the North Atlantic