A new $9.4-million life sciences lab at Seneca will power a significant increase in applied research for the diagnostics and cosmetics industries while providing advanced learning opportunities for hundreds of Seneca students and recent graduates.

The Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences (SCILS) will conduct industry-partnered, applied research in life sciences diagnostics and novel cosmetics formulations overseen by Seneca’s School of Biological Sciences & Applied Chemistry – home to Canada’s first graduate certificate program in cosmetic science.

“Seneca is grateful to the federal and provincial governments and our industry partners for helping to make SCILS a reality for our students, faculty and regional innovation ecosystem. The much-needed applied research conducted at the centre will help small- and medium-sized Canadian companies enhance, refine and test life sciences diagnostics technologies, and develop safe, marketable cosmetics products,” said David Agnew, Seneca president.

It is funded by $2 million from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, $1 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and College Industry Innovation Fund and $1 million from the Ontario Research Fund, with the remaining $5.4 million coming from support from industry research partners and institutional investments.

“The Ontario government is proud to support the construction of a research lab at the Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences, helping advance ‘Ontario made’ research and innovation at our colleges. This investment will provide postsecondary students with more experiential learning opportunities so they can graduate with the skills, expertise and credentials that meet the demands of the job market,” said Jill Dunlop, Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities.

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Applied research activities at SCILS will also offer employment and experiential learning opportunities to close to 500 Seneca students and recent graduates.

SCILS will help address the severe labour shortages being reported in bioscience companies, among many others.

Located at the [email protected] Campus, the 279 sq. m centre will feature a bio-safety lab and a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certifiable clean room. It will support product development, enhancement and validation, while providing industry partners access to talent and expertise from students and faculty.

“We are proud to support our world-class Canadian research talent as well as our small- and medium-sized businesses, which are the engines of our economy. This investment towards the SCILS will help Seneca work collaboratively with local companies by bringing researchers, students and industry partners together to address local challenges and create jobs and growth here in Canada,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Featured image: The Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences will power applied research for the diagnostics and cosmetics industries while providing advanced learning opportunities for Seneca students and recent graduates. (CNW Group/Seneca College)

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