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Sudbury college gets $700K for research into urban agriculture, Indigenous learning

‘In what has been a challenging couple of months, it is wonderful to get this funding’
(Stock image)

Cambrian College in Sudbury has received more than $700,000 in funding for two new projects being led by Cambrian R&D, the college’s applied research department.

The funding comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program and College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF).

“This is such welcome news,” said Kristine Morrissey, Cambrian's vice-president of international, finance and administration, and applied research, in a press release.

“In what has been a challenging couple of months, it is wonderful to get this funding and recognition for all the excellent research work that is being done on campus. It also demonstrates how diversified R&D is here at Cambrian.”

Cambrian R&D has received $355,000 for an Urban Agriculture Program Monitoring Project, in partnership with Sudbury Shared Harvest. Cambrian R&D and Sudbury Shared Harvest will develop and monitor a new community site for urban agriculture. 

This site will function as an educational hub and demonstration site for much of Sudbury. Cambrian R&D, with additional expertise from Collège Boréal and Laurentian University, will also provide ecological and soil monitoring services to ensure the site has clean, safe soil.

“We are so excited about the potential benefits that this collaboration with Cambrian College will bring,” said Fionna Tough, Sudbury Shared Harvest’s youth programs coordinator and project leader.

“The project is a big step forward in terms of educating our community, and specifically youth, about agroecology and food sovereignty. I think that making this knowledge accessible to the general population is the most hopeful movement that exists for the planet.”

Cambrian R&D has also received $360,000 for an Indigenous Post-secondary Transition Program. In partnership with local First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations, Cambrian will develop a seven-week pilot program designed to help Indigenous learners as they transition to post-secondary education.

“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to collaborate with our Indigenous communities and urban community organizations to create and implement a multi-week, multi-faceted wholistic transition program for Indigenous learners as they enter post-secondary studies and continue their educational journey,” said Bradie Granger, Project Lead and Chair of General Studies at Cambrian College. 

“The goals of the program are to develop the confidence and capacity of Indigenous learners by encouraging a process of identifying their personal strengths, abilities and skills while fostering relationships amongst each other and with community.”

“Both of these projects are significant and important for Cambrian College and the community,” said Mike Commito, Director of Cambrian R&D. 

“These projects will allow our teams here to innovate, create and find the solutions that will benefit so many people far outside the walls of our school.  These are great projects and we’re very grateful for the funding and the endorsement of NSERC, CCI and CCSIF to take them on.”

With these latest projects, Cambrian R&D is widening the scope of its applied research partnerships with industry. With its Centre for Smart Mining, Cambrian R&D is a nationally recognized Technology Access Centre for the mining industry. It also has partnerships in the fields of commercial agri-food, manufacturing, environmental rehabilitation, and workplace safety. All projects undertaken by Cambrian R&D include paid student researchers.

Cambrian has ranked among Canada’s top 50 research colleges for the past eight years in a row.

To learn more about Cambrian R&D, visit