Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium and Partnership Fund


The Council of the Great Lakes Region released its report, Great Lakes, Great Minds: Setting the Stage for Higher Education, Business, and Government Collaboration in the Great Lakes to Drive Talent Development, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which was funded by the United States Mission in Canada, on June 18, 2020.

The report, co-authored with John Austin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center and Senior Non-Resident Fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Brookings Institution, highlighted the strength of the region’s world-class teaching and research institutions and the role they can, and must play, in strengthening the region’s competitiveness and sustainability.

The launch of the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium in October 2020, administered by CGLR and co-founded with the University of Toronto and the University of Illinois System, provides a forum for creating and funding more regular, impactful, cross-border collaborations amongst Great Lakes higher education institutions, first and foremost, and then between these institutions, companies and government in order to find solutions to the most pressing socio-economic and environmental pressures facing the region.

The University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin System, Queen’s University, and McGill University joined the Consortium in 2021, serving as founding members alongside the University of Toronto and the University of Illinois System. The Consortium may further expand its membership upon finalizing a governance document and completing a strategic plan later in 2021.

Partnership Fund and Grant Pilot

The Consortium, with funding from the United States Mission in Canada to CGLR, is piloting a dedicated bi-national Great Lakes Higher Education Partnership Fund and Grant in 2021-22 to facilitate the creation of binational partnerships and programs between higher education institutions (HEIs), government, and businesses in the region.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada in 2022, the first Call for Proposals from the Consortium is seeking proposals that support the formation of new collaborations, or grow existing ones, that respond to the protection and sustainable use of water in the bi-national Great Lakes watershed or the broader bi-national Great Lakes mega-region.

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