Esri Canada, the leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) solutions, launched its Centres of Higher Education Excellence initiative in 2014. Through this program, Esri Canada aims to encourage innovation in GIS research and promote teaching excellence in spatial data management and analysis in higher education institutions across Canada. There are Centres of Excellence at participating universities and colleges across Canada. Each institution nominates their most exceptional students to represent their school as Student Associates in the ECCE program. Student Associates gain access to technical expertise, resources, and software provided by Esri Canada, as well as free admission to Esri Canada user conferences. Each Centre of Excellence also nominates students from their programs to participate in an annual App Challenge, a one-week coding competition that seeks to promote innovation and creativity using GIS technologies at each Centre.
The GIS Centres of Excellence initiative is aimed at encouraging innovation in GIS research and promoting teaching excellence in spatial data management and analysis in higher education across Canada.