Student-led applied research efforts on display at second annual showcase

Applied Research & Innovation Day, 2018An online divorce agency, an alternator-driven electric bicycle, a study on lullaby therapy for infants, and a social media assessment for the Winnipeg Police Service — just a small sample of the student-led research projects that’ll be on display today at Red River College’s Applied Research & Innovation Day.

Now in its second year, the event welcomes close to 200 participants from the College — as well as partners from business and industry — to learn about RRC’s many ongoing research initiatives, as well as students’ experiences and successes in applying their work in a real-world environment.

“We started our applied research initiatives a little more than a decade ago, and today we’re leading the way in applied research here in Manitoba, and across Western Canada,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“More and more, the idea of teaching and learning is moving away from students sitting in desks and taking notes, and towards hands-on, collaborative projects. Applied Research & Innovation Day strongly showcases the success of that approach to learning.”

Today’s event will feature an industry luncheon with a keynote from Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer Industries, who was recently named Canada’s top CEO of the year by the Financial Post. The event will also feature a quick-pitch student competition — similar to TV’s Dragon’s Den — where the top four teams from the morning’s student showcase will explain how their research created a sustainable solution to a real problem.

While today marks an important milestone for student-led research at RRC, it’s also an important day for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada — one of the many federal partners who support RRC’s applied research initiatives — as they announce their 10,000th Engage Grant in support of colleges and universities across Canada.

At RRC, these grants have helped students and grads develop new products, especially in the College’s culinary research program.

“There are some amazing products being made in Manitoba that start with locally sourced ingredients and turn into something elevated,” says Bert van den Berg, Director, Colleges, Commercialization, and Portfolio Planning Division.

“We’re proud to announce here at Red River College that NSERC has been able to provide more than 10,000 Engage Grants — up to $25,000 per project — to colleges and universities across the country. It’s research like this that is pushing the country forward and adding value to our already rich resources,”

Applied Research & Innovation Day has doubled in size this year, with the addition of external exhibitor booths including Bioscience Association Manitoba, Cypher Environmental, New Media Manitoba, North Forge Technology Exchange, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and many others.

All of today’s activities are hosted at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, with the student showcase beginning at 9:00am in the mall level, and the keynote and quick pitch competition taking place in the Voyageur Dining Room at 11:30am.