Applied Research

RRC partners with Cypher Environmental on new eco-friendly product launch

June 19, 2017

Product launch and ribbon-cutting, Cypher Environmental

Cypher Environmental and Red River College are marking the launch of a new product line developed by Cypher in collaboration with RRC students.

Cypher’s new Dust Stop Municipal Blend product is designed as a non-corrosive and environmentally friendly alternative to road salts such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, offering superior road dust control results.

“Cypher’s new product is a perfect example of how Red River College partners with industry to foster innovation right here in Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “It’s a real success story, as students and faculty worked on this project, our facilities were used, and both the Cypher president and company staff are College graduates.”

The product was launched today at an event attended by provincial Minister of Sustainable Development Cathy Cox, along with a delegation of political representatives from the Belarusian province of Mogilev, who’ve shown interest in the product.

Earlier in the day, RRC took the delegation on a tour of the campus facilities used to develop the Dust Stop Municipal Blend.

“We have been working hard on getting this new product up and running, and we’re very excited to be able to officially launch,” says Todd Burns, president of Cypher Environmental. “This product will create new jobs and revenue for the province of Manitoba and we have a growing international market to cater to.”

Cypher Environmental is a Winnipeg-based company that engineers environmentally friendly, high-quality dust control, soil stabilization, and water remediation solutions and now exports to over 30 countries.

Work on the new product was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

Gene Haas Foundation donates $500,000 to new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

June 1, 2017

Haas Foundation donationThe Gene Haas Foundation has made a $500,000 donation to Red River College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), scheduled to open next year at the Notre Dame Campus.

The announcement was made at the RBC Convention Centre during the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, taking place in Winnipeg until June 3.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation and their continued support of our College,” said RRC president Paul Vogt. “Not only will our Skilled Trades and Technology Centre expand our applied learning environment, it will foster a collaborative approach within our program areas that will have a positive impact on our pre-employment training, applied research projects, and overall student success. This gift from HAAS allows us to provide new and improved opportunities for our students and for that we are extremely grateful.”

With a footprint of approximately 100,000 square feet, the STTC will house new laboratory and shop space and classrooms for up to 1,000 students each year in high-demand trades and technologies. The building will be home to leading applied research, technology and innovation in the fields of robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing and more.

When operational, the STTC will boost RRC’s skilled trades training capacity by more than 30 per cent.

“Red River College has a reputation for producing high-quality and high-skilled students who turn into respected members of the workforce,” said Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator for the Gene Haas Foundation. “We are thrilled to be a part of this state-of-the-art facility and to watch as it continues to provide RRC with the momentum it needs to continue to develop and grow to ensure student success.”

The Gene Haas Foundation also presented RRC with a $30,000 (USD) gift for the Gene Haas Awards at RRC and a $60,000 (USD) gift to Skills Canada for the Skills Canada Financial Sponsorship that awards medalists in CNC Machining and Precision Metal and Manufacturing.

Shown above, from left: Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator, Gene Haas Foundation; Joanne Haas, representative, Gene Haas Foundation; Paul Krainer, President, Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd.; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College.

Business instructor’s social innovation work leads to prestigious CICan recognition

May 2, 2017

Tatjana Brkic, CICan Awards of Excellence 2017A Red River College instructor’s commitment to classroom innovation has earned her a prestigious honour from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

Tatjana Brkic (shown above, second from left), an instructor for RRC’s Business programs, received a silver CICan Award of Excellence last night in the category of Leadership Excellence for Faculty. Held in Ottawa, the CICan ceremony recognizes best practices from post-secondary institutions across the country.

“The recipients of our awards of excellence embody the best that colleges and institutes have to offer in a variety of sectors and disciplines,” says CiCan President Denis Amyot. “They are examples of innovation and dedication that make our institutions proud and contribute to the vibrant and welcoming culture found on campuses across Canada.”

In a news release showcasing all 24 recipients, CICan described Brkic as “a leading force in the design of innovative, experience-based learning methods, [who draws] on applied research, business research and social innovation, as well as curriculum development.”

In recent years, Brkic has helped raise the profile of RRC’s Business Administration and International Business programs, through an annual showcase of social innovation-related research work conducted in partnership with local businesses and organizations.

She’ll be sharing details of the ongoing initiative — and other ideas for implementing social innovation in business — at this year’s TEDxWinnipeg conference, taking place Tue., June 6, at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

College awarded nearly $2 million in funding for industry and university partnerships

May 2, 2017

Red River College has received nearly $2 million in federal funding for applied research in aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology, including a milestone for RRC in the form of its first College-University partnership grant.

“This is great news not only for the College but for aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “We are placing a strong emphasis on collaboration, bridging a critical gap between colleges, industry and universities by working directly with the University of Manitoba.”

Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced the grants during an industry breakfast at the Colleges and Institutes Canada Conference in Ottawa.

“I’m so pleased that the government of Canada was involved in such a valuable funding opportunity,” says Duncan. “Uniting Red River College with these sustainable industries will allow for brilliant minds to work towards a bright future for Canada; complete with a vibrant middle class, quality jobs and an innovative economy.”

Both grants were awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The first, worth $113,000, is for a partnership with the University of Manitoba to develop a cost-effective thermally broken concrete balcony. This marks the first time RRC has received one of NSERC’s College-University Idea to Innovation Grants, signalling an ongoing commitment to collaborate with other post-secondary institutions. Read More →

College opens new project space in Innovation Alley

April 7, 2017

Red River College’s ACE Project Space and North Forge Technology Exchange today celebrated the grand opening of their new Innovation Alley locations, by officially launching several new initiatives aimed at helping startup businesses innovate and grow.

In RRC’s ACE Project Space — part of the College’s thriving Exchange District Campus — Business Information Technology and Business Technology Management students work with entrepreneurs-in-residence on new technologies, product development, and pushing innovation to the edge.

The new space has allowed the program to grow rapidly and more than double its partnerships — to 16 successful projects to date. As well, the space allows students to work closely with non-profit organizations to provide IT solutions for them and the community.

“This is about students working hand-in-hand with private industry on real-world projects in real time,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “It provides our students with leading-edge, hands-on training and experience, while providing startups with much-needed technical support. This kind of partnership is essential to business growth and job creation in our province.”

Vogt says RRC is thrilled to partner with North Forge Technology Exchange and, together, anchor Winnipeg’s growing Innovation Alley.

“We are constantly working to support innovation on the ground floor and create critical mass for Manitoba’s startup community,” says North Forge President Jeff Ryzner. “The development of our new building at 321 McDermot advances our goals and provides entrepreneurs with a place to work together. It’s about fostering innovation, creating jobs and driving economic growth.” Read More →

Inaugural applied research showcase celebrates student achievements and partnerships

April 6, 2017

Today, Red River College welcomed more than 600 visitors to the first-ever Applied Research & Innovation Day, which celebrated our students’ achievements in applied research and innovation, while also recognizing RRC’s innovative research partnerships.

As part of the event, the College hosted a Student Quick-Pitch Competition where the top four student research projects — as selected by a group of 26 judges at a showcase held earlier in the day — had an opportunity to present their projects to some 200 guests from the College and industry.

“The work demonstrated by our students this year is remarkable, and highlights just how relevant applied learning and research is to preparing our graduates for careers here in Manitoba,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “Leveraging our in-house expertise not only exposes our students to leading-edge research, but it also helps businesses innovate to create new jobs and career opportunities for our students.”

The students were judged by a panel of experts: Martin Cash (business reporter, Winnipeg Free Press), Jeff Ryzner (president, North Forge), Freyja Arnason (manager of funding programs, Research Manitoba) and Tracey Maconachie (president, Life Sciences Association of Manitoba).

This year’s winners are:

Read More →

Out of the brew: RRC unveils new malt miso made from beer-brewing byproduct

March 31, 2017

RRC Chef Joel Lamoureux

Red River College partnered with two local microbreweries today to unveil a new culinary invention — miso made from spent grain — at an event showcasing the College’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program, and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.

Partners from the province, federal government and industry were among the special guests at today’s miso soup tasting at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.

“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

RRC teamed up with Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing to test methods for using spent grains from the beer-brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”

Since 2014, RRC has been ramping up its culinary research through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments. That growth has led to many new innovations with local producers.

“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods. This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.” Read More →

Lawson Foundation honours RRC’s Science of Early Child Development project

March 9, 2017

Early Child Education, Manitoba

Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development (SECD) project has received an award of honour from the Lawson Foundation for Innovation in Early Child Development.

The award recognizes the unique approach RRC has taken in creating multimedia “living textbooks” and online courses to ensure practitioners have the most current information at their fingertips so they can be at the forefront of early childhood education.

The award from the Lawson Foundation — a longtime supporter of SECD — will support necessary enhancements to the online resources and provide the College’s research team with important financial resources to undertake additional research.

“Not only will the financial gift support enhancing SECD, but we will use it to further promote awareness of the program, making it accessible to more practitioners and therefore to more families,” says Jan Sanderson, RRC research chair, Health Sciences and Community Services.

One of the many functions of SECD is to help train new childcare assistants in Manitoba. Currently, new childcare assistants are required to complete 40 hours of training in order to support the learning environment for young children. Through support from the Lawson Foundation, RRC will be able to take a closer look at how this training benefits new practitioners.

“We know the course is very successful and well-received by those practicing in the field — we hear many positive stories all the time,” says Sanderson. “This new funding will help us move beyond anecdotal evidence, to rigorous measurement of the impact of the training on the knowledge, attitudes and practice of childcare assistants. What we learn will help us to improve the existing resources and courses, and add to our repetorie.”

Since 2011, RRC has been a pioneer in developing leading research focused on early child development that has had an important impact across Canada, and in many international communities. Financial support for this initiative has relied on private and public funding from various organizations including the World Bank, the Winnipeg Foundation, the Aga Khan Development Network in Geneva, and the Lawson Foundation.

The Lawson Foundation is a national family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the wellbeing of children and youth and their development as active and engaged members of society.

The Science of Early Child Development is a knowledge translation and mobilization initiative with a global perspective that introduces and synthesizes transdisciplinary research underscoring the importance of the early years.

Extreme weather testing facility coming to RRC

November 25, 2016

MotiveLab press announcement, November 2016

Red River College has announced the next steps in the construction of MotiveLab, a highly specialized extreme weather testing facility that will be the first of its kind in Western Canada.

MotiveLab is a 3,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility – essentially a giant heater or freezer – that will provide opportunities for industry testing on heavy vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including transit and highway buses. Already, companies have identified more than 65 full days of demand for MotiveLab’s research and development services.

“Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy, and this research and testing facility is a direct result of our close ties with manufacturers, as well as our efforts to meet current and future training and technology needs,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“It’s an approach we are taking across all sectors to help local industry innovate, create jobs of the future and be more competitive in the global marketplace.”

A funding announcement made today provides a total of $6 million for the construction of MotiveLab, a climatic chamber that allows for year-round testing to be conducted at extreme temperatures and under full loads using a 1,000 horsepower, three-axle dynamometer. The program will also train students in this highly specialized and emerging program area.

“The heavy vehicle sector is faced with increasingly stringent environmental demands, which has its players pushing the envelope in terms of new design and technology implementation,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

“This all gives way to ever greater research and testing needs. MotiveLab will be a unique Western Canadian facility that will help give Manitoba firms a competitive edge.” Read More →

Business students pitch research projects at national entrepreneurship and innovation forum

November 7, 2016

Colleges and Institutes Canada logo Three Red River College business students are in Toronto today to showcase and pitch projects at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Applied Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, taking place at Seneca College Nov. 7 and 8.

RRC’s Dinae Robinson, Fatima Feliciano and David Schlaikjar are among 24 students from 12 Canadian colleges attending the forum, in which participants showcase team projects and pitch socially innovative ideas to a panel of judges comprised of MPs and influential leaders in innovation.

All three of the RRC projects resulted from an ongoing applied research initiative allowing students to collaborate with local businesses in exploring the emerging field of social innovation. The goal of the partnerships is to enhance students’ creativity while better positioning them to become innovators in their own careers.

Working with National Leasing, Robinson’s team sought to improve access to education about Canada’s Indigenous communities by offering Indigenous Immersion tours to students, including a walking tour of The Forks and a seven-day cultural trip for youth to Swan Lake First Nation.

Feliciano’s team, also in partnership with National Leasing, researched socially innovative businesses around the globe, with the goal of sharing best practices in social entrepreneurship knowledge — and the students’ own globally inspired business ideas — to the local community and SMEs in Winnipeg.

Schlaikjar’s team worked with Boreal Wildcraft and Cypher Environmental, both of whom wished to further commercialize their products in international markets. With further support from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, students profiled specific countries the companies thought were well-suited for expansion. Read More →

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