Applied Research

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 →

RRC ranked top Prairie research college

November 3, 2016

Red River College is #1 on the Prairies in research, according to the latest Top 50 ranking of Canadian research colleges.

It’s not the first time RRC has been recognized as a leading college research institution, having ranked previously in Research Infosources’s top ten for three years running, and having earlier this year received the prestigious Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Governor General of Canada.

“We definitely appreciate the acknowledgement of our efforts, but the true value of this recognition is realized when we further spread the word that Red River College serves as a critical partner in innovation for so many organizations,” says Paul Vogt, RRC’s president and CEO.

“As we continue to make substantial investments in applied research and learning resources, we see increasing interest from industry partners for us to help them solve problems, innovate, and produce graduates with the advanced technology training needed for today’s globally-competitive environment.”

The College’s swath of research resources continued to expand this year when RRC received $5.9-million in federal funding – the largest influx of research dollars in the College’s history – from NSERC and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This new investment allowed the College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.

“It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come in such a short period of time, and to witness the positive impact our work has had on so many projects throughout our province,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

Read More →

College goes whole hog on partnership with Manitoba Pork

October 12, 2016

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Always on the cutting edge of culinary innovation, Red River College students are learning how best to “put it in pork.”

Last week, the College’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI) played host to a product information showcase and meat-cutting demonstration by Manitoba Pork — the latest result of a longstanding partnership between the two organizations.

Susan Riese, manager of public relations and consumer marketing programs at Manitoba Pork, estimates the partnership is close to 20 years old, dating back to the first-ever Manitoba Pork Cook-off, a now annual event that allows RRC’s Culinary Arts students to show off their pork prowess in the kitchen.

“We want to encourage these young aspiring chefs to think of pork as the top choice protein [with] all the versatility and nutritional benefits that come with that,” says Riese. “Some day they’ll be in a position to influence or plan menus or maybe even have their own restaurants, so we’re just reminding them that it’s not always about beef and chicken — that pork has a place at the table.”

In addition to the cook-off, cutting demos and other workshops, Manitoba Pork has on-site recognition at PGI in the form of the Manitoba Pork Apprenticeship Lab.

Culinary arts instructor Cameron Tait (shown above, at right) works in the lab with tomorrow’s top chefs to change the public’s perception of pork.

“In North America, we tend to only look at primary cuts like tenderloin, pork loin and chops, [but] there are so many other really interesting cuts you can utilize on the pig,” Tait says while cooking up pork jowl, a portion that’s especially popular in Japan.

“On a chicken, you’ve got legs, thighs and breasts, but on a hog, you’ve got everything from snout to tail. You can do moist cooking, dry cooking, curing, smoking, air drying, making hams, making pancetta, making sausages — it’s endless, really. I think it’s more versatile than beef, chicken, veal, lamb, everything. And it’s more affordable, too.” Read More →

College awarded $5.9 million in funding to bolster research in heavy vehicles and culinary innovation

September 7, 2016

Ray Hoemsen, Guy Levesque, Bettina Hamelin, MaryAnn Mihychuk, Paul Vogt, Karen McDonald, Mark Hoddenbagh

Red River College has received the largest influx of research funding since its applied research enterprise was first founded in 2004. The new $5.9-million investment will allow the College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.

“This is a red-letter day for the College, our partners, and for Manitoba’s innovation outlook in general,” says Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “These national awards acknowledge not only industry needs, but the ability of the College to deliver innovation services, and Manitoba as a place where leading-edge products are developed.”

The Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (on behalf of the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science) announced today that RRC will receive $3.6 million for advanced and sustainable vehicle technology research and $2.3 million for culinary innovation.

“These new funds will be transformational for our research programs in the areas of vehicle technology and culinary innovation,” says Vogt. “Manitoba is already a major player in the world’s heavy vehicle sector, while we are undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of commercializing new food products. In both cases, these funds will help us work with producers to develop and test innovations.”

The awards have already sparked the establishment of a new Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) that will house MotiveLab, a 3,000-square foot research facility focused on supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector. MotiveLab will feature a 1,000 HP engine dynamometer test cell and a drive-in climatic chamber (large enough to fit a bus, truck or farm vehicle) with an integrated 1,000 HP chassis dynamometer. Read More →

New SSHRC funding supports social innovation research into the impacts of positive learning environments

June 20, 2016

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New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.

The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.

“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”

While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.

The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →

RRC supports WCIO to catalyze industry-academic partnerships across Western Canada

April 5, 2016

brent-wennekesRed River College has joined forces with the Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) consortium as part of an effort to connect Western Canadian industry needs with the array of research and innovation resources that exist in WCIO’s nearly 40-member consortium of universities, colleges and polytechnics across the West.

The WCIO is a Western Economic Diversification (WD) Canada-funded pilot project that seeks to enhance collaboration between academic research institutions, and enhance access to these institutions by prospective industry partners. The overall goal is improved engagement between industry and academia, in order to address industry-driven needs and challenges.

“Increasing R&D investment by Canadian business enterprises is definitely an opportunity for Western Canada,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C), and WCIO steering committee member. “The WCIO initiative is working to be part of the solution by increasing the research and innovation-related engagement between industry and the post-secondary sector.”

RRC will support the WCIO with boots on the ground. Brent Wennekes, Research Manager with AR&C, has been seconded part-time — with direct financial support from WCIO — to perform as a business development specialist working with post-secondary institutions in Manitoba. Brent’s is one of eight such positions being created across the West.

“Brent is not only connected to Manitoba’s business community, he is also recognized by many local researchers via his experience with both RRC and Innovate Manitoba, and has developed an excellent understanding of Canada’s innovation ecosystem,” says Hoemsen.

WCIO currently has funding available for energy-related projects that include more than one institutional research partner. Read More →

Research partnership with Manitoba Hydro nets national innovation award

February 16, 2016

NSERC Award CeremonyA research partnership with Manitoba Hydro focusing on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has earned Red River College the top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Presented today at a ceremony at the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa, NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between colleges and industry partners in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships efforts,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba, and providing our graduates with the skills that industry requires.”

Dating back more than a decade, the partnership between RRC and Hydro includes collaboration on such high-profile projects as the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and RRC will live on in our downtown office tower and zero-emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” says Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s vice-president of Customer Care and Energy Conservation.

“These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like RRC.”

Read More →

Culinary students go hog wild at annual Manitoba Pork cook-off

December 15, 2015

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Red River College culinary students went whole hog on a recent kitchen competition that doubled as a mouthwatering showcase for locally sourced products from Manitoba Pork.

Last Friday at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, students from RRC’s Culinary Arts program took part in the 2015 Manitoba Pork Cook-off, a reality TV-style showdown in which they were tasked with creating dishes suitable for an upscale restaurant.

The annual event builds on the longstanding partnership between RRC and Manitoba Pork, and allows both partners to introduce new recipes for market, while showcasing innovative applied uses for Manitoba pork.

As part of the competition, students were asked to prepare an appetizer and an entrée, then present their dishes to a panel of judges consisting of Manitoba Pork reps, local chefs and RRC faculty.

The winning dishes are listed below: Read More →

RRC leads nation’s colleges in research partnership growth, ranks among Top 10 research colleges for third consecutive year

October 22, 2015

CARSI GLOBE and MAIL

Red River College ranks first among its Canadian contemporaries in the category of research partnership growth, and eighth overall on a new list of the nation’s Top 50 research colleges.

Announced today, the findings mark the third year in a row that RRC has placed in the Top 10 of the annual ranking, first released by Research Infosource in 2013.

Applied Research & Commercialization at the College continues to create and deliver more applied research and innovation resources for our partners and the communities we serve,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Next to workforce-ready graduates, applied research offerings are key to our business community. They have led to many innovations in products, production methods and services delivered by Manitoba enterprises.”

Along with leading the nation in partnership growth (a new category), RRC increased its ranking in total number of research partnerships from twelfth to sixth, and total number of research projects from fifteenth to eleventh.

Read More →

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