Applied Research

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 →

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 →

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