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Research Partnerships & Innovation

RRC students help Manitoba businesses grow with digital technology

May 23, 2013

As more Manitoba businesses look for technology solutions to common problems, Red River College (RRC)  students are helping turn several companies’ digital dreams into a productive reality.
Twelve students along with RRC instructors and researchers recently teamed up to help Manitoba construction and manufacturing businesses assess how they can implement digital technology to improve their productivity. The student teams spent about five days working directly with each firm’s staff and within their facilities.
“When students focus on a task that they are excited about and proud of, they can bring unique solutions to problems,” said Nirdosh Ganske, Lead Instructor, RRC Technology Management.  “They can ask questions others either haven’t thought or don’t feel appropriate, leading to unexpected revelations.”
While still in the early stages of implementation, many of the firms are already seeing the benefits of the students’ work.
“We intend on implementing their technology recommendation in the near future.” said Franklin Hodgson, Manager of Manufacturing Services, Melet Plastics Inc. “The RRC students were very resourceful and effectively interacted with our employees to assess our needs.”
The recommended technologies vary from hardware solutions such as robotics with cutting edge visioning systems, to software solutions to aid in client management and retention.
“Their service gave us the information needed to make an important and timely decision,” said Malcolm Kirkland, Vice President and General Manager, Dixon Group Canada Limited, who is considering the implementation new robotics in their Winnipeg facility.
Several of the reports also explored the potentials of a rapidly growing interface for businesses – mobile applications. One team examined how an architectural firm, Number TEN, can use mobile devices to streamline its blueprint annotation process through cloud-based storage and sharing.
“The results will help our firm make informed decisions as we move forward in the new digital work environment,” said Greg Hasiuk, Principal, Number TEN Architectural Group.
The impressive outcomes are nothing new or surprising from RRC students.
“The students produced relevant and meaningful results for industry within three months – the time it takes most employees to get oriented to a workplace,” said Ganske.
The partnerships are part of RRC’s Digital Technology Advisory Support Service, an initiative that has received financial support through the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP). Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, DTAPP is a component of the Government of Canada’s overall strategy to boost the productivity of SMEs and improve Canada’s digital economy.
For more information, please contact:
Brent Wennekes
Technology Transfer & Communications Manager, Applied Research & Commercialization
(204) 631-3323