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Research Partnerships & Innovation

Red River College awarded $300,000 in Mitacs research grants; fastest growing college in Canada 2019-20

November 5, 2020

Red River College is now one of the fastest growing research colleges in Canada thanks to two new grants totaling $300,000 awarded by Mitacs earlier last month.

“Red River College is proud to be a leading Canadian institution in applied research,” said Fred Meier, RRC President and CEO. “We continue to expand our research efforts into new and emerging areas of technology – such as AI and machine learning – and through collaboration with businesses across Manitoba and our ACE Project Space.”

“These partnerships with Mitacs help support more opportunities for our students to use their hands on training and skills to think creatively for their clients, to problem solve and implement innovative solutions, and drive industry forward.”

Mitacs fosters growth and innovation opportunities for companies and communities, while supporting applied learning for students across all industry sectors and academic disciplines – making Canadian colleges and polytechnics a natural fit their support.

Red River College is now one of the fastest growing colleges for Mitacs in Canada, and these two initiatives alone will engage 17 RRC student interns in innovative industry research.

The first Mitacs grant – one of the largest – awarded to any college in Canada – is an $180,000 partnership with RRC and IT operations optimization startup, Optimiz. With the support of Mitacs, 12 students from the Business Information Technology (BIT) program will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning explore new approaches and technology applications to monitor the health of IT systems. This important work will allow for quicker and more effective implementations of AIOps systems, and will result in cost savings to Canadian businesses.

“In today’s ever-changing world, many businesses must quickly adapt to our new norm and over the last six months, digital accessibility has quickly become an essential need in order for them to effectively sustain their business offering,” said Tom McIlwham, Chief Strategy Officer, Optimiz.

“We identified Red River College as an excellent source of enthusiastic and highly qualified students to help us build out our solution for AIOps monitoring and management needs, and Mitacs has provided guidance and expertise to assist us through the funding process. We are very pleased to be collaborating with Mitacs and RRC on this exciting initiative, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to make this win-win-win scenario a reality.”

The second is a $120K joint partnership with RRC, the University of Manitoba (UM) and the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF). With support from the Mitacs Accelerate internship, five students from RRC’s Applied Computer Education (ACE) Department will use their skills to gather data from the Canadian Arctic to create a user-friendly, free, centralized database that will serve governments, universities, Indigenous communities and researchers from around the world, for the first time.

“RRC’s ACE Project space has established itself as a key player in Winnipeg’s start-up community, and with their cross institutional research relationships with the University of Manitoba and others, non-academic partners can receive end-to-end support for their product development with funding from Mitacs,” said Brent Wennekes, Director, Business Development, Mitacs Canada.

“Red River College has been a trailblazer for applied research at the college level and remains a national leader. Mitacs is so pleased to be able to support their researchers, students, and community partners with our Accelerate program.”

Manitoba has been the fastest growing province for Mitacs over the last two years, with over 420 internship units applied for last year alone, equaling over $6 million in research awards to Manitoba institutions.