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Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

Awards

Red River College and Manitoba Hydro research partnership wins prestigious national innovation award

February 17, 2016

Top row: Rob Spewak, RRC BETAC Manager; Lloyd Kuczek, VP with Manitoba Hydro; Jose Delos Reyes, RRC Research Manager; Bottom row: Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; Ray Hoemsen, RRC Research director; His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Neil Cooke, Dean, Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research, RRC; Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

Top row: Rob Spewak, RRC BETAC Manager; Lloyd Kuczek, VP with Manitoba Hydro; Jose Delos Reyes, RRC Research Manager. Bottom row: Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; Ray Hoemsen, RRC Research Director; David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Neil Cooke, Dean, Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research, RRC; Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

WINNIPEG, MB: A research partnership between Red River College (RRC) and Manitoba Hydro that focuses on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has received Canada’s top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) at a ceremony held at the Governor General of Canada’s residence in Ottawa.
NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between Canadian colleges and industry partners in the 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,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “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.”
The partners have now spent more than a decade conducting applied research in sustainable building infrastructure and transportation, and there is plenty to show for it.
Two major projects associated with the collaborative research by Red River College and Manitoba Hydro include the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place, which has added an iconic image to energy efficiency on Winnipeg’s skyline, and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.
The ongoing four-year demonstration of the electric buses on the streets of Winnipeg is in partnership with the Winnipeg Transit, the Province of Manitoba, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and New Flyer Industries, the industry-leading Winnipeg-based manufacturer of transit buses in North America.
“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and Red River College will live on in our downtown office tower and zero emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” said 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 Red River College.”
The partnership was vital in validating the performance of innovative technologies showcased within Manitoba Hydro Place, resulting in the most energy efficient office tower in North America and the first LEED Platinum commercial building in Canada. Manitoba Hydro Place saves more than 70 per cent of the energy used in a typical office building while providing the highest quality of space for its occupants.
Red River College and Manitoba Hydro moved forward from this foundation into a number of ground-breaking initiatives including the formation of an international consortium that is developing, testing, and demonstrating an all-electric battery transit bus and high-capacity charging system — the first of its size in Canada.
“We now have a total of four buses in daily service in Winnipeg and New Flyer has already accepted orders for international sales,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC. “Each in-service bus leads to a reduction of 160 tonnes of green house gases each year, as well as significant fuel savings.”
Manitoba Hydro’s partnership with the College has also been instrumental in the establishment the new NSERC-funded Building Envelope Technology Access Centre.
“Our partnerships with Red River College allows for sustainable thinking to become entrenched in the next generation of industry leaders,” said Dale Friesen, Industrial and Commercial Solutions Division Manager with Manitoba Hydro. “Students graduating from the College will bring an enhanced level of knowledge and understanding in energy efficiency to their future careers, benefiting our province for decades to come.”
The Synergy award grants Red River College up to $100,000 in funding for applied research tools and instruments and Manitoba Hydro will receive a $20,000 voucher towards any future NSERC-funded applied research project.
Earlier this year, Red River College was ranked as the top college in Canada in research partnership growth, and as a top 10 research college overall for the third consecutive year by Research Infosource. The college was also ranked as one of Canada’s greenest employers for the fifth year in a row.
Manitoba Hydro is the leading proponent of energy efficiency in Manitoba through its Power Smart demand-side management programs, which allows the Crown corporation to encourage and support the sustainable and efficient use of energy by the province’s residential, commercial and industrial consumers.
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Additional Quotes:
“Polytechnics Canada heartily congratulates the Applied Research team at Red River on this well-deserved NSERC award,” said Nobina Robinson, CEO, Polytechnics Canada. “Red River’s Applied Research team has led the way in demonstrating that colleges and polytechnics have sophisticated research and development capabilities that lead to win-win outcomes for industry, for students and for federally-funded research through agencies such as NSERC.”
“The tremendous achievements of Red River College and its partners demonstrate the strength and potential of the applied research enterprise in colleges and institutes across the country”, said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada.  “Federal government investments in applied research are closing Canada’s innovation gap and benefiting students, industry and communities in every province and territory.”
NSERC Award Video:

Photos from the Ceremony:

Red River College leads nation in research partnership growth and ranks as a Top 10 Research College for third consecutive year

October 22, 2015

WINNIPEG, MB – Red River College (RRC) has been recognized as Canada’s top research college in partnership growth for 2014, as well as 8th overall by Research Infosource in their annual Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges 2015 list.
The College has placed in the top 10 overall every year since Research Infosource first published its Top 50 list in 2013.
2015 Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges“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,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “Next to workforce-ready graduates, applied research offerings are key to our business community. It has 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 partnerships from 12th to 6th and total number of projects from 15th to 11th.
The only sub-category in which the College’s ranking lowered was in research intensity, which can actually be looked at as a good thing. Research intensity is calculated based on total research income and the number of researchers engaged.
“While our research income remained relatively stable in 2014, we engaged more researchers in our projects,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization at Red River College. “An increase in researchers engaged translates to a net benefit towards curriculum development and applied student learning and contributes to the long term growth of our research capacity.”
Overall, Canadian college research income growth took a sharp decline in 2014, going from over 30 per cent growth in 2012 and 2013 to only 4.7 per cent in 2014.
“Our relative research income stability in 2014 is a testament to our role and integration into Manitoba’s business and innovation ecosystems,” said Vogt. “Our initiatives are predominantly tied to solving problems for businesses, and helping them innovate. That also happens to be what the federal funders are looking for from colleges – practical and meaningful research tied to a business case.”
RRC’s research income in 2014 was tied to focus areas, including aerospace and manufacturing; sustainable transportation, like the Zero Emissions Transit Bus Project; and social innovation, like the Science of Early Child Development.

RRC earns national award for innovation in applied research

May 27, 2015

Red River College earned a bronze award for Innovation in Applied Research this week, during the closing gala of College and Institute Canada’s (CICan) annual conference in Winnipeg.
The award celebrates the College’s dynamic applied research partnership with Manitoba Hydro.
“We are pleased to be recognized for the work we have done with Manitoba Hydro, one of our most important research partners and graduate employers,” said David Rew, interim president and CEO of RRC. “What an excellent opportunity to celebrate our research achievements in sustainable technology and design.”
The College’s research collaboration with Manitoba Hydro has focused primarily on green building design and technology, and on the electrification of vehicles. Two of its most notable projects include Manitoba Hydro’s award-winning energy efficient downtown office tower and more recently, the all-electric transit bus.
“Our partnership with RRC has fostered an environment for creative integration on leading-edge technology that contributes to a more sustainable future,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “We view our relationship with the College as an important driver for long-term change that will promote continued innovation and advancement of energy efficiency in Manitoba.”
Manitoba Hydro is now a leading proponent and private sector funder for RRC’s Centre for Building Envelop Performance, for which the College was recently awarded $1.75 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Other notable projects the partnership has delivered include the parabolic solar trough project, air-leakage testing of over 20 commercial buildings in Manitoba, one of the largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fleet in Canada for demonstrations, testing and more.
Gold and Silver in the Innovation in Applied Research category went to colleges from Ontario: Centennial College for its Applied Research and Innovation Centre, and Algonquin College.
“Once again we were thrilled by the submissions we received for the CICan Awards of Excellence,” said Denise Amyot, CICan president and CEO. “Canada’s colleges and institutes never cease to amaze us with their innovative spirit and creativity and this year’s winners definitely embody the best that they have to offer.”
It’s the second time CICan has recognized RRC with a national award. In 2011, they honoured Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization, with their Gold Leadership Excellence award.
In the past year, Red River College’s applied research program has been recognized both nationally — with its second consecutive Top 10 research college ranking by Research Infosource — and internationally, with an International Award of Excellence for its commitment to social development from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics.

RRC Research Chair nominated for YMCA-YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award

April 17, 2015

She’s devoted years to the development of a global online resource that links early childhood educators with the latest in research and knowledge.
So it’s no surprise that Red River College’s Janet Jamieson — Research Chair for the School of Health Sciences and Community Services, and the driving force behind the College’s world-renowned Science of Early Child Development (SECD) research project — has been nominated for a 2015 Women of Distinction Award.
Jamieson (shown above, at centre) was nominated in the category of Community Activism and Social Enterprise — a perfect match, given she’s been the principal researcher and lead developer on a series of projects for RRC that are grounded in the advancement of social equity, and have in turn led to the advancement of economic and environmental priorities.
The most notable of these is SECD, a knowledge mobilization initiative designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the profound impact of the early years on lifelong health and well-being.
First developed as a tool to help share the emerging science about early brain development and its implications for practice across sectors, SECD has grown and evolved into three online living textbooks, as well as other educational resources. Updated regularly, it brings research and concepts to life with hundreds of readings, videos, links and interactive activities. There have been many versions and modules developed to support its use with a variety of audiences throughout the world.
Colleges and universities (in Canada and elsewhere) use SECD in pre-entry, diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs as content for online and off-line courses, while government and community organizations use it for parent education workshops, staff training and professional development. Students, instructors and parent groups in 27 countries around the world use SECD.
Through a partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, SECD is used extensively in East Africa and South Asia, reaching people in the most poverty-stricken parts of the world, and teaching them how to interact with their children to support healthy growth and development.
Jamieson herself has travelled extensively to isolated parts of Africa and Asia to deliver training modules and work with members of local communities to develop their skills at delivering SECD content. Her work has directly impacted hundreds of people in at least 22 countries, and has led to government advocacy that’s focused on investments in the early years as a way to improve economic, social and other outcomes.
And SECD represents only a fraction of Jamieson’s work. She has also led and overseen other projects in Bangladesh and Pakistan, has trained community-based workers in Sub-Saharan Africa to work with children impacted by HIV/AIDS, and has documented the leading-edge practices for health and early childhood education in Cuba, which have exceptionally high outcomes.
Jamieson has also contributed at the local level, serving on several advisory committees (among them Healthy Child Manitoba) related to early childhood development issues. She also led and managed an intervention known as the Abecedarian project, a structured, targeted approach that works with children in child care centres in Winnipeg’s lowest-income neighbourhoods, providing reading and other supports to support the successful entry of the children into the public school system.
Hosted by YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, this year’s Women of Distinction Awards Gala takes place May 6, at the RBC Convention Centre.

 

RRC earns global award for commitment to social development

October 31, 2014

Red River College’s commitment to social development was recognized today with an International Award of Excellence from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).
The bronze award, presented at the WFCP’s World Congress in Beijing, China, recognizes colleges and polytechnics from around the world for their commitment to community engagement, diversity and sustainability — with an emphasis on international campus collaboration, best practices and technologies, and advancing institutional diversity.
“This is another outstanding achievement for the College,” says David Rew, RRC’s interim President and CEO. “Sustainability, international collaboration and diversity are  key focus areas for the College. Our staff and students make substantial investments in these areas, so it is very satisfying to receive this type of recognition.”
The College’s award application focused on international applied research collaborations relating to the Zero Emissions Transit Bus, the Science of Early Child Development (pictured above), sustainable infrastructure, and clean water technologies.
Top 50 Coll_date_2014In 2013, RRC marked a decade of applied research, and in recent weeks was ranked one of the Top 10 Canadian Research Colleges for the second year in a row.
“From day one, we have been very engaged in sustainable infrastructure research in response to local industry demand and community needs,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “Social development is a key strategic heme for the College and related research initiatives have been advancing rapidly. We are also seeing the results of our relationship-building efforts with international partners.”

RRC climbs to sixth spot on list of Canada’s top research colleges

October 22, 2014

For the second year in a row, Red River College has ranked among the top Canadian research colleges and polytechnics, climbing to sixth place on the list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, released this month by Research Infosource Inc.

Top 50 Coll_date_2014The College posted $5.82 million in research income during the 2013 fiscal year, an increase over the previous year, when it ranked seventh with $4.37 million.

“Red River College has been a leader in applied research over the last decade, and we’ve seen a steady increase in research income each year,” says David Rew, Interim President at RRC. “Applied research is an integral part of our overall strategy — it contributes in a very productive way to our communities and the experience of our students.”

RRC remains best known for applied research capabilities relating to extreme climate and cold weather technologies and applications, but a number of other research thrusts are rapidly emerging.

“We have built our applied research enterprise in response to community needs, especially our partners in industry.” says Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Director of Applied Research & Commercialization. “With the support of both the federal and provincial governments we’ve been further developing capacity based upon our core capabilities within the schools and their respective faculty, staff and students.”

International collaboration emerged as an evolving theme over the year, with two efforts standing out: the Zero Emissions Transit Bus project — a partnership that includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) — and the Science of Early Child Development (SECD), developed with multiple partners and funders, including the Aga Khan Foundation, the World Bank, and others.

Earlier this year, a prototype electric bus developed in partnership with Mitsubishi, New Flyer Industries, the province and Manitoba Hydro successfully completed its field testing stage during one of the coldest winters on record.

SECD, meanwhile, continues to strengthen its reputation as a “living” online resource that helps educators, students and child care professionals better understand the impact of children’s early years on longterm development, often replacing expensive and unattainable textbooks in countries around the world.

Both projects give Hoemsen reason to be excited about the year ahead.

“In an increasingly connected world, there has never been more reason to collaborate on an international level. These are exciting projects that will not only benefit our local communities and students, but communities and learners the world over.”

RRC Ranked as a Top 10 Research College

October 25, 2013

Red River College has been ranked seventh out of 50 Canadian research colleges and polytechnics, having posted $4.37 million in research income during the 2012 fiscal year. The ranking is based on the inaugural Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges List, released Oct. 23 by Research Infosource Inc.
“This is excellent validation for the College,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO of RRC. “Colleges and polytechnics play a key role in research and innovation in our country. Today’s announcement demonstrates our growth and ever-increasing engagement with industry, while further establishing us as a top-performing Canadian college and polytechnic and a strategic research partner for businesses.”
Major areas and initiatives supported by the research funding included improvements to the energy performance of commercial and industrial buildings, technology and training for Manitoba’s aerospace and manufacturing industries, and testing and demonstration of electric vehicles.
Much of the research leverages the province’s harsh climate to conduct practical research and testing to solve real-world problems faced by Manitoba industries and communities, while also producing innovative solutions that can have an impact on the lives of all Canadians.
“We are working on several cutting-edge projects, such as solar trough evaluation, electric vehicle technology development and demonstration, and various projects focused in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors, but that’s only a sampling of the breadth of our research,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director, Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC.
“We started out with about $50,000 in research funding in 2004 and with the support of our faculty, staff and students have seen steady growth. There have been many successful partnerships with industry that have positively impacted our partners, provided our students exceptional applied learning opportunities, and made contributions to economic development in Manitoba.”
Some of the aforementioned partners include the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, New Flyer Industries, the University of Manitoba, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Granny’s Poultry.
One example of a significant project is the development of a zero-emission all-electric transit bus prototype (shown above), for which RRC served as a partner in an international consortium. As well, integration of equipment to support food technology research and development at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has been a significant progression in the College’s applied research resources and capabilities.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Western Diversification, and the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) have all provided funding to support applied research projects, programs and/or infrastructure.
Click here to learn more about applied research at Red River College.

RRC’s research in geothermal evaluation recognized in national award

June 24, 2013

RRC researcher Jose Delos Reyes installs the weather station on the roof.

The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC) has awarded one of its GeoExchange Excellence awards to Southern Comfort Mechanical Inc. (SCMI) for its work with Red River College (RRC) on the geothermal installation and measurement in The Cornerstone Life Lease Estates building.
CGC awards the prizes to regional geothermal heat-pump projects that showcase both complexity and quality of installation and design.
Opened in 2010, “The Cornerstone” is a four-storey Winnipeg residential development that features a number of sustainable design solutions, including above-average insulation levels and 100 per cent geothermal space heating.
Last summer, RRC staff and students from the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) worked with SCMI to install a building-monitoring system and weather station on the roof of The Cornerstone. The system provided crucial performance evaluation on SCMI’s geothermal heat pump that uses loops in the ground to generate efficient energy for the building.
Among the many innovations of this design is the system’s ability to dump excess heat into the parkade floor when in cooling mode. RRC’s data allowed SCMI to make necessary adjustments that ensured the most efficient use of this technology.
“This award would not have been possible without the expertise and hard work of the RRC research team,” said Mike Millard, project lead and President of The Geothermal Alternative. “Their performance-evaluation data is vital to The Cornerstone’s improved energy efficiency and will be extremely valuable for the sustainable design of future Manitoba buildings.”
The prizes were awarded on May 3rd during the annual Canadian GeoExchange Conference and Trade Show in Burnaby, British Columbia.
For more information on RRC’s involvement in sustainable design, visit the Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group web page.
For more information on the CGC’s GeoExchange Excellence awards, click here.
To view SCMI’s announcement and full application, click here.

2011 Research Innovation Fund Award Winners Announced

September 16, 2011

Red River College (RRC) faculty and students will benefit from $97,500 to conduct innovative research projects in 2011 – 2012.
The Research Innovation Fund (RIF) is provided by Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) to encourage faculty, staff, and students to engage in research activities at the College.
“The intent is to develop and build internal research capacity,” says Ray Hoemsen P. Eng., director of AR&C. “This year’s award winners came forward with several original, yet practical applied research project proposals.”
AR&C awarded funding to 13 applicants from several College programs: Aboriginal Education, Applied Commerce & Management Education, Automotive Transportation, Business & Applied Arts, Civil Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Graphic Design, Health Sciences & Community Services, the Language Training Centre, and Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Past notable RIF projects include Mechanical Engineering Technology’s Rapid Prototype Composite Tooling (featured on netcomposites.com) and Electrical Engineering Technology’s GPS Wildlife Tracking Collar (featured in ACCC’s January 2011 issue of Accelerating Innovation on p. 9).
“The RIF program has proven very successful in providing research opportunities and resources to the staff, faculty, and students who need them the most,” says Hoemsen.
The award funds go into a special account created for each award winner for them to use on specific project costs.  The winners are required to submit a full report following the completion of their projects.
For information on this year’s award winning projects, download our 2011 RIF Summary Report.
Congratulations to all the award winners:
Bio-fuelProduction
Michael Myrowich, Automotive Transportation
Computerized Assessment of Natural Language Test
Laurie Cutrone, Business and Applied Arts
Crack Detection in Concrete Beam – Phase Two
Liting Han and Dave Bertin, Electrical Engineering Technology
Effects of Supplementng Aboriginal Post-Secondary Transition Programs with Traditional Aboriginal Cultural Activities
Karen Favell, Aboriginal Education
Gateway to Applied Business Research
Tatjana Brkic, Applied Commerce & Management Education
High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Monitoring Using Electric Impedance
Mohammad Aboofazeli & Haider Al-Saidi, Electrical Engineering Technology
Investigation of an Environmentally Friendly Solvent for use in Instrumental Chemical Analysis
Michael Judge, Health Sciences and Community Services
New Media – Design & Development for Layer App
Ilse Dyck, Graphic Design
Nutrients in Snow
Ian Halket, Civil Engineering Technology
Solar Ebike – Phase One
Leon Fainstein, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Traffice Situational Awareness System for the Visually Impaired
Liting Han, Dave Bertin, Electrical Engineering Technology
Ultra-wideband Antenna and Signal Design – Phase Two
Saleh Mneina, Electronic Engineering Technology
Stay tuned for the results of last year’s RIF projects and a call for applications for 2012 RIF projects.

Ray Hoemsen: 2011 ACCC Award Acceptance

August 15, 2011


The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) recently named Ray Hoemsen, Red River College’s (RRC) Director of Applied Research & Commercialization as their prestigious Gold Leadership Excellence Award winner.
The award recognizes an individual from a Canadian college that has made the greatest impact on his/her institution and, as a result, the communities it serves. Ray accepted the award at the Annual ACCC Conference on June 5 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Below are photos of Ray accepting the award: