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Recycled Batteries to Give Electric Vehicles a Boost at Red River College

August 12, 2019

This week, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, announced a $60,000 investment towards a new electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Red River College’s (RRC) Notre Dame Campus.

“This investment in clean energy technologies will help ensure that Canada remains a global leader in clean energy. The Government of Canada continues to work to reduce pollution, foster change in our transportation choices and leave a cleaner planet for future generations,” said Minister Sohi.

This new Level 3 charging station, which is set to be operational by summer 2020, will use recycled lithium batteries sourced from New Flyer Industries’ fleet of electric buses. Using the recycled batteries will help improve the performance and reduce the cost of operating the station.

Currently, RRC operates five EV chargers at its Notre Dame Campus – one Level 3 charger, and four Level 2 chargers. The chargers are available for public use and are integral to research projects through the College’s Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC).

“This investment will help the College to increase our current clean technology research activity on electric vehicles, along with renewable and alternative energy sources. We’re proud to continue our work in helping to develop sustainable infrastructure and technology that will benefit the environment and economy in Manitoba and across Canada,” said Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director, Research, Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

RRC was the first organization in Winnipeg to install and operate a Level 3 charger in March, 2015. Level 3 stations can charge an EV up to 80 per cent charge in less than 30 minutes; this is compared to a 220/240V Level 2 charger, which can take four to six hours to get to full charge, or an 110/120V Level 1 charger, which can take up to 12 hours.

 

Funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support heavy vehicle manufacturing and research at RRC

August 2, 2019

This morning, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Diversification Canada, announced new funding to support Manitoba’s growth and global competitiveness.

Among the projects announced was up to $3 million in funding to Red River College to increase technology adoption and testing capabilities for heavy vehicle manufacturers in collaboration with industry partners and the Vehicle Technology Centre.

MotiveLab™ rendering

The College is currently preparing for the opening of the new extreme climate test facility MotiveLab™, which will be used to carry on-and-off-highway vehicle performance testing, and will be the first of its kind in Western Canada. The funding project will support industry-driven collaborations to advance technology and knowledge development in the area of zero emission vehicles and their production using advanced manufacturing processes. Activities include testing the performance of new technologies and products in a simulated laboratory or field-based setting, and promoting the adoption of these new technologies at domestic and international events and missions. By increasing awareness within the heavy vehicle manufacturing sector, industry will attract new customers, investment and talent to Manitoba.

Minister Carr announced a total of over $12 million in funding for four projects to support Manitoba’s economic growth and global competitiveness. Learn more about the projects and investments here.

CANARIE Issues Call to Strengthen Cybersecurity in Canada’s Research and Education Community

July 30, 2019

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital research infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem that supports research, education, and innovation, has announced a Call for Participation that will invest in Canadian universities, colleges, and research institutions that participate in the Joint Security Project (JSP).

This call is open to universities, colleges, and research institutions connected to the twelve provincial and territorial network partners that, along with CANARIE, form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN).

For more information on this call for participation, including timelines and eligibility criteria, please visit the CANARIE website: canarie.ca/JSP-Call2

A recipe for success: federal funding turns up the heat for Culinary Research & Innovation

June 13, 2019

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced new federal funding this morning from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) program that will spice up Red River College’s Culinary Research & Innovation (CRI) program.

The Technology Access Centre (TAC) grant will provide $1.75 million over five years, adding flavour to the program’s culinary research kitchen, a state-of-the-art facility set to open at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute later this summer.

“This funding empowers our Culinary Research & Innovation area to expand their already rich and advanced program,” said Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC. “Our researchers have the opportunity to help fill the gap between idea and full scale-up food centres in Western Canada, and continue to support food companies by providing access to the vast resources of researchers, instructors and students at the College.

The Culinary Research TAC will be Red River College’s third Technology Access Centre, joining the existing Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) and the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM).

The Culinary Research TAC will provide culinary-focused food research to food manufacturing and food services businesses. RRC’s team of chefs and food scientists will work with industry partners, as well as RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts instructors and students, to provide unique chef-created product prototypes ready for scale-up and commercialization. Food processing is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Manitoba.

Recent successes from CRI include a soy-free pea-based tempeh prototype, developed with recent Culinary Arts graduate Anna Borys using Manitoba plant-based proteins. The product won second place at the College’s third-annual Applied Research & Innovation Day.

Canada’s Technology Access Centres (TACs) are specialized applied research & development centres affiliated with publicly-funded colleges and cégeps. TACs are specialized applied research and development centres affiliated with Canadian colleges or cégeps. Learn more at tech-access.ca.

Ray Hoemsen appointed to National Research Council (NRC) Council

June 7, 2019

Ray Hoemsen at Applied Research & Innovation Day 2019

Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation, recently became one of six new appointments to the National Research Council (NRC) Council. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the new appointments on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Hoemsen is the second Manitoban to be on the NRC Council in the last 11 years.

The NRC is the Government of Canada’s largest science and research organization, supporting Canadian industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and the development of technology. For more information, please visit their website.

Congratulations, Ray!

Saving money, saving the planet: RRC’s first Mitacs-funded project takes off at ACE Project Space

May 28, 2019

Matt Schaubroeck is in the business of making buildings smarter. The entrepreneur has teamed up with Red River College (RRC) to develop the software behind ioAirFlow, a product that’s been percolating for the past two years and is now being put into fruition at RRC’s ACE Project Space.

“Essentially, ioAirFlow is a data analysis tool,” says Schaubroeck. “We use big data to determine energy efficiency in commercial buildings.”

Matt Schaubroeck and Xinxin Wei work on the software behind ioAirFlow

ioAirFlow takes the concept of residential smart thermostats and applies it to commercial-industrial buildings. The goal is to make big buildings smarter and greener, with a technology that’s as accessible as possible.

The idea occurred to Schaubroeck when he was working on his MBA in a tech commercialization program. After meeting industry leaders and talking about his idea of a smart thermostat for commercial buildings, Schaubroeck realized there was a real need for the product.

“Everyone wants to save money on energy bills,” he says. “We want to save the planet at the same time.”

The big idea was there. Two years of research and development were in the books – including working with RRC’s Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) last year, heating up a trailer behind the Notre Dame Campus in order to track temperature and humidity.

Schaubroeck worked alongside Steve Lawrence, Coordinator of the ACE Project Space, on the research proposal. Lawrence is also working as the academic supervisor/advisor for the project.

Earlier this month, the time finally came to put the idea into action. That’s where the ACE Project Space and funding from Mitacs came in, making this the first Mitacs-funded project at RRC.

“We’re thrilled to be the first Mitacs-funded project at ACE Project Space. Mitacs presented themselves as a great option to allow us to get into a space like this,” says Schaubroeck. “It’s such a great opportunity. We wouldn’t be here without their help.”

Mitacs is a national not-for-profit research network that has traditionally funded applied research collaborations at Canadian universities. Last year they began funding colleges, and with former RRC research manager Brent Wennekes taking the lead for Mitacs in Manitoba, RRC was one of the first colleges to sign on as a Mitacs partner institution.

“Mitacs is very pleased to be able to support this partnership with ioAirFlow with funding for their talented research intern,” says Wennekes. “RRC has been a national college leader in applied research for many years, and ACE Project Space has established itself as a key player in Winnipeg’s start-up community. Our program is perfect for start-up companies and with ACE, you get not only talent, but office space as well!”

Along with Xinxin Wei, a Business Information Technology (BIT) student from RRC, and the third member of their team, Amanda San Filippo, Schaubroeck is now working on the software, crunching the numbers on the program’s back-end.

“The big problem with energy efficiency is you have to be an expert to use it. The front end of this system is going to make it as easy to understand as possible,” he says. “We’re working with building owners to understand what they care about and how it’s going to make a difference.”

While the whole team had to face the challenge of learning the complicated technical language of the software programming, Xinxin Wei had to face the additional challenges of honing his English language skills and navigating a new country. The international student has just finished his first year of the BIT program and is thrilled to be working on ioAirFlow.

“I don’t have any experience in Canada,” says Wei. “The most important part for me is working with a real Canadian employer. I’ve been learning how to work with others, and the whole experience is very great.”

The team hopes to have the program off the ground by this fall. For more information on ioAirFlow, please visit their website.

BETAC in the news: Journal of Commerce

February 13, 2019

Red River College’s Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) was in the news this week, with a mention in the Journal of Commerce by ConstructConnect. The article highlights BETAC’s partnership with SMT Research Ltd. to monitor the health of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre as it was being built.

“SMT partnered with Red River College’s (RRC) Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) to monitor the structural health of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) as it was being built on the RRC Notre Dame campus in Winnipeg.

Structural health monitoring helps to ensure that new buildings are energy-efficient, durable and perform as expected.

BETAC and SMT installed a wide network of sensors throughout the building as it was under construction.

A total of seven different building envelope types were instrumented throughout the exterior building envelope, as well as the roof and green roof assemblies.

The effectiveness of the STTC’s building envelope, which helps protect its occupants from the extremes of Winnipeg’s climate, will continue to be monitored in real time.”

Read the full article here.

Call for Talent: Colleges and Institutes Canada 2019 Art Showcase

January 31, 2019

For the fifth year in a row, Colleges and Institutes Canada(CICan) is looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. For the 2019 Art Showcase, CICan invites students from colleges and institutes across the country to submit their artwork.

CICan will be selecting a winner from the following categories:

  • Printmaking
  • Textile/Mixed Media/Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Digital illustration/animation
  • Painting
  • Drawing

The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2019. To learn more, please visit the CICan website.

Research Manitoba starts a new RITHIM

January 28, 2019

Research Manitoba has launched a new provincial initiative called RITHIM (Research Improvement Through Harmonization in Manitoba) in an effort to keep the province up-to-pace in research administrative and regulative processes. RITHIM aims to harmonize the system for impact, privacy, and ethics review to significantly improve the coordination and time-to-conduct of clinical and data intensive health research in Manitoba.

The RITHIM initiative will enhance coordination in our province allowing researchers the ability to engage in the most efficient practice of patient-orientated research and in turn advance our national standing.

Check out the RITHIM newsletter to learn more.

Funding opportunity available to teach or conduct research in Latin America and the Caribbean

December 18, 2018

Application for the Faculty Mobility Program is now open for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Available through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), the Faculty Mobility Program provides Canadian faculty from post-secondary institutions with short-term opportunities to teach or conduct research in eligible countries (CARICOM countries, Central America, Latin America, Mexico). It is available through the Government of Canada International Scholarships program.

The program aims to increase the number of institutional collaborations and student exchange agreements between Canadian and foreign institutions eligible under ELAP. These agreements are created between colleges, technical or vocational institutions and universities in Canada, Latin Americas and the Caribbean.

The deadline to apply is February 19, 2019. Please visit the Faculty Mobility Program website for more information.