Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

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Collaboration with KAP and UM is ready to roll: Mini Training Tractor revealed

July 16, 2020

A collaboration between the University of Manitoba (UM), Red River College (RRC) and Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) driven by the need for an agricultural safety training tool, has produced a unique vehicle that will help predict, teach and demonstrate tractor roll overs.

The Mini Roll Over Training Tractor (Mini ROTT) was demonstrated at the UM’s Glenlea Research Station on July 16. Approximately the size of an average lawn tractor but with the appearance of a traditional tractor, the radio-controlled Mini ROTT will be used for teaching and demonstration of roll overs and activities that will enhance students’ and farmers’ understanding of farm safety practices.

“Keystone Agricultural Producers is proud to be a part of the roll over training tractor (ROTT) project through our Manitoba Farm Safety Program,” says Bill Campbell, President, KAP. “We look forward to using this innovative tool to further promote the need for safety awareness and training across our sector to reduce the risk of serious injury in the operation of tractors and large equipment on farms across the province. The partnership we have forged with the University of Manitoba and Red River College shows the importance of our industry to this province and showcases some of the brightest minds and ingenuity we have here in Manitoba.”

The project was initiated by the UM’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to supplement hands-on safety workshops developed for diploma students and farmers.  The UM teamed up with KAP’s Manitoba Farm Safety Program staff to explore the concept of a remote-controlled tractor as an interactive training tool for teaching roll over prevention strategies.

“The Faculty, especially the farm safety training leaders in our School of Agriculture, are keenly engaged in farm safety training, both for our students and for our wider agricultural community,” says Martin Scanlon, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, UM. “We were excited to partner with Keystone Agricultural Producers and Red River College to create this novel training tool that will assist the University of Manitoba in delivering potentially life-saving knowledge to the next generation of Manitoba producers. This project underlines the high value and mutual benefit of collaboration with talented industry partners and other educational institutions.”

UM and KAP then engaged with RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM) and Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) for the fabrication process. The research staff at TACAM designed and built the tractor, with support from the VTEC team on the electronics and systems control components.

“Working with Keystone Agricultural Producers and the University of Manitoba on the roll over training tractor (ROTT) is the perfect demonstration of the value of applied research: providing tangible solutions to real-world problems,” says Fred Meier, President & CEO, RRC. “The ROTT highlights the skill and expertise of our TACAM and VTEC teams, and now that we’ve created this first product we’re excited to explore similar projects in the future. We’re proud to play a role in farm safety awareness and supporting the agriculture industry in Manitoba.”

Going forward, the Mini ROTT will be housed at the Glenlea Research Station and utilized for farm safety training for post-secondary students and Manitoba farmers. The Manitoba Farm Safety Program and UM staff plan to collaborate on expanded tractor training and develop programs aimed at creating a safer agri-food industry.

Funding for the project came from a variety of sources, including the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Endowment Fund, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada through Red River College’s TACAM and VTEC-Innovation Enhancement grants, and Keystone Agricultural Producers.

Ray Hoemsen Retirement

June 16, 2020

After nearly 35 years of working in the academic technology transfer and applied research world, Ray Hoemsen has retired from Red River College, as of May 22, 2020.

Ray has led RRC’s research enterprise, Research Partnerships & Innovation (RPI), since it was first established in 2004. Through his leadership, the College has seen tremendous growth as one of the most significant research colleges in Western Canada, and one of the few to be awarded three Technology Access Centres. His many years of experience were a great asset not only to the College, but to RRC’s vast network of partners, collaborators and clients.

From culinary research, building efficiency technology, social and health sciences, manufacturing and aerospace, electric vehicle technology and more, Ray fostered an abundant research hub at RRC that continues to grow. His leadership has empowered RPI to keep evolving to meet the needs of Manitoba’s diverse industry, and to empower future generations of students and researchers to gain the hands-on experience needed to create ground-breaking results to better serve our community and economy.

NSERC launches funding opportunity for Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19

April 15, 2020

NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) has launched a funding opportunity for applied research rapid response to COVID-19.

The grant will provide up to $75,000.00 for one year and will use some of the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) framework and application form. Applications are expected to respond to one of the following:

  • Assisting industry with production challenges to address COVID-19 (e.g., prototyping, enhanced production processes, repurposing of existing manufacturing infrastructure for production of new products, data analytics relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, etc.).
  • Contributing to the solution of community innovation challenges (health, social, policy) of immediate relevance to the COVID 19 outbreak (e.g. impact of social isolation on vulnerable populations, implementation of community social distancing policies, addressing mental health impacts of COVID-19, changing scope of policies and regulations, etc.).

Applications will be accepted in the NSERC Online system until June 1, pending availability of funds.

For more details, please visit: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Innovate-Innover/CCI-COVID_eng.asp

Anna Borys wins CEM Co-op Student of the Year Award for placement with Prairie Research Kitchen

January 31, 2020

When Anna Borys signed up for the Culinary Arts program at Red River College’s School of Hospitality, she wasn’t sure where it would take her – she just knew she didn’t want to work in a restaurant.

“I went into culinary school knowing I didn’t want to work in food services,” she says. “But I didn’t know what else was out there.”

Having worked for her family’s glass business for 10 years before going back to school, Anna had developed a taste for the nine-to-five lifestyle – a schedule the fast-paced service industry doesn’t always allow.

This confusion about her future left her in a bit of a pickle, until she started her co-op work placement with RRC’s Culinary Research team, which operates out of the Prairie Research Kitchen on the 11th floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI). Anna credits her co-op placement with determining her career path.

Anna first encountered the Culinary Research team while cooking her way through Culinary School. The team would often pop up in her labs and classrooms – working with instructors and making presentations to students about the work they do with clients in the food development industry.

“When they told us they work on developing recipes and that they were looking for co-op students, I knew right away that’s what I wanted to do,” says Anna.

Now, after successfully completing her co-op placement, Anna has started working full-time with the Research team.

One of her first projects was working on a new consumer food product called Bump – a ground beef/plant protein blend aimed at the flexitarian market – with James Battershill from Juno Food Labs. Anna developed a delicious Bump kofta kebab recipe that’s a hit with the client (and everyone else who’s tasted it).

“Working on the Bump kofta is definitely a highlight for me,” says Anna. “It’s one of the first recipes I worked on, and the client now uses it as a sample. It’s quick, delicious, and shows how versatile the product is.”

Anna’s food photography highlights a pie whipped up in the Prairie Research Kitchen

An avid photographer, Anna started an Instagram account to document what two years of the RRC Culinary Arts program is like. She says one of the most rewarding aspects of her co-op is taking food photos for clients like James, who often end up using them for their own marketing purposes.

Anna’s hard work is now being rewarded, as she was recently named the Co-operative Education Manitoba (CEM) Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2019.

“This award shows how important this industry is,” she says. “It’s up and coming. The Culinary Research program is pretty new at Red River College, so this recognition is huge for the research program.”

She’s also no stranger to winning awards – Anna took home the second-place prize at last year’s Applied Research & Innovation Day for her soy-free tempeh project, which she developed alongside the Culinary Research team. She’ll also graduate at the top of her class at next week’s convocation ceremony and is preparing to apply for the National Co-Op Student Award.

Anna at Applied Research & Innovation Day 2019

Despite her success, Anna is quick to credit the amazing team she worked with for helping her get where she is.

“I really don’t feel like this is my award,” she says. “It’s our award. This wouldn’t have happened without Mavis, Heather, and Kyle from Culinary Research – this showcases our teamwork. I don’t want to take credit, it’s our credit.”

Now her co-op experience has come full circle, as she’s helping to mentor the next wave of Culinary Arts students who are working in the Prairie Research Kitchen. She continues to be an advocate of the co-op process and shares her experience regularly with students.

“The co-op program is the reason for my career path,” she says. “This award, my success – this all has to do with my co-op and working with Culinary Research.”

Prairie Research Kitchen featured in the Winnipeg Free Press

January 15, 2020

Red River College’s new Prairie Research Kitchen was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press with a full-page spread and interviews with research professionals Mavis McRae and Heather Hill.

The article highlighted the Kitchen’s modern, beautiful workspace and the innovative work our research chefs and scientists are doing alongside Culinary Arts instructors and students, with clients from across Manitoba.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Complete with a board room with an amazing view for tasting and focus groups, Mavis McRae, the research professional for culinary research & innovation and head of the lab, said culinary arts students will get a whole new training opportunity in the science of food that was not previously available.

Already the lab is working on about 10 projects at a time with new a couple of new ones being pitched every week by industry partners and research scientists.”

Please click here to read the full article.

Attention researchers! New Innovation Proof-of-Concept Grant available from Research Manitoba

January 14, 2020

Research Manitoba has launched a new Innovation Proof-of-Concept Grant that aims to strengthen Manitoba-based research innovation and development projects by filling a funding gap in the Manitoba innovation ecosystem. Through two independent streams, this program provides support for innovation and commercialization research that is not otherwise accessible. This program helps fund activities directly related to process validation and proof-of-concept research. The program is targeted towards research in: Bioscience, ICT, Advanced Manufacturing, and Infrastructure and Transportation Industries and Technologies.

The two funding streams are:

Stream 1: Manitoba-Based Consortium supports local collaboration that is addressing a company specific discovery or innovation towards market usability. This stream allows academics to use their world-class knowledge, facilities, and highly qualified personnel (HQP) to close the knowledge gaps identified during the industry partner’s innovation development.

Stream 2: Manitoba Post-Secondary Researchers supports the advancement of discoveries or innovations within an academic setting, which may result in products or technologies, towards market usability.

More information on the grant can be found in the Program Guide or on the Research Manitoba Innovation and Strategic Partnerships website. The application form is also now available on Research Manitoba’s Grants Management System (GMS). The 2020 competition will be open until March 31, 2021.

Read about the Smart Factory in Polytechnic Canada’s Applied Research Compendium

November 26, 2019

Polytechnics Canada has recently published a compendium on Applied Research: Building a Stronger Canada, and Red River College’s Smart Factory gets a mention for its value in emerging technologies in metal additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, autonomous factory vehicles, flexible robotic work cells, industrial automation and networking, and high-speed 3D laser metrology.

View the entire compendium here, and see page 3 for more on Red River College and the Smart Factory.

Prairie Fava: Small business with a big idea wins big at the Manitoba Business Awards

November 21, 2019

Like many big ideas, Prairie Fava started with a seed.

In this case however, it was a whole seed farm.

Hailey and Cale Jefferies

Hailey and Cale Jefferies are two self-described “entrepreneurial spirits” who moved back to rural Manitoba after going to university in Ontario. Cale’s family business was calling – having grown up on a fifth-generation seed farm in Glenboro, Manitoba, he made the choice to take over Jefferies Seeds.

But the seed to start their own business was officially planted when Hailey’s mom was diagnosed with cancer.

“My mom’s sickness really inspired my passion for health,” says Hailey. “My husband was selling fava seeds to farmers, but there was no market to sell it to. I saw lots of opportunity with fava and took it upon myself to leverage my passion for sales with making food healthier.”

Fava flour, flakes and grit can be used as ingredients in new and current food products to enhance the fibre and protein content. Fava flour is a gluten-free alternative that can be used in baking and conventional recipes. Combining pulse flours with grain flour creates a complete protein source, as the amino acid profiles are complementary. Rice flour is often used as a gluten-free alternative, though the protein quotient isn’t as high as in fava.

Prairie Fava operates out of Jefferies Seeds and the businesses work well with each other; as more fava beans are sold to farmers, that means there are more fava beans to process – and better nutrition in our food.

While starting their own business was a natural fit, Hailey says that being a small start-up meant they didn’t have the time or resources to dedicate to trial and error and market research. The duo co-founded Prairie Fava in 2015 and started officially processing fava beans two years later. After connecting with Red River College’s Culinary Research team – now known as the Prairie Research Kitchen – Prairie Fava soon got to work conducting basic research on their fava flour.

And the seed that first inspired their business has now blossomed into an award-winning company: Prairie Fava was recently awarded the Start-Up of the Year Award at the 2019 Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Business Awards.

Hailey Jefferies is presented with the Start-up of the Year Award at the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Business Awards

“RRC was the first to bring a chef’s perspective and experience to applied research,” says Hailey. “The input of a chef has expediated our product development and provided us with valuable information as to the direction we should take in R&D. Our product development has been strengthened by the connection of culinary and food sciences that RRC provides.”

One of the first projects Prairie Fava and the Prairie Research Kitchen worked on together was a fava flour crouton. They initially started testing with whole beans and flour, which wasn’t really working at first. It was a trial and error period of finding fava’s strengths.

Eventually they got to work on muffins and cookies – beloved family recipes, revamped with a healthy, fava-infused twist. Hailey says she took some samples home to family for a blind taste test, and that everyone picked the cookie with 50% fava as their favourite.

Hailey Jefferies speaks at the grand opening of the Prairie Research Kitchen, as RRC Interim President Darin Brecht and Minister of Economic Development and Training Ralph Eichler look on.
Photo by Jason Halstead

 

 

With the help of the Prairie Research Kitchen, Prairie Fava was able to demonstrate that fava doesn’t compromise flavour and has the added benefit of injecting an alternative form of protein to new and existing recipes.

“I can’t emphasize enough how valuable Red River College is for a company like ours,” says Hailey. “They have provided access to College-specific expertise and funding ​that has helped propel our company into the market. We have appreciated being able to leverage the creative talents of RRC students to do market research, recipe development and great food photography. We have not been able find this kind of diverse food research elsewhere on a limited R&D budget.”

So what’s next for Prairie Fava?

“We are very excited to report that we anticipate the launch of a fava-based ‘better for you’ product into the consumer market in 2020,” says Hailey. “With the new Prairie Research Kitchen officially open, we can’t wait to do even more with RRC on a different scale. They’ve been an integral part of our growth.”

To learn more about Prairie Fava, please visit their website.

Want to know how to cook with fava? Check out some of our delicious recipes:

Tortillas

 

 

 

 

 

Crepes

 

 

 

 

 

Spaetzle

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy Fried Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Schnitzel

 

 

 

 

 

Tempura

Calling all Innovators! Lunch and Learn with Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

November 13, 2019

Red River College is pleased to host the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) for a Lunch and Learn on November 22.

IDEaS was launched in April 2018 as part of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The program was allocated $1.6 billion over 20 years to invest in the extraordinary talent and ingenuity resident in Canada to help resolve unclassified defence and security challenges. Regardless if you are working from your home, an academic in a university lab or a scientist in a small or a major corporation, the Innovation for Defence, Excellence and Security (IDEaS) is looking for your solutions to help resolve defence and security challenges. This is your opportunity to showcase your innovative ideas!

The various elements of IDEaS include Competitive Projects, Contests, Innovation Networks, Sandboxes, and Innovation Assessment & Implementation. To date, there have been 45 challenges issued, 219 funded entities, and over $63 M committed or spent.

This Lunch and Learn takes place on Friday, November 22 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the Black Lecture Theatre at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus. Please register here.

Lunch and Learn: ioAirFlow and Mitacs at Red River College’s ACE Project Space

November 12, 2019

Join us for a Lunch and Learn on Thursday, November 21 featuring ioAirFlow and Mitacs at Red River College’s ACE Project Space.

About this Event

At this Lunch and Learn, you will:

  • Learn how the ACE Project Space works with students, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and corporations collaborate to bring unique ideas to life;
  • Learn how Mitacs can help you address your business, technology, and societal challenges;
  • Learn how Mitacs can fund research internships for your students; and
  • Learn about ioAirflow’s startup journey and recent success.

Free to attend, however space is limited so registration is required.

Please register here.