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Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation


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.

RPI attends UN Climate Change Conference

December 13, 2018

Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation (RPI), was in Katowice, Poland earlier this week for the UN Climate Change Conference. Hoemsen attended as an observer with accreditation via the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, of which Red River College is a member and Hoemsen is a Director.

Red River College is committed to sustainability and the development of clean technologies. The conference was an ideal setting to raise awareness of RRC’s ongoing work in the field of clean technologies, and RPI’s capabilities related to climate change. The conference also presented opportunities to identify potential  research collaboration and partnerships with other academic institutions, non-government agencies and industry.

For more information on the conference, please visit the website.

Winnipeg Free Press features 15 years of RPI

December 6, 2018

The Winnipeg Free Press published a great article on Research Partnerships & Innovation in their 2018 Winter Education section.

Next year marks the 15-year anniversary of RPI at Red River College. From battery-operated transit buses, to energy efficient office towers, to creative uses for agricultural by-products, and many more exciting initiatives, RPI has had a busy and successful 15 years thanks to the contributions of talented staff, students, and industry and community partners.

The support of organizations such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC – IRAP), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Research Manitoba, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Strategic Innovation Fund (SFI), and the Province of Manitoba ensures RRC is able to continue doing groundbreaking work in a variety of fields. The success of RPI would not be possible without significant contributions from a community of supporters, and the College looks forward to even greater achievements in the years to come as the result of these partnerships.

Efforts will only grow with new partnerships, capabilities, and research centres – like the Innovation Centre, MotiveLab, Smart Factory, and Culinary Research Kitchen – cutting-edge technology labs that will enhance student learning and strengthen our industry partnerships.

See the article below, and visit the Winnipeg Free Press website for the full section.


RRC celebrates 15 years of Research Partnerships & Innovation

By Jennifer McFee

Winnipeg Free Press | Dec. 6, 2018

Red River College will celebrate a milestone year in 2019 by marking the 15-year anniversary of Research Partnerships & Innovation.

What is amazing about this milestone is how quickly RRC grew from a newcomer to research into one of the leading research colleges in the country. Just recently, RRC was once again recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 research colleges.

“Other than the establishment of the research enterprise at the college, I believe our first major accomplishment was the work we did with Manitoba Hydro to help them develop their downtown office, Manitoba Hydro Place,” said Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation.

“We were involved with the prototyping and testing of the building envelope, which is the skin of the building. We have an almost 15-year partnership with Manitoba Hydro, which was recognized by NSERC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We received an NSERC synergy award for innovation because of our partnership with Manitoba Hydro.”

This project led to a major research program in sustainable infrastructure, which in turn led to the development of a Building Envelope Technology Access Centre.

As well, the college was a driving force in the development of a battery-powered all-electric transit bus in collaboration with Manitoba Hydro and multiple other stakeholders.

On the aerospace and manufacturing side, the college will soon have a Smart Factory coming on stream to provide another applied research space to build on the work done at the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing.

“We’re fortunate to have two technology access centres — one in aerospace and manufacturing and the other in building envelope technology,” Hoemsen said.

“Basically, there are 17 of these outside of Quebec and we have two of them. They’re intended to support regional clusters, so we’re supporting the aerospace and manufacturing sector in one and the building construction sector with the other.”

The Smart Factory will focus on emerging technology such as robotics, automation, additive manufacturing, high-speed robotic inspection and industrial networking. 

Looking beyond the 15 years of impressive achievements, the future looks bright for Research Partnerships & Innovation. 

Construction is already underway on the Innovation Centre, a new facility located in the Exchange District next to the existing Roblin Centre building. With an expected completion date of 2020, the $95-million Innovation Centre will be a hub where education and industry will intersect. The 100,000-square-foot facility will feature adaptable classrooms and “collision spaces” as well as a roundhouse auditorium to foster collaboration. 

The ACE Project Space is another area that offers an interactive environment for students, faculty, industry leaders and entrepreneurs to use cutting-edge technology to find solutions to real-world business challenges.

In addition, Red River College is adding several more new facilities that will bolster the potential of both students and industry. These include an extreme weather vehicle-testing facility called the MotiveLab.

“We’ve done a lot of work with the heavy vehicles sector, which is very important in Manitoba,” Hoemsen said. 

“The MotiveLab is a new specialized test facility that will be unique in Western Canada. It allows us to test vehicles on a year-round basis in a controlled environment. We can go from -40 C to 40 C within a chamber year-round.”

Construction has also begun on the Culinary Research Kitchen, which will offer state-of-the-art research kitchens plus an analytical and culturing lab, a specialized food photography room and collaborative spaces for working together. 

“It marries food science and the culinary arts,” Hoemsen said. “So basically you take ingredients that are good for you health-wise and make them appealing to consumers. We’ve been working with the producer groups to develop new recipes, which helps companies bring new products to market.”

Across the board, this hands-on approach to education results in benefits for students that extend beyond academic knowledge. 

“Research activity enables us to get some research infrastructure like facilities and equipment that can also be for teaching purposes. As a result, that benefits students who are taught using the latest and most current technology in education,” Hoemsen said.

“When they engage with a project, it helps with their skill development and work-integrated learning. It not only gives them technical skills but also soft skills that employers are looking for, like better communication and working as a team.”

For Hoemsen, it’s a source of pride that Red River College is highly ranked for its research capabilities. 

“It speaks to the collective effort of our students, instructors and research staff as well as the partners that we’re fortunate to work with,” Hoemsen said. 

“We’ve had over 500 research partners over the last 15 years and we couldn’t do it without them.”

To learn more about Red River College, visit

NSERC funding boosts Science of Early Child Development

November 14, 2018

Important research from the Science of Early Child Development (SECD) has received a funding boost from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF).

SECD will receive $240,000 over two years for the research project “Science to Practice to Play: Transferring the Best of Early Child Development Evidence to Parents Through Integrated Health Equity Teams.”

“Through this NSERC grant, we now have the opportunity to put SECD to the test with NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre, located in the Inkster community area just moments from RRC’s Notre Dame campus,” said Jan Sanderson, research chair at RRC’s School of Health Sciences and Community Services. “The Nursing Department and the Research Team from Health Sciences and Community Services are very excited to be working right in the Inkster neighbourhood with an organization that is extremely committed to supporting families and improving the outcomes for young children in their community.”

Through a partnership between the College and NorWest Co-op, in collaboration with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Province of Manitoba, RRC researchers will deliver SECD training to a community health and social services team. The team will in turn develop and deliver consistent messages, skills and activities to parents of pre-school children in their Bright Start parent/child programs.

“With the collaboration of the WRHA and the provincial government, we hope to learn lessons that can be applied across Winnipeg and around the province,” said Sanderson. “As the project title – Science to Practice to Play – indicates, we will be examining the capacity of SECD as a training and planning tool that can transfer scientific evidence to health/social service professionals who will in turn convert it into engaging, educational activities to support parents – a child’s first and most important teacher. We plan to measure the impact of the intervention on the NorWest Co-op’s planning process, the impact on parents’ knowledge of early child development and their parent/child interactions, and the impact on the children’s development.”

Learn more about SECD here.

The Dust Stops Here: Dust Control Demonstration with Cypher Environmental

October 24, 2018

A new dust control product has been put to the test on an unpaved gravel compound at Red River College’s (RRC) Notre Dame Campus. Dust Stop Municipal Blend (DSMB) was created in 2016 by Winnipeg-based company Cypher Environmental as an eco-friendly solution to reduce fugitive dust on unpaved roads. The product is the result of a partnership with RRC, as students, faculty, and Cypher staff – many of whom are RRC grads – developed the product using the College’s expertise and facilities.

DSMB was applied to a large storage yard on campus, where heavy equipment is often moved in and out of a nearby building. It was important to limit the amount of dust exposure and tracking inside the building, to reduce contamination and damage to the valuable equipment inside. Despite a hot, dry summer and a cold, wet autumn, the yard has remained stable and dust-free since the application.

The product formula was produced in a joint Applied Research Project, with the help of NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) and IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program), and involved significant in-kind contribution from Cypher. The result was a great success, not only on-campus but worldwide: DSMB was commercialized in 2017 and is now sold and applied in more than 20 countries around the world.

About the product:

Dust Stop Municipal Blend is an environmentally-friendly, non-corrosive road treatment product that can be used to control excess dust and remove moisture from roadways. Comprised of sugars and starches, DSMB is an eco-friendly alternative to road salts such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. Since the product is non-toxic, it poses no risks to roadside vegetation and the lack of toxic salts means it will not cause rust on cars. DSMB maintains the integrity of the material it’s added to, and is a cost-effective, non-corrosive, biodegradable and concentrated enough to be shipped globally. Find more information at

College recognized with global award in Applied Research

October 12, 2018

Red River College (RRC) has once again been recognized as a global leader in applied research and innovation at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Awards of Excellence in Melbourne, Australia held on October 9. RRC was awarded silver in the Applied Research and Innovation category for contributions led by Research Partnerships & Innovation (RPI), which was formally established in 2004.

“We’re honoured to receive this award from WFCP. It’s a wonderful celebration of the outstanding work our staff and students do every day,” said RRC President & CEO Paul Vogt. “As RPI enters its 15thyear of operation, this award is a great way to both recognize the achievements we’ve made and to motivate us to continue reaching for greatness.”

The WFCP Awards of Excellence honour higher standards in applied education institutions. WFCP last honoured RRC in 2014 with a bronze award at a ceremony in Beijing, China.

“This award is another significant achievement for Applied Research at Red River College,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC. “For nearly 15 years we’ve been dedicated to working with partners to meet the needs of our community and to support community-based economic development. Receiving global recognition for these partnerships speaks to the outstanding quality of the research initiatives that happen at the College.”

Two other Canadian institutions were honoured in the same category – Niagara College was awarded the gold, while Mohawk College took the bronze.

RRC concentrates on four major areas of Applied Research: Advanced Design & Manufacturing, Clean Technology, Digital Technology, and Health, Nutrition & Social Sciences. This award recognizes RRC students, faculty, and staff for several notable projects, including the development of an all-electric transit bus now being sold across North America, delivery of the Science of Early Child Development, and the engagement of International Business students from more than 30 countries to produce Business and Market Intelligence reports for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The College continues to expand to support market needs in applied research. A new Culinary Research Centre that will empower researchers, faculty and students to collaborate with industry to create new products is currently under construction, while a vehicle test facility called the MotiveLab – that features a climatic chamber that reaches temperature highs of +50 C or lows of –40 C, no matter the outdoor temperature – is set to open at the Notre Dame Campus later this year.

Cooking up a bright future for Culinary Research and Innovation

July 27, 2018

Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director, Research Partnerships and Innovation, Red River College (RRC), Ian Seymour, Board Director, CFI, Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, Sue Leclair, President and CEO of The Pretzel Place and RRC alumni, Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for CharleswoodÑSt. JamesÑAssiniboiaÑHeadingly, and Rick Tofani, Director, Applied Research and Innovation Services, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are photographed after an announcement of a total federal investment of $10,678,322 in research infrastructure funding for recipients awarded in the latest round of the Canada Foundation for InnovationÕs (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) competition at Red River College in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 18, 2012. The funding will support 11 projects at 11 different colleges/polytechnics across Canada. Canadian Press Images/John Woods

On Wednesday, Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan stopped by Jane’s restaurant to announce a total federal investment of over $10 million in research infrastructure funding for recipients awarded in the latest round of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) competition.

Red River College was one of eleven successful colleges and polytechnics across Canada, and now thanks to the CFI’s investment of more than $1 million, construction is underway to build the College’s first-ever multi-functional culinary research centre. Read More →