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College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) competition launching this summer

July 8, 2019

NSERC‘s College and Community Innovation program will be launching a new competition for the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF). The competition will be launched this summer with an application deadline in fall 2019. Applicants will be invited to apply for up to $120,000 per year for a duration of one to two years.

CCSIF grants are intended to support college social innovation research projects in areas such as education, integration of vulnerable populations and community development, in partnership with local community organizations. For your reference, you may also wish to review the program details from the 2017 CCSIF competition, however, please note that the program details may be revised for the 2019 competition.

More program details will be available in the coming weeks. Please contact colleges@nserc-crsng.gc.ca with any questions.

Register for new webinars from Community-Based Research Canada

July 5, 2019

Are you interested in learning more about developing a co-curricular research shop model? Sign up for the latest webinar from Community-Based Research Canada (CBRC) – a national facilitator for community-based research (CBR) and campus-community engagement in Canada. Here is more information from their website:

“A research shop is a co-curricular post-secondary initiative where student volunteers work on research projects in the community. In the context of funding cuts in post-secondary education, lean and precarious resources for non-profit organizations, and multiple drivers towards experiential education, how does a research shop respond most effectively to community research requests? This webinar will present McMaster University’s experience formalizing its research shop, striving to be sustainable and relevant while balancing community needs and student experiences.”

The webinar takes place on Thursday, July 18 at 11am CST. Register here.

NSERC funding available for science promotion activities

June 26, 2019

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is seeking applications to its PromoScience Grant. PromoScience supports activities and content designed for youth in elementary school and high school, their teachers, and activities that will encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in natural sciences and engineering.

NSERC invites applications that promote the natural sciences and engineering to Canada’s young people, particularly to groups such as girls and Indigenous peoples that are under-represented in scientific and engineering careers.

The application deadline is September 15, 2019. For more information and to apply, please visit their website.

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!

Third-annual ARI Day shows future is bright for women in STEM

June 4, 2019

Red River College’s third-annual Applied Research & Innovation Day was a great success, with innovative student research projects running the gamut from smart technology, to plant-based proteins, to advancements in health and social sciences.

The event also demonstrated the future is bright for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) – as women researchers took home the first, second, and third place prizes, as well as the people’s choice award. Here’s a look at their award-winning projects:

First Place:

Natural Language Processing – Chatbot

Student: Victoria McNab
School: Business and Applied Arts
Referred by: Randall Peters, Instructor – Business Information Technology

“This project aims to process millions of historical chat records, to develop an industry specific, assistive chatbot trained on this data using an offline environment, with no access to cloud computing resources. Rapid RTC provides online chat services to their customers, along with receptionist support. My goal is to use machine learning, and Natural Language Processing techniques to help the receptionists build better customer relationships by extracting the topics being discussed and analyzing the sentiment of the discussions. Using unsupervised machine learning, I applied the Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithm to model the topics being discussed. In parallel, I applied statistical analysis techniques to manually determine topics, which gave me a result set to evaluate models against.”

 

Second Place:

Manitoba Soy-Free Tempeh

Student: Anna Borys
School/Program/Class: Culinary Arts
Referred by: Mavis McRae – Culinary Research and Innovation

“Tempeh is traditionally made from hulled soy beans, the purpose of the project is to create a non-soy tempeh, using a different source of pulses. Initially, we used traditional methods to making a yellow pea tempeh, however resulted in substandard product. To get a product that more closely resembles a more traditional tempeh, we altered cooking and culture variables. Although no clients were initially incorporated into this project, the work is applicable to companies such as Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers Association, Best Cooking Pulses, AGT, or Prairie Fava. Further work to optimize product to commercial standards would be required.”

 

Third Place:

Acid-based Cleaning Solution for Animal Barns and Related Areas

Student(s): Erum Naz
School/Program/Class: Health Sciences and Community Services
Referred by: Said Hassan, Instructor

“This project involved developing an acid based cleaning solution for use in animal barns and related areas. This project was conducted for our client Precision Chemicals a Manitoba company which is primarily in the business of developing innovative solutions to farming problems. Precision Chemicals markets an alkaline barn cleaning solution, Bioshredder. However, the company wanted to also market an acid base solution. This project started by investigating various emulsifying and foaming agents. The project then proceeded by making various formulations and trying them in simulated real life environment. Eventually a product meeting the client’s specifications was developed and is being tried in the field.”

 

People’s Choice:

Reducing Post-Stroke Depression

Student(s): Samantha Eveleigh
School/Program/Class: Research and Scholarship in Nursing
Referred by: Meagan Chorney, Patrick Griffith

“Depression after stroke is considered a primary complication and can lead to decreased health outcomes. Despite this, there are limited studies that describe the individual’s experience with depression. With my lived experience of surviving a hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 18, my hope is to bridge the gap of knowledge and bring alive what is learned in theory.

Recovery from a stroke reveals depression in both immediate and long-term phases that may require intervention that could be led by nurses. Support to manage symptoms of depression can be led by nurses who are specialized in neurosurgery by leading a follow up after discharge either by telephone or by face-to-face interactions.”

The top three winners were all NSERC-supported projects, while Victoria McNab’s Natural Language Processing Chatbot also received support through IRAP.

Funding opportunity from Natural Resources Canada

May 31, 2019

A new funding opportunity from Natural Resources Canada is now available for Canadian entrepreneurs and private companies working in the fields of manufacturing, electricity, transportation, and buildings. An investment of up to $30 million through a new initiative called Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) will foster cutting-edge companies to deliver clean energy innovations to the market.

Launched under a new stream of NRCan’s Energy Innovation Program, in partnership with Breakthrough Energy, BESC is a first-of-its-kind public–private initiative aimed at accelerating the development of clean energy technologies with the potential for substantial pollution reductions globally.

To find out if you could be eligible and to learn more about BESC, please visit their website.

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.

NVDIA hosts keynote address on Manitoba’s Future in HPC-2019

May 22, 2019

All are invited to attend a special keynote address hosted by NVDIA on Wednesday, June 5.

Griffin Lacey will present the keynote address on Manitoba’s Future in HPC-2019. Lacey is a deep learning solutions architect for NVIDIA. In his current role, he assists Canadian customers in designing and deploying their scientific compute infrastructure to solve artificial intelligence problems.

This event is open to the general public. It is being hosted by the Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative and is being held in conjunction with Manitoba’s Future in HPC-2019, Digital Ag conference, which takes place the following day (June 6th at the University of Winnipeg’s Eckhardt Gramatté Hall).

To register, please click here.

Save the date: 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference

May 7, 2019

Red River College is proud to introduce the inaugural 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference, September 30th through October 2nd in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Conference is oriented to researchers and practitioners involved with advances in and practical applications of vehicle technologies. The conference focus includes alternative propulsion technologies, heavy-duty and specialized vehicle applications, vehicle simulation, vehicle testing, data analysis and modeling, “smart” vehicle technologies, improving vehicle sustainability performance, and addressing barriers for new technologies. A particular tour-feature is Red River College’s newly completed MotiveLab, an advanced heavy-duty vehicle capable, extreme temperature climatic-chamber and chassis dynamometer test facility.

For more information and to register, please click here.