Winnipeg, MB – An alternator-driven electric bicycle, a study on lullaby therapy for infants, an online divorce agency, and a social media assessment for the Winnipeg Police Service, are just a small sample of the close to 30 student-led research projects that will be on display today at Red River College’s Applied Research Innovation Day.
This event, now entering its second year, welcomes close to 200 participants from the College, and its partners in business and industry, to learn about the College’s many research initiatives and to learn about the student’s experiences and successes in applying their work – in many instances – in a real-world environment.
“We started our applied research initiatives a little more than a decade ago, and today we’re leading the way in applied research here in Manitoba, and across Western Canada,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO, RRC. “More and more the idea of teaching and learning is moving away from students sitting and desks and taking notes and towards hands-on, collaborative projects. Applied Research & Innovation Day strongly showcases the success of that approach to learning.”
Today’s event will feature an industry luncheon with a keynote from Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer Industries – recently named Canada’s top CEO of the year by the Financial Post. The luncheon will also feature a high-speed student quick-pitch competition – similar to what you would see on CBC’s Dragon’s Den – where the top four group projects from the morning’s student showcase will explain how their research created a sustainable solution to a real problem.
While today marks an important milestone for our students’ research projects, it’s also an important milestone for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – one of the many federal partners who support RRC’s applied research initiatives – as they prepare to announce their 10,000th Engage Grant at today’s luncheon in support of colleges and universities across Canada.
At the College these grants have helped RRC students and grads to develop new products, especially in the College’s culinary research program that created the macaroons being served as dessert for today’s luncheon and were developed with NSERC funding at RRC by Piccola Cucina.
“There are some amazing products being made in Manitoba that start with locally-sourced ingredients and turn into something elevated. We’re proud to be able to announce here at Red River College that NSERC has been able to provide more than 10,000 Engage Grants – up to $25,000 per project – to colleges and universities across the country. It’s research like this that is pushing the country forward and adding value to our already rich resources,” said Bert van den Berg, Director, Colleges, Commercialization, and Portfolio Planning Division.
Engage Grants are designed to give innovative companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian universities and colleges.
The Applied Research and Innovation Day event has doubled in size this year with the addition of external exhibitor booths including Bioscience Association Manitoba, Cypher Environmental, New Media Manitoba, North Forge Technology Exchange, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and many others.
All of today’s activities are being hosted at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus with the student showcase beginning at 9:00am in the mall level, and the keynote and quick-pitch competition taking place in the Voyageur Dining Room starting at 11:30am.