Research enterprise re-aligning to support Manitoba businesses on a global stage

March 24, 2022

For more than 15 years, RRC Polytech’s Research Partnerships & Innovation enterprise has collaborated with local industry and community partners to find solutions to real-world challenges.

Over the course of the last five months, work has been underway on a new Academic Plan and Research Plan, focused on alignment with the key commitments of the College’s Strategic Plan, In Front of What’s Ahead.

Both plans will support how RRC Polytech lives its bold new direction over the next five years, and will play a significant role in how the College achieves a renewed commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, supports growth and prosperity within Manitoba and deepens relationships with employers, industry and community partners.

“This change in structure was a natural fit, as several goals in the Research Plan align extremely well with the mandate of RRC Polytech’s newly created Indigenous Strategy and Business Development portfolio,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO. 

“This re-alignment is one of the ways we are positioning RRC Polytech to achieve our strategic goals and elevate our role in strengthening Manitoba’s economic, social, environmental and cultural prosperity.”

Led by Jamie Wilson — a former educator, Treaty Commissioner and deputy minister (Education; Growth, Enterprise and Trade) — the new area will be known as Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development.

Black and white portrait, Jamie WilsonSince being hired as the department’s vice-president last November, Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) has already identified many opportunities to provide a suite of innovative services, including the continued service model that positions RRC Polytech as a responsive and client-centred partner for industry and employers.

This model is one that RPI continues to successfully leverage, providing solutions for industry challenges and delivering in-demand training to meet labour market needs. 

“The overlap between business development, applied research and Indigenous growth is what differentiates Manitoba on a global scale. This is an empowerment of Manitoba’s value proposition,” says Wilson.

“The re-alignment of the Research, Partnerships & Innovation department will ensure research at the College is approached through an Indigenous lens, and will open up new opportunities for collaboration on shared goals and initiatives between academic programs, applied research and business development.”

Befitting the College’s status as Manitoba’s polytechnic, applied research will continue to play a key role in academic programs, providing high quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students, including the integration of capstone projects into curricula. 

RPI will continue with the important work it has set out to accomplish, and re-alignment in the new portfolio will enable RRC Polytech’s work to expands its reach, creating the right connections within the College — and in the community — to support the Research Plan’s ambitious goals and strategic direction over the next five years. 

The re-envisioned area presents an exciting new opportunity to create and deepen partnerships between RRC Polytech, the business community and the Indigenous community. This opportunity will make a major impact as the College embeds Truth and Reconciliation and pursues equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything it does.