Posts by Applied Research

RRC Research Chair nominated for YMCA-YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award

April 17, 2015 • Written by

She’s devoted years to the development of a global online resource that links early childhood educators with the latest in research and knowledge.

So it’s no surprise that Red River College’s Janet Jamieson — Research Chair for the School of Health Sciences and Community Services, and the driving force behind the College’s world-renowned Science of Early Child Development (SECD) research project — has been nominated for a 2015 Women of Distinction Award.

Jamieson (shown above, at centre) was nominated in the category of Community Activism and Social Enterprise — a perfect match, given she’s been the principal researcher and lead developer on a series of projects for RRC that are grounded in the advancement of social equity, and have in turn led to the advancement of economic and environmental priorities.

The most notable of these is SECD, a knowledge mobilization initiative designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the profound impact of the early years on lifelong health and well-being.

First developed as a tool to help share the emerging science about early brain development and its implications for practice across sectors, SECD has grown and evolved into three online living textbooks, as well as other educational resources. Updated regularly, it brings research and concepts to life with hundreds of readings, videos, links and interactive activities. There have been many versions and modules developed to support its use with a variety of audiences throughout the world.

Colleges and universities (in Canada and elsewhere) use SECD in pre-entry, diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs as content for online and off-line courses, while government and community organizations use it for parent education workshops, staff training and professional development. Students, instructors and parent groups in 27 countries around the world use SECD.

Through a partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, SECD is used extensively in East Africa and South Asia, reaching people in the most poverty-stricken parts of the world, and teaching them how to interact with their children to support healthy growth and development.

Jamieson herself has travelled extensively to isolated parts of Africa and Asia to deliver training modules and work with members of local communities to develop their skills at delivering SECD content. Her work has directly impacted hundreds of people in at least 22 countries, and has led to government advocacy that’s focused on investments in the early years as a way to improve economic, social and other outcomes.

And SECD represents only a fraction of Jamieson’s work. She has also led and overseen other projects in Bangladesh and Pakistan, has trained community-based workers in Sub-Saharan Africa to work with children impacted by HIV/AIDS, and has documented the leading-edge practices for health and early childhood education in Cuba, which have exceptionally high outcomes.

Jamieson has also contributed at the local level, serving on several advisory committees (among them Healthy Child Manitoba) related to early childhood development issues. She also led and managed an intervention known as the Abecedarian project, a structured, targeted approach that works with children in child care centres in Winnipeg’s lowest-income neighbourhoods, providing reading and other supports to support the successful entry of the children into the public school system.

Hosted by YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, this year’s Women of Distinction Awards Gala takes place May 6, at the RBC Convention Centre.


Red River College granted national funds to establish technology access centre for Manitoba’s construction sector

April 8, 2015 • Written by

WINNIPEG, MB – Red River College (RRC) has been awarded $1.75 million over 5 years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to establish the Centre for Building Envelope Performance (CBEP) at their Notre Dame Campus in Winnipeg.

CBEP is expected to significantly increase access to the College’s facilities, equipment, and expertise for Manitoba’s building industry, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises whose products and services directly impact a building’s envelope.

The envelope can significantly impact a building’s overall construction and maintenance costs, durability, appearance, occupant comfort and health, and energy performance.

“This grant will provide a meaningful enhancement to our ability to serve Manitoba’s construction sector with advanced graduates and professional training, as well as fostering innovation in a critical component of building design and construction,” said David Rew, Interim President and CEO of Red River College.

Increased building complexity, new standards and code requirements, and increased pressure to reduce energy use are just a few of the challenges faced by Manitoba’s construction sector.

“Our partners are absolutely thrilled with the news,” said Rob Spewak, who is transitioning from senior research manager to take on management of the new Centre. “The industry is facing a seemingly perfect storm of challenges, and it consists almost entirely of small businesses which generally lack comprehensive resources to do research, testing, and training in-house.”

Check out this video! It tells the story of why CBEP is being established at Red River College.

Another significant driver for the Centre’s establishment is Manitoba’s extreme temperatures – especially its harsh winter weather; it has historically presented major challenges that have led to several notable – and costly – building failures.

“As a result, building envelope training and research was identified as the most important issue faced by our stakeholders, who along with Manitoba’s construction industry, include the Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro,” said Spewak.

Manitoba Hydro is a leading industry proponent of the CBEP; its Power Smart conservation programs are currently targeting energy efficiency improvements in over 35,000 commercial enterprises in Manitoba.

“The knowledge gained from the work of the CBEP will have broad application to all sectors, including the building envelopes of residential, commercial and industrial facilities across Manitoba,” said Dale Friesen, Division Manager, Industrial and Commercial Solutions with Manitoba Hydro.

The Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure - established in 2007.

The Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure – established in 2007.

CBEP will be operated under Red River College’s School of Construction and Engineering Technologies, and will leverage the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure as well as a previous $2.3-million 5-year grant to conduct applied research on improving the energy performance of commercial buildings.

Red River College is now the only college in Canada to operate two NSERC-funded technology access centres. The first of which is the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing, which was established in 2012 and has yielded many benefits to the aerospace industry.

“With the addition of this second Technology Access Centre, Red River College is able to better meet the innovation, specialized service, and training needs of both the manufacturing and construction sectors – serving 17 percent of Manitoba’s GDP,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization at the College.

The Honourable Minister of State (Science and Technology), Ed Holder made the funding announcement today at Hamilton Ontario’s Mohawk College as part of over $40 million in grants to colleges across Canada.

“Our government’s providing record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Our government is committed to creating the conditions that will allow entrepreneurship to thrive in this country,” said Holder. “The collaboration between colleges and local industrial partners generates new products and ideas, creating long-term prosperity for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Applied Research, Program Innovation and Student Engagement

March 30, 2015 • Written by

Liting Han, instructor and CARD-funded researcher with Electrical Engineering Technologies at Red River College highlights several of her research projects, focusing on how she included students in the process.

Check out her presentation!

Want to attend presentations like this in person? Interested in delivering a presentation yourself? Have any content suggestions? Please contact:

Claudius Soodeen | | 204.632.2147

Red River College unveils Manitoba’s first rapid charger for electric vehicles

March 26, 2015 • Written by

Red River College is giving Manitoba electric vehicle (EV) owners a boost with its recently installed and operational Level 3 (30KW DC) quick charging station, the first of its kind in the province and one of about two dozen across Canada.

Drivers of Level 3 compliant EVs, including Nissan Leafs, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and Teslas, can now drop by the College’s Notre Dame Campus to charge up while contributing to research on the charger’s performance in Manitoba’s climate.

“With the installation of this new charger, we continue to play a leading role in Manitoba’s green transportation future,” said David Rew, RRC interim president and CEO. “This rapid charging station is another key element in our Mobility from Green Energy Initiative and a logical next step in our vehicle technology research program.”

Level 3 stations can charge an EV to at least an 80 percent charge in 15 to 30 minutes; this is compared to a 220/240V Level 2 charger, which can take 4 to 6 hours to get to full charge, or an 110/120V Level 1 charger (like those found around your house), which can take about 24 hours.

“There are currently no other rapid charging stations of this level in a climate as diverse as Winnipeg’s,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization at Red River College. “The effect on both the Lithium ion battery and vehicle performance when utilizing rapid charging in extreme winter weather is still unknown.”

The new charging station will be handy for compliant EV owners – especially those traveling from out of town – who need a quick boost to make it to their next destination.

“EV owners who live more than an hour’s drive from Winnipeg will now be able to use their EVs to commute to the city,” said Robert Elms, president of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association. “This is a major step forward in the establishment of EV charging infrastructure in Manitoba.”

Red River College is sharing the charging station with whoever is able to use it, so long as they register and agree to participate in its study when called upon.

Funding for the charger was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; it will be used as part of the College’s ongoing EV research, testing, and demonstration projects at its Electric Vehicle Technology & Education Centre (EVTEC).

See related Media coverage:


Local startup food processor partners with Red River College research chef to win Best New Product award

March 11, 2015 • Written by

WINNIPEG, MB – Canadian Prairie Garden Puree (CPGP) has just been awarded Manitoba’s Best New Product at the Manitoba Food Processor’s Association’s (MFPA’s) annual awards Gala.  Red River College’s lead research chef, Brad Gray, created the innovative dishes incorporating CPGP’s ingredients that won over the judges’ hearts, minds, and taste buds.

Kelly Beaulieu with some of her award winning product.

Kelly Beaulieu with some of her award winning product.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the result,” said Kelly Beaulieu, Founder of CPGP. “There were a lot of large established producers in the competition and the validation that comes with this award really means a lot to our early-stage business. Chef Gray played an critical role and he was able to answer the judges’ questions intelligently and with a genuine passion for the product.”

CPGP uses innovative technology and processes to transform high-quality, non-GMO and Manitoba-sourced crops, into additive- and preservative-free purees with a shelf life of 2 years.

“I think the judges were most impressed with the versatility of vegetable purees,” said Chef Gray. “When you think vegetable puree, tasty mac n’ cheese and chocolate cake aren’t typically the first things to come to mind.”

UPDATE: Listen to this short interview with Chef Gray on CJOB radio.

But those are exactly the dishes Chef Gray created to showcase the versatility, quality and flavours of CPGP’s purees: a gingered carrot mac n’ cheese and a beet chocolate cake parfait with carrot sabayon, Saskatoon sauce and milk chocolate ganache.

“This is an excellent demonstration the role the College plays in Manitoba’s food research and development ecosystem,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) at Red River College. “We challenge our research chefs and students to showcase the commercial potential of food products created by innovative local producers.”

Red River College only recently established its food research program in its School of Hospitality and Culinary at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute in 2012 with research infrastructure support from Western Economic Diversification. Since then, it has been working to communicate the College’s capabilities and form relationships with producers.

It was through those networking efforts that the College started working with CPGP’s products.

“Chef Gray and I met with Kelly and toured the manufacturing facility in November 2014. We were excited about the variety of products and came back with several samples to experiment with,” said Mavis McRae, AR&C research manager.

Only one month later, CPGP’s purees were featured in two of Chef Gray’s dishes at the MFPA’s annual holiday reception.  The navy bean and Saskatoon puree crème brûlée and a beet and goat cheese crostini were a huge hit as six RRC students served up samples to over 500 guests at RRC’s booth.

Chef Gray preparing his crème brûlée.

Chef Gray preparing his crème brûlée.

The delicious crème brûlée.

The delicious crème brûlée.

Mouth watering beet crostini.

Mouth watering beet crostini.

“Based on feedback from the reception, CPGP asked if I could help them present for the New Product Award at the MFPA gala,” said Chef Gray.

“I believe the industry is taking note,” said Chef Gray. “I’ve already received a few more requests and invitations. They are seeing the value of having a research chef involved in the product development and commercialization process.”

RRC and CPGP are now in the midst of developing more formal research initiatives.

“We are very excited about what’s ahead,” said Beaulieu. “The College is great to work with and they know how to tap into applied research resources – a potentially critical element to our commercial success.”

Another outcome is that Chef Gray will be one of three chefs competing at Agriculture Awareness day on Mar. 17, 2015 at the Legislative Building; he will develop a new dessert recipe using CPGP’s purees, along with other Manitoba ingredients, which a catering company will then prepare for 80 people who will vote for their favourite dish.

“Having innovative companies like CPGP bring new ingredients to the food service industry allows access to healthy, locally grown and processed ingredients throughout the year,” said McRae.  “We congratulate CPGP for their vision and look forward to watching them expand their success.”

It’s definitely exciting times for food product research in Manitoba, and Red River College is just getting started in helping bring Manitoba food innovations to market.

College Applied Research Series: Students, Faculty & Curriculum

February 26, 2015 • Written by
This article is the second in a series of four by Ray Hoemsen, Director, Applied Research & Commercialization, Red River College.

This is article is the last of a series of four that were published in the College Applied Research Series by Ray Hoemsen, Director, Applied Research & Commercialization, Red River College.

As originally published in the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators Newsletter.

Applied research – which is driven by community needs – in Canada’s colleges and polytechnics enhances the applied
learning experience of the students (all undergraduates), broadens and deepens the experience of the instructors and
serves to enhance the curriculum; while adding value in (and benefit to) the local economy.

Since most full-time instructors generally have 20 or so contact hours per week, they themselves have limited time to dedicate to applied research. Therefore, students play an integral role in applied research since they are often hired (at rates which can exceed what a postdoctoral student would receive from a granting council) to carry out applied research (under the supervision of the instructor or a dedicated research professional). And, of course, more and more students have the opportunity to undertake classroom-based applied research activities – especially in capstone courses. Student engagement also results in the availability of highly-qualified skilled personnel for the
workforce; and enhances the accessibility for SMEs who may not have in-house R&D capabilities.

Colleges routinely grant their applied research clients commercial rights to project research results, while retaining rights for further research and education purposes (this is also an expectation of the Tri-Council).

Therefore, there is ample opportunity to integrate learnings into curriculum – be it an existing or new course, a workshop, or customized training. This is normally led by the Schools (or

Colleges and Institutes Canada (1) reported that in 2012-13 more than 29,000 students were involved in applied research – a ten-fold increase in participation over the last five years. This translates to nearly 13 students for every faculty, staff, industrial expert and technician involved in applied research.

And Polytechnics Canada data (2) shows that since 2007/08 nearly 46,000 students have been involved in hands-on applied research projects, supplementing the efforts of more
than 5,200 staff and faculty; servicing the needs of nearly 7,000 Canadian companies (93% of which were SMEs).

Some best practices for supporting college faculty and student
engagement in applied research (3) are:

  • faculty release time and/or salary top-up;
  • student salary or research grant (direct to student);
  • student placement salary support (direct to employer);
  • provision of materials, supplies, equipment and facility access; and
  • enabling technology diffusion and transfer, including travel to conferences and workshops.

In this regard, the lessons learned (over the last decade) at Red River College include:

  • flexible intellectual property policy incents industry engagement;
  • students and instructors are integral and essential components in responding to community needs;
  • supportive government policies and programs have helped to build college applied research capacity, but there are limited supports for non-degree college student engagement (other than the Tri-Council’s College and Community Innovation Program);
    employ students (at market rates) to work on industry applied research projects;
  • use internal and external grants to engage students, as well as capstone projects and competitions;
  • partner with other academic institutions; and hire students in the applied research office (i.e. “walk the talk”).

In closing, at CAURA’s Got Talent! (June 2014), the panel on student engagement in applied research in the colleges and polytechnics identified key outcomes as “increased skill acquisition and development; the ability to apply learning to real world contexts; and increased employability (and employment)”


(1): Applied Research at Colleges and Institutes 2012-13. Colleges and Institutes Canada. appliedresearch-2/scan-2012-13/ downloaded September 11, 2014.
(2): Polytechnics Canada Applied Research Metrics 2013/14.July 1, 2014
(3) Eligible costs under the Tri-Council’s College and Community Innovation Program, administered by NSERC.

Feb. 17, 2015: IndustryCONNECTS Researcher Pitch Coaching

February 9, 2015 • Written by

Researchers are invited to join Innovate Manitoba’s experienced pitch coaching team to learn the art and science of the research sales pitch.

industry-connectsManitoba’s academic researchers are producing world-class innovations and discoveries, but their ideas are often lost in translation when it comes to pitching to potential business partners.

This is resulting in missed opportunities, not only for the individual researchers, but also for Manitoba’s communities and the economy.

Researcher Pitch Coaching: Enrich your Pitch! is an interactive and focused event designed to transform attendees’ research pitch skills and techniques. This workshop will provide those who attend with everything they need to know about delivering a successful pitch to potential business partners.

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
– Lee Iacocca


Driving SME Innovation: Feb. 11-12, 2015

January 29, 2015 • Written by

Evolve Your Business Thinking!

Driving Innovation Conference & Workshop 2015

Event Registration and More Information Available at

Do you want to accelerate your growth?

Are you facing tough technology and resource decisions?

Looking to create culture of innovation in your company?

Join us at Manitoba’s first innovation conference focused on small- to medium-sized businesses. This conference & workshop will show you how your company can increase efficiency, reduce risk and embrace innovation. Together, we will explore how to keep abreast of new technologies, grow and expand new products or services, reach new markets and enhance business productivity. Learn how to engage your customers and employees in success, fund your ideas, and grow to be an innovation leader in Manitoba.

Register Today

Conference and Workshop Presented by:

Innovate Manitoba - The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce - InVision

SHRCC Applied Research Funding for Colleges – Info session

January 26, 2015 • Written by

The new, $15-million Community and College Social Innovation Fund offered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) was presented in an info session at Red River College.

View the session here:


More info:

The deadline for applications is March 2, 2015.

Proposals to the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) are expected to:

  • foster social innovation by connecting the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations; and
  • facilitate the development of collaborative social innovation research that brings together researchers, students and partners to address research challenges pertaining to social innovation.

Applicants can propose partnerships that build on existing collaborations or are new collaborations or innovative models. All partnerships should promote research, connection and professional training. Applicants are encouraged to explore multi-sector partnership approaches with partner organizations from the private, public and/or not-for-profit sectors.

For more information, please contact Jose Delos Reyes at jdelosreyes@RRC.CA

Effectively Navigating and Managing Technology-driven Change

January 15, 2015 • Written by

January 19th, 2015 – SME Change Management Workshop – Conference Board of Canada, National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and ICTAM

The Conference Board of Canada, with the support of the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), will bring together leaders from small and medium sized enterprises to discuss ways you can be ready and adaptable to the transformative power of enhanced technology-driven change management that can improve your bottom line.

At this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to demonstrate value that can come through enhanced change management approaches. For example: improved new product and service development, productivity gains, enhanced competitiveness, tapping new markets, and overall business growth.
  • Discover best practices for navigating and managing technology-driven change.
  • Be focused on tangible, action-learning tools that you will be able to take-away and put to use in your organization immediately.
  • Have the opportunity to network with, and learn from, peers within your Region.

Download the Agenda.

There is a $75 fee to participate, which includes a lunch. To confirm your participation, please visit the Conference Board website to complete a registration form.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Maggie Paterson at 613-526-3090 or Sarah Dimick at 905 704-4566 ext. 2223 or

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