RRC and Manitoba Hydro partnership recognized in Canadian Innovation News

April 6, 2016 • Written by

Green energy in one of the planet’s coldest cities

In February 2016, the RRC/Manitoba Hydro research partnership was recognized with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s prestigious Synergy Innovation Award at a ceremony held at the Governor General of Canada’s residence in Ottawa.

In its pilot issue, the Canadian Innovation News shared a few elements of this decade-long, award-winning partnership’s story.

Click the image below to access the full pilot issue to catch up on what’s been happening in Canada’s innovation scene. And don’t forget to check out RRC’s coverage on page 32!

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 4.09.57 PM



RRC supports WCIO to catalyze industry-academic partnerships across Western Canada

April 5, 2016 • Written by

brent-wennekesRed River College has joined forces with the Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) consortium as part of an effort to connect Western Canadian industry needs with the array of research and innovation resources that exist in WCIO’s nearly 40-member consortium of universities, colleges and polytechnics across the West.

The WCIO is a Western Economic Diversification (WD) Canada-funded pilot project that seeks to enhance collaboration between academic research institutions, and enhance access to these institutions by prospective industry partners. The overall goal is improved engagement between industry and academia, in order to address industry-driven needs and challenges.

“Increasing R&D investment by Canadian business enterprises is definitely an opportunity for Western Canada,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C), and WCIO steering committee member. “The WCIO initiative is working to be part of the solution by increasing the research and innovation-related engagement between industry and the post-secondary sector.”

RRC will support the WCIO with boots on the ground. Brent Wennekes, Research Manager with AR&C, has been seconded part-time — with direct financial support from WCIO — to perform as a business development specialist working with post-secondary institutions in Manitoba. Brent’s is one of eight such positions being created across the West.

“Brent is not only connected to Manitoba’s business community, he is also recognized by many local researchers via his experience with both RRC and Innovate Manitoba, and has developed an excellent understanding of Canada’s innovation ecosystem,” says Hoemsen.

WCIO currently has funding available for energy-related projects that include more than one institutional research partner.

“Strategically, with RRC’s research themes of sustainable technology and advanced transportation, our partnership makes a lot of sense,” says Hoemsen. “More importantly, businesses now have a go-to resource for tapping into the wide array of academic research that exist in the West.”

Under the theme of ‘Energy,’ WCIO includes the following research areas: clean tech/alternative energy, remediation/reclamation, hydrocarbons, hydroelectric, grid design and distribution, and socio-economic impacts.

The results of WCIO’s first call for proposals are expected to be announced imminently. A second call for proposals is anticipated later in 2016.

The WD funding for WCIO was initiated and is held by the University of Manitoba, the lead institution in the WCIO consortium.

Do you, or does your industry or sector,
have a problem that needs solving? Want to explore your potential for research capabilities across Western Canada?

To get started or learn more, contact:

Brent Wennekes
Business Development Specialist, Western Canadian Innovation Office
204.631.3323 | bwennekes@rrc.ca

Cypher Environmental touts benefit of RRC research collaboration

February 23, 2016 • Written by

logo_imgOn Feb. 6, 2016, Cypher’s President, Todd Burns was asked to speak with Kalen Qually on the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s BOLD Radio Show, which aired all across the province on 680 CJOB. Cypher Environmental was chosen as one of only two companies by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to discuss the topic of Manitoba leading the way in innovation.

During the interview, Burns cited Red River College as an example of why Winnipeg is a great place to do business.

“In terms of the innovation that we are doing, Cypher has a really great link with Red River College…Our technical staff are able to go and utilize their labs pretty much whenever we want. We sort of have a deal on a handshake – you break it, you fix it, and clean up after yourselves and don’t get in the way of the students. And it’s been phenomenal in terms of our ability to utilize resources that we don’t have in our small facility…It’s a great way to build on our capacity to do the research and innovation and grow the business.”

To hear the full conversation with Kalen Qually on BOLD Radio, please click the link below.


EVENT: Leveraging CAD Data in Manufacturing

February 17, 2016 • Written by

In today’s manufacturing organization, 3D Computer-Aided Design has become the basis of all stages of product development: from initial design, to creating assembly instructions, to programming the machines that will be used to create the physical product, and more. Effective sharing of CAD data throughout the manufacturing organization is essential to producing high-quality products on time and on budget.

Join us on March 16, as industry veteran, Steve Thompson, of Applied Engineering Inc., shares his experience and perspectives on leveraging CAD data in throughout the manufacturing organization. This session is geared towards designers, engineers, product developers, production and operations managers, executives and technology integrators.

Topics will include:

  • Engineering BOM to Manufacturing BOM
  • CAD data for manufacturing processes
  • CAD data for manufacturing fixtures – weld/assembly
  • CAD data for manufacturing equipment kit carts – lifting devices
  • Digitization of the manufacturing floor – designing & analyzing the production line before the physical creation
  • Communication of engineering data to MRP or ERP systems

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (11:30 am – 1:30 pm)
Location: Prairie Lights Meeting Room, Red River College – 2055 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg
Cost: There is no cost for this session, but registration is required. Deadline for registration is March 2, 2016.
Lunch will be provided.



Steve Thompson has a diverse background in product development and manufacturing, with over twenty years of engineering experience in design, manufacturing, and testing across multiple industries, including construction, agriculture, off-highway, office equipment and packaging. Steve is the Professional Services Director for Fargo-based Applied Engineering Inc., a firm that provides engineering and IT programming expertise to clients in a wide spectrum of manufacturing industries. Applied Engineering has more than 70 engineers and 15 programmers that consult to regional organizations, supporting their product development and manufacturing activities. During his 16 years at Applied Engineering, Steve has worked with many clients at various levels of technological sophistication — from manual operations to “lights-out” 24/7 manufacturing. These experiences have forged his vision for optimizing the use of data and technology into all available areas of an organization.

Red River College and Manitoba Hydro research partnership wins prestigious national innovation award

February 17, 2016 • Written by
Top row: Rob Spewak, RRC BETAC Manager; Lloyd Kuczek, VP with Manitoba Hydro; Jose Delos Reyes, RRC Research Manager; Bottom row: Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; Ray Hoemsen, RRC Research director; His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Neil Cooke, Dean, Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research, RRC; Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

Top row: Rob Spewak, RRC BETAC Manager; Lloyd Kuczek, VP with Manitoba Hydro; Jose Delos Reyes, RRC Research Manager. Bottom row: Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; Ray Hoemsen, RRC Research Director; David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Neil Cooke, Dean, Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research, RRC; Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

WINNIPEG, MB: A research partnership between Red River College (RRC) and Manitoba Hydro that focuses on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has received Canada’s top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) at a ceremony held at the Governor General of Canada’s residence in Ottawa.

NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between Canadian colleges and industry partners in the natural sciences and engineering. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships efforts,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba and providing our graduates with the skills that industry requires.”

The partners have now spent more than a decade conducting applied research in sustainable building infrastructure and transportation, and there is plenty to show for it.

Two major projects associated with the collaborative research by Red River College and Manitoba Hydro include the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place, which has added an iconic image to energy efficiency on Winnipeg’s skyline, and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.

The ongoing four-year demonstration of the electric buses on the streets of Winnipeg is in partnership with the Winnipeg Transit, the Province of Manitoba, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and New Flyer Industries, the industry-leading Winnipeg-based manufacturer of transit buses in North America.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and Red River College will live on in our downtown office tower and zero emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” said Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s vice president of Customer Care and Energy Conservation. “These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like Red River College.”

The partnership was vital in validating the performance of innovative technologies showcased within Manitoba Hydro Place, resulting in the most energy efficient office tower in North America and the first LEED Platinum commercial building in Canada. Manitoba Hydro Place saves more than 70 per cent of the energy used in a typical office building while providing the highest quality of space for its occupants.

Red River College and Manitoba Hydro moved forward from this foundation into a number of ground-breaking initiatives including the formation of an international consortium that is developing, testing, and demonstrating an all-electric battery transit bus and high-capacity charging system — the first of its size in Canada.

“We now have a total of four buses in daily service in Winnipeg and New Flyer has already accepted orders for international sales,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC. “Each in-service bus leads to a reduction of 160 tonnes of green house gases each year, as well as significant fuel savings.”

Manitoba Hydro’s partnership with the College has also been instrumental in the establishment the new NSERC-funded Building Envelope Technology Access Centre.

“Our partnerships with Red River College allows for sustainable thinking to become entrenched in the next generation of industry leaders,” said Dale Friesen, Industrial and Commercial Solutions Division Manager with Manitoba Hydro. “Students graduating from the College will bring an enhanced level of knowledge and understanding in energy efficiency to their future careers, benefiting our province for decades to come.”

The Synergy award grants Red River College up to $100,000 in funding for applied research tools and instruments and Manitoba Hydro will receive a $20,000 voucher towards any future NSERC-funded applied research project.

Earlier this year, Red River College was ranked as the top college in Canada in research partnership growth, and as a top 10 research college overall for the third consecutive year by Research Infosource. The college was also ranked as one of Canada’s greenest employers for the fifth year in a row.

Manitoba Hydro is the leading proponent of energy efficiency in Manitoba through its Power Smart demand-side management programs, which allows the Crown corporation to encourage and support the sustainable and efficient use of energy by the province’s residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

Fact Sheets: English | French

Additional Quotes:

“Polytechnics Canada heartily congratulates the Applied Research team at Red River on this well-deserved NSERC award,” said Nobina Robinson, CEO, Polytechnics Canada. “Red River’s Applied Research team has led the way in demonstrating that colleges and polytechnics have sophisticated research and development capabilities that lead to win-win outcomes for industry, for students and for federally-funded research through agencies such as NSERC.”

“The tremendous achievements of Red River College and its partners demonstrate the strength and potential of the applied research enterprise in colleges and institutes across the country”, said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada.  “Federal government investments in applied research are closing Canada’s innovation gap and benefiting students, industry and communities in every province and territory.”

NSERC Award Video:

Photos from the Ceremony:

RRC puts tastes to the test with edible bean products

February 1, 2016 • Written by

Culinary students testing navy bean perogies, unbeknownst to them.

Starting April 2014, Chef Brad Gray undertook research on a Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers funded research project as part of Red River College’s newly developing Culinary Research program.

Using different edible bean products, including locally grown and processed flours, purees and ready-to-eat beans, Chef Gray developed 10 new unconventional uses for bean products to enable people to enjoy beans in a variety of easy to consume forms.  The resulting recipes included gluten free crackers and cookies, perogies, flatbreads and crème brûlée.

Chef Gray preparing his crème brûlée.

Chef Gray preparing his crème brûlée.

The primary objective was to maximize the amount of beans per serving with a goal to maximize the quantity of beans without affecting the taste or texture of the food.  The goal is to help people obtain 1/2 a cup of beans in one day through one or two products.

In January 2016, Alyssa Houston, the Culinary Research program’s first co-op student, prepared a selection of products from the initial project to be consumer tested in the Culinary Exchange annex at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

Alyssa Houston with some of her own creations.

Alyssa Houston with some of her own creations.

Over the 3 days of testing, 300 participants sampled and commented on navy bean perogies, black bean chocolate cupcakes, and Pinto Powerballs.

Although results from the surveys have not been released, the response was positive with a number of people asking if they could take another sample.

Results from the survey and the recipes will soon be available at www.manitobapulse.ca – all  in time to celebrate International Year of Pulses with a new favourite bean recipe.

Winnipeg Free Press: Ace that Startup

January 14, 2016 • Written by

The Winnipeg Free Press’ Martin Cash recently shared news about RRC’s new program that will provide a key resource for both entrepreneurial RRC students and local startups.  RRC students get hands-on learning and experience in a real startup, and the startup receives development assistance at no cost, other than their time and effort in mentoring the students.

Ace that Startup

RRC launches program to help entrepreneurial students to turn their ideas in to businesses.

Writeen by Martin Cash and published in the Winnipeg Free Press on 01/14/2016


From the vantage point of its Princess Street campus, Red River College has the perfect perspective on the potential of Innovation Alley.

That’s why it launched a new program that some believe could become the missing link between the education system and the burgeoning entrepreneurial eco-system in Winnipeg.

Read the full article.

Macleans takes pulse of RRC’s pulse research

December 14, 2015 • Written by

Red River College researchers are cooking up ways to eat more beans

Written by Karen Liu – December 7, 2015

Full article here.


For the past year, chef Brad Gray, an instructor at the Red River College School of Culinary Arts in Winnipeg, has been cooking up ways to incorporate beans into pastas, cookies, and even crèmes brûlées. “The Millennial generation is all about getting as much protein in their diet as they can, and pulses are an easy way of achieving that,” says Gray. “People are also realizing that animal protein isn’t going to be sustainable for the global population, so we need to find alternative methods of feeding the planet.”

So when the culinary arts campus opened two years ago, the school partnered with the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers to come up with recipes using flours made from navy, pinto, and black beans grown by local farmers, hoping that the humble legume would achieve the same level of renown as kale in recent years. The timing is right, as the United Nations declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses, encouraging people to grow and eat more beans to lower rates of obesity, manage diseases like diabetes, and help with soil fertility (legumes are often grown to enrich the soil with nitrogen).

Full article here.


NSERC feature: Gluten-free Turkeys from Freezer to Oven

November 24, 2015 • Written by

Red River College’s partnership with Granny’s Poultry Co-operative was featured in the NSERC Research News recently. Read the full story here.


Gluten-free Turkeys from Freezer to Oven

Two new turkey products have been introduced to retail stores in the Prairies thanks to testing and tasting at This link will take you to another Web site Red River College’s (RRC) School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

Granny’s Poultry was able to launch two new products. The Cornbread Stuffed Turkey and an Unstuffed Slow Cooker Turkey Roast are now sold through a major retailer in over 100 stores across the Prairies. The products are the first on the market to be naturally gluten-free and cooked straight from the freezer without thawing.

“By working closely with chefs and students at the college on the final phase of development we were able to fine tune our unique corn bread stuffing formula and validate cooking methods,” said Wortzman. “After testing our finished product on a broad demographic we were able to confidently partner with a national retailer on an ambitious new product launch plan.”

Read more.