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Solutions for Industry 2018-19 Annual Report

As we start the celebrations for our 20th year, we look back on the highlights of the past year, for our division and for each of our Centres.

Niagara College's Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre (AETIC) team works with partners to address today's challenges in agriculture, sustainable food production, plant growth, horticultural practices, greenhouse operations, aquaponics, and environmental management. The team's work is enhanced by the computational power to process big data; a 20,000 square-foot greenhouse; robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and electronics prototyping equipment.

CHANGING THE FACE OF AG TECH

"We are very much capable of mitigating all these problems through technology and the technology is a by-product of our own evolution."

Dr. Mike Duncan is recognized as a world leader in precision agriculture – which utilizes smart technologies aimed at using fewer resources to grow more – and is entering his eighth year as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (NSERC-IRCC) in Precision Agriculture & Environmental Technologies at Niagara College.

Mike makes it his mission to examine, and define the future technologies that will change the face of agriculture and believes that precision and regenerative agriculture technology may just help save the planet. Read more about Mike's work with the Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre.

The Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre team offers a full suite of services to support industry innovation and commercialization of new products and processes. From new recipe development to shelf-life testing and nutritional labelling, the CFWI Innovation Centre pairs industry partners with faculty, recent graduates and students with the right expertise and equipment to meet industry's needs.

GETTING HOOKED ON (FOOD) SCIENCE

"I can’t wait to get my hands on all the new and innovative equipment we will be getting and sharing that knowledge with our students and industry partners."

Stephanie Skotidas has come full circle since high school, returning to what hooked her on food science in the first place: putting theoretical learning into real-world practice.

In her role as Research Lab Technician, Stephanie is responsible for maintaining all the state-of-the-art equipment within the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre labs. She also works collaboratively with students, faculty and industry partners. Read all about Stephanie's work with the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre.

Niagara College's Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) team specializes in engineering technologies, lean manufacturing processes and additive manufacturing. We work with Southern Ontario businesses to bring ideas to life, from concept through to developing working prototypes – from quick turn-around services to full-scale projects – utilizing leading-edge technology, including equipment and software.

NC WORK MAKES A PERFECT MATCH

"In my job in Brazil I would never have the opportunity to work with lasers. Here, I have real-world problems that I’m solving with my knowledge – my college knowledge and my past business knowledge."

“Niagara really got to my heart because of the memories from my honeymoon,” says Rafael Almeida, a Research Assistant with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre at Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division. “Then when I learned about what Niagara College had to offer for me, everything was a perfect match.”

Through his work with Research & Innovation, Rafael has had the opportunity to work on projects he never dreamed possible – lasers, 3D printers, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and more. Read all about his work with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

BUSINESS & COMMERCIALIZATION SOLUTIONS

From initial market research to commercialization strategies, the Business & Commercialization team offers a comprehensive suite of solutions. The team pairs industry partners with faculty, recent graduates and students who possess the expertise to meet applied research and innovation needs in many areas, including human resources, international business, operations management and sales and marketing.

DIGITAL MEDIA & WEB SOLUTIONS

The Digital Media & Web Solutions (DMWS) team assists with the design, creation and implementation of various technology applications, including PC, web and mobile applications, as well as 3D visualization, video production, Artificial Intelligence and graphic design. The team uses the most up-to-date programming languages, platforms and software packages to meet the applied research needs of our industry partners.

PERFECTING THE POWER OF INSPIRED STORYTELLING

"I am very passionate about the businesses we work with and their success is what’s important to me."

Breaking through the clutter of our visually dominated world to win brand loyalty takes true creative innovation. So when clever ad campaigns succeed in touching their audience, their emotionally-charged message is held in high regard by marketing professional Paula Reile.

Such connection represents the power of inspired storytelling, says the Research Lead for the Business & Commercialization Solutions team. Read all about her work with the team.

Research & Innovation's 2018-19 Year in Review. To see links to this article, click here.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

“[R&I] gave me the foundation of how to deal with real challenges in the real workforce, as well as provided networking opportunities within the food industry.”

Beatrix Csemer, Culinary Innovation & Food Technology Program graduate

Through applied research activities, NC’s Research & Innovation division is preparing the workforce with the right know-how by providing an array of researcher expertise, supported by leading-edge facilities, technology and equipment.

See how graduates and R&I alumni are applying their skills and knowledge in the real world

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS WE INTERACT WITH

Research & Innovation works with our Academic Partners throughout the year, as students are hired on co-op to work on specific funded projects; as faculty partner with R&I as research experts to lead funded projects; and as R&I supports faculty’s implementation of course-based projects.

Course-based projects are part of a strategy implemented by Niagara College Faculty and Research & Innovation that augments content from the classroom with real-life projects and scenarios. These types of projects typically take place during one course term, and involve students working with an industry partner to solve real-world challenges.

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