Red River College earns national award for innovation in applied research

Red River College was presented with the bronze award for Innovation in Applied Research by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) during the closing gala of their annual conference last night in Winnipeg.

The award celebrated the College’s dynamic applied research partnership with Manitoba Hydro.

“We are pleased to be recognized for the work we have done with Manitoba Hydro, one of our most important research partners and graduate employers,” said David Rew, President and CEO of Red River College.  “What an excellent opportunity to celebrate our research achievements in sustainable technology and design.”

Manitoba Hydro’s research collaboration with the College has focused primarily on green building design and technology and the electrification of vehicles. Two of their most notable projects include Manitoba Hydro’s award-winning energy efficient downtown office tower and more recently, the all-electric transit bus.

“Our partnership with Red River College has fostered an environment for creative integration on leading-edge technology that contributes to a more sustainable future,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.  “We view our relationship with the College as an important driver for long-term change that will promote continued innovation and advancement of energy efficiency in Manitoba.”

Manitoba Hydro is now a leading proponent and private sector funder for Red River College’s Centre for Building Envelop Performance, which the College was recently awarded $1.75 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Other notable projects the partnership has delivered include the parabolic solar trough project, air-leakage testing of over 20 commercial buildings in Manitoba, one of the largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fleet in Canada for demonstrations and testing and more.

Gold and Silver in the Innovation in Applied Research category went to colleges from Ontario: Centennial College for its Applied Research and Innovation Centre, and Algonquin College.

CICan represents over 135 colleges and institutes across Canada and operates in 29 countries around the world.

“Once again we were thrilled by the submissions we received for the CICan Awards of Excellence,” said Denise Amyot, CICan president and CEO. “Canada’s colleges and institutes never cease to amaze us with their innovative spirit and creativity and this year’s winners definitely embody the best that they have to offer.”

It’s the second time CICan has recognized the College with a national award. In 2011, they celebrated Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization with their Gold Leadership Excellence award.

In the past year, Red River College’s applied research program has been recognized both nationally, with its second consecutive Top 10 research college ranking by Research Infosource, and internationally, with an International Award of Excellence for its commitment to social development from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics.