Georgian College’s research and innovation department will continue to support sustainable, inclusive growth in the local community through partner-led applied research and innovation thanks to a $1.5-million Mobilize grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The funding will be divided to support four pillars Georgian has excelled in over the past four years: competitive smart manufacturing, digital future, sustainable utilities, and thriving communities.
“This funding will allow us to significantly expand our research activities to include more partners, such as hospitals and non-profit organizations, and provide meaningful support for our communities," said Kevin Weaver, president and CEO of Georgian College. “Georgian is committed to working with local employers, especially in areas of research and innovation that are quickly evolving, such as immersive technologies, which will help them enhance products and processes so they can be even more flexible, service focused and competitive.”
Weaver added that Georgian can connect community partners with faculty, student and staff researchers who have the expertise, skills and knowledge to address these areas and challenges. In return, the college provides valuable experiential learning opportunities for our students.
The grant allows the college’s applied research team to build on its existing competitive smart manufacturing program, expand and reach companies in a broader range of sectors including retail, food and beverage, cannabis, health care, high-tech, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.
Funding will also allow Georgian to continue its applied research in the area of sustainable utilities, which includes power quality, infrastructure management, demand load management, greenhouse gas and carbon accounting, electric vehicle battery life and second-life optimization — so batteries that are no longer usable can be repurposed, diverting them from the landfill.
As this applied research program grows, Georgian will expand its work with municipalities, conservation authorities and businesses to leverage expertise in water and wastewater management.
The funding will also support Georgian’s work around thriving communities — those that provide appropriate access to health care; a culture that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion; mental health and wellness supports; and foster innovation and changemaking. Research will ensure a foundation for stronger, healthier communities that thrive socially and economically.
In addition, funding will further enhance Georgian’s role as a leader in immersive technologies. There’s a growing demand from companies in a variety of sectors looking to partner with the college to research the use of extended reality technologies (XR) for training, innovation and commerce. The college will continue to research the use of XR, augmented reality, 2D and 3D virtual reality across a range of programs like nursing, paramedics, Indigenous studies, trades, and biotechnology, and in the workplace to ensure employees and students have the hands-on experience required to succeed in the rapidly evolving work world.
One of the key objectives of Georgian’s applied research team is to build capacity — enabling research and innovation to support the college’s partners, contribute to the region’s growth and prosperity, and provide meaningful employment opportunities to our students and graduates.
“Experiential learning is valuable, not only for our students, but for new graduates as well,” said Dr. Mira Ray, director, research and innovation, Georgian College. “This Mobilize funding will provide applied research opportunities for both in programs like big data analytics, research analyst, artificial intelligence — architecture, design and implementation and mechatronics, helping them be job-ready in their prospective fields.”
If you’re interested in submitting a project proposal to accelerate your digital advantage, please email [email protected].
To learn more about the work being done in research, innovation and entrepreneurship at Georgian, visit GeorgianCollege.ca/researchinnovation or check out our YouTube channel, Bernick Online. You can also visit Innovators Central, where we connect students, employees and the community with inspiring content that advances knowledge and enriches learning beyond the classroom.
This funding is provided through the Mobilize grants, made available through the Tri-agency College and Community Innovation program, managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.