Category Archives: Uncategorized

SONAMI has funding for COVID-19 projects

If your company would like to develop new products or services by accessing state-of-the-art tools, equipment, services and expertise, then the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) is here to help.

SONAMI is a network of seven post-secondary institutions that pools the resources and expertise of its members and matches them to the needs of smaller manufacturers in all sorts of industries, including agri-food, aerospace, health, environmental, and traditional manufacturers.

During these unprecedented times, on-campus research projects have been suspended, except for those that offer solutions to COVID-19 challenges, such as mass-producing PPE, or improving upon supply chain issues or physical distancing measures.

Thanks to the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), SONAMI and its Partner Institutions have access to heightened levels of funding in order to support companies as they rapidly respond to COVID-19, by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics.

If you have a project idea that will support this effort, please contact the SONAMI team to assess the project and connect you to our partners.

You can reach us through the SONAMI Office:

•             Kithio Mwanzia, SONAMI Network Manager, [email protected]

•             Sarah Dimick, SONAMI Project Manager, [email protected]


To learn more about SONAMI, visit the website here. 

Niagara Research showcases product samples during Council of the Federation visit


On July 25, Canada’s premiers, along with representatives from government, business and the media, visited Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus for the Council of the Federation’s Opening Reception.

Guests of the reception got a taste of NC’s unique approach to food, wine and beer education. They had an opportunity to sample fresh regional cuisine and the College’s award-winning wines and beers – as well as a ‘Canada’s Premier Beer’ specially crafted for the event containing ingredients from each Canadian province and territory – all prepared by students and faculty at NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

“It was an honour to welcome the Council of the Federation and their guests to our College and introduce them to our unique brand of applied education,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “This event was an extraordinary opportunity for the College to showcase the talents of NC’s students, staff and faculty.”

Students were involved the preparation of local cuisine served at the event, including products from the CFWI’s own student vegetable garden, as well as production of NC wine and beer made on campus that were served alongside an array of Ontario wines and beers. Students from the College’s Horticulture and Landscaping programs were also applauded for the design and maintenance of the meticulous campus grounds.

“I’m proud of all our students have accomplished in preparation for this high-profile event,” said Patterson. “This event was a valuable learning tool for our students and a shining example of applied learning at Niagara College which, I believe, is truly unmatched.”

Guests also had the opportunity to sample two new products developed by Niagara Research, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division, with local industry partners. Student research assistants were serving a 0.0 per cent lager developed in partnership with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Virgin Drinks, as well as a botanical beverage developed in partnership with neob (Niagara Essential Oils and Blends).

In addition to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, who spoke at the event, premiers in attendance included David Alward (New Brunswick), Darrell Dexter (Nova Scotia), Bob McLeod (Northwest Territories), Eva Aariak (Nunavut), Robert Ghiz (Prince Edward Island), Pauline Marois (Quebec), Brad Wall (Saskatchewan), Alison Redford (Alberta), Christy Clark (British Columbia), Greg Selinger (Manitoba), and Darrell Pasloski (Yukon).

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute, located on Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, is the College’s centre for food wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark, the college’s teaching restaurant, as well as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information

Pictured above: Select outstanding Niagara College graduates who exemplify success in applied learning were invited to the July 24 event to meet the premiers. Pictured with premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne (second from right) are Stephanie Bucknall (Welding Technician) Gavin Robertson (Winery and Viticulture), Mark Murphy (Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management), and Megan Proper (Culinary Management). Photo by Queen’s Printer of Ontario.


Minister of Labour visits Niagara Research facilities


Pictured: Ontario Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi and St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley visited Niagara College’s NOTL Campus on July 18. Along with an announcement to highlight health and safety for young workers, the Minister had a tour of the brand new Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre.

Ontario Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi and St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley visited Niagara College’s NOTL Campus on July 18. Along with an announcement to highlight health and safety for young workers, the Minister had a tour of the brand new Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre.

Ontario Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi and St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley visited Niagara College’s NOTL Campus on July 18 to highlight the Ontario government’s supports and protections for new and young workers.

NC staff, students who have summer jobs at the College, and local media attended the event held in a baking lab at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

Naqvi spoke about how the ministry is focusing on changing the culture of health and safety. Instead of the rules kicking in after an injury has taking place, he would like to see more focus on prevention.

“We at the ministry are very much focused on ensuring every single worker young and old, new or someone who has been employed for a long time, are safe,” said Naqvi.

As part of the ministry’s New and Young Worker Blitz, the Ministry of Labour visits workplaces each year to make sure health and safety requirements are being met. The blitz began in May and continues August.

College president Dan Patterson, who spoke at the event, noted that NC recognizes the importance of health and safety.

“We always make sure as part of our workplace training … that students do appreciate how important health and safety is to their skill sets as they go into the world of work,” he said.

Naqvi applauded the College’s efforts when it comes to health and safety.

“I was very impressed by the influence on health and safety at the College,” said Naqvi. “In every single program you are a part of, health and safety is there first and foremost.”

Naqvi also spoke out about creating opportunities about youth employment, his new advisory panel investigating how minimum wage should be determined, and employment rights.

While at Niagara College, the Minister of Labour had a chance to visit the Wine Visitor + Education Centre, the NC Teaching Brewery, and the CFWI Research Centre.

View photos of the minister’s visit here.