End to a busy fall for R&I staff and students

The Research & Innovation staff and students had a busy fall attending industry conferences and disseminating key research findings.

Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) Conference

Kelly Byer, Food & Beverage Innovation Centre (FBIC) research lab technologist, and Adrian Popowycz, professor and program coordinator, attended and presented at the OCB Conference held Oct. 25 and 26 in Niagara Falls.

On Oct. 25, Kelly presented on the Ontario Hops Quality project. The Ontario Hop Growers Association (OHGA) has been working hard over the years to support and promote top quality hops for the craft beer industry. Kelly and the FBIC team have been providing the OHGA and hops growers with analytical testing for the last 5 years.

On Oct. 26, the presentation given was authored by Kelly and Adrian, as well as Dirk Bendiak from Durham College. The presentation focused on the topic of building and improving quality programs. They reviewed the changes to the definition of beer, label changes, legal and critical aspects of a quality program of a brewery and highlighted what aspects of a quality program in terms of outside testing and confirmation may be useful for a small brewery when not available internally.

OCBC is Canada’s largest craft brewing industry annual conference and trade show. With the growth of the craft brewing sector in the past two decades, there are now hundreds of operating breweries, contract brewers and brewpubs in communities across the province.

2022 Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition (OCMC)

R&I students put their marketing skills to the test and rose to the challenge of a pressure-cooker provincial marketing competition, with a second-place trophy.

More than 18 Niagara College students, including a handful of R&I students, participated in the 2022 Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition from December 1-2, and were part of the winning NC team.

The annual case-based competition draws the best and brightest business students from colleges across the province to compete in case-based business challenges, a quiz bowl tournament and more.

We’re proud to share that the following R&I students placed in several categories:

– Gabriel Paulino Alexandre placed third in the job interview category

– Roberto Villao and Sobhanjana Bose placed fifth in the advanced marketing case category

Additionally, R&I students Ana Dias and Filippo Carattoli also participated in the conference.

Gabriel said, “I am still blown away by the results. Getting to go up there on the stage and receiving the trophy for the event I participated in was one of the best moments for sure, but also seeing my teammates being recognized for their work was fantastic.”

Special thanks to Paula Reile, Research Program Manager, Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre, for helping prep and coach the students!

Niagara College also issued a media release around the exciting event.

CICan On the Hill + Student Showcase

Left: Hannah Curle, presenting for the Food & Beverage Innovation Centre. Right: Tyler Heppel presenting for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

R&I students were chosen to participate in the CICan On the Hill + Student Showcase event November 30 – December 1. The event is coordinated and sponsored by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

Hannah Curle and Tyler Heppel shared their elevator pitches and posters with parliamentarians, businesses, community partners and senior government officials.

Hannah’s theme was a spirit project to produce a non-alcoholic tequila and the project with DistillX Beverages Inc., who produces Sobrii Ø-Tequila.

“The CICan On the Hill + Student Showcase was a very rewarding experience. I really enjoyed sharing the work we did at the Food & Beverage Innovation Centre and seeing my project showcased alongside so many other great student projects,” said Hannah.

Tyler’s theme was improving communication platforms with artificial intelligence, focusing on a project with LeanSuite, a platform to share ideas and report issues on the floor in manufacturing environments.

“It was amazing to connect with other students and learn more about their projects and experiences. The shear range of innovation at Canadian colleges is eye opening. My experience at the Student Showcase really changed my perspective on how colleges work to support not just students, but Canadian businesses as well. I would absolutely do it again if I could,” said Tyler.

The event included an opening reception with Parliamentarians with a Student and Business Innovation Showcase featuring innovative student-led initiatives involving applied research in collaboration with business and community partners.

CICan on the Hill event participants also took part in organized meetings with parliamentarians and senior government officials on the second day of the event.