For the second year in a row, Niagara College has earned the honour of being in the top 10 colleges in the country for research funding, according to a new national study.
In its report “Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges,” Research Infosource Inc. has announced the rank of seven for Niagara College (NC), based on total research funding numbers for 2015. This represents three moves up from last year’s report, and yet another climb in the rankings since the reports were first published. During those four years, Niagara College has moved up from the rank of 13, to 12, to 10, and now to seven. For the third year in a row, Niagara College improved its placing by being ranked third among Ontario’s leading colleges.
What’s more, using data from the past two years, Niagara College’s research funding increased by nearly 14% between 2014 and 2015, up to $6.1 million in 2015 from $5.34 million in 2014.
“We’ve made research and innovation a key priority, and our consistent climb in these rankings reflects that,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “By leading in this important area, we’re able to support the revitalization of the Niagara economy by helping local companies innovate, and we’re enhancing out students’ education by providing valuable real-world research opportunities.”
Research funding allows the college to partner with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the region to conduct projects and services which provide innovative solutions for industry. These include producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products and processes.
“The college’s ranking among the top 10 colleges in Canada for research funding is a great endorsement of the wide-ranging work being done by our innovation centres, especially in precision agriculture, the food and beverage sector, and advanced manufacturing,” said Marc Nantel, associate vice-president of Research & Innovation at Niagara College. “We are encouraged by our division’s progress, and expect to continue increasing our efforts to serve the local economy and our students as we take on even more projects in all three of our main research sectors.”
NC also experienced significant growth in terms of partnerships and projects, climbing from No. five to No. two among large colleges for the number of formal partnerships held; the 149 partnerships represents a 96.1% increase. Niagara College also climbed from No. four to No. three in terms of successfully completed projects – thanks to a 36.4% increase in that area.
The college receives research funding from various regional, provincial and federal agencies. Administered by the college’s Research & Innovation division, the funding supports the hiring of students and graduates to work alongside faculty researchers in helping industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. Students come from a variety of the college’s programs, such as Mechanical Engineering Technology, Culinary Innovation and Food Technology, Business Administration – Marketing, and New Media Web Design.
Research Infosource annually compiles listings of the Top 50 research universities, corporate R&D spenders and research hospitals. This year marks the fourth year a list has been released for the Top 50 research colleges in Canada.
A special report on all 2015 categories, including comprehensive listings, analysis and insight, will be published on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Niagara College’s Research & Innovation conducts research projects with industry partners through its Agriculture & Environment Innovation Centre, Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre, and Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. The division also offers support in the areas of digital media and web solutions and business and commercialization solutions.
Read about Research & Innovation recent success stories: https://www.ncinnovation.ca/our-projects
For more information on the Top 50 list, go to http://www.researchinfosource.com.
Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; 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 visit www.niagaracollege.ca.