For the fourth 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 released on Nov. 1.
In its report “Top 50 Research Colleges,” Research Infosource Inc. has announced the rank of eight for Niagara College, based on total research funding numbers for 2017. This represents a steady placement of four years in a row in the top 10, since Niagara College earned spot No. 10 in the 2014 research funding year. For research funding in 2015 and 2016, Niagara College earned the rank of seventh.
“Niagara College’s research performance over a decade has been impressive,” said Ron Freedman, CEO, Research Infosource Inc. “It is a testament to the close links formed with Niagara region companies together with a record of innovation from faculty.”
“Research and innovation has been a key priority for us, because we see ourselves as critical players in Niagara’s economic development,” said NC president Dan Patterson, PhD. “Our high-performance R&I division provides innovative solutions to help local companies innovate, while also enhancing our students’ education through real-world research opportunities.”
Looking at colleges with applied research funding in Ontario, Niagara ranks fifth, having attracted $6.4 million in funding to conduct innovative projects involving industry partners in the food and beverage, advanced manufacturing and precision agriculture and related environmental technologies sectors.
In fact, looking closely at the number of interactions with industry – small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) who turn to colleges because they do not have time or resources to innovate – Niagara College ranked third in all of Canada in the number of completed projects, at 131.
Research funding allows the College to partner with 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. NC 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.
NC’s Research & Innovation division administers research funding support from various regional, provincial and federal agencies. Students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers and assist industry partners with leaping 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 Computer Programmer.
“We are delighted to have this endorsement for the exceptional work our staff, faculty and students are doing on industry partner projects,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, associate vice-president of Research & Innovation. “Niagara College has seen a steady increase in specialized equipment and leading-edge lab spaces to attract new partnerships and funding, and it’s paying off for SMEs in our region.”
This recognition follows a number of recent accolades. In October, the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) presented NC with the 2018 Gold Award of Excellence in Applied Research and Innovation at the WFCP 2018 World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. In April, NC received a silver award for Applied Research and Innovative Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada.
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 2017 categories, including comprehensive listings, analysis and insight, was published on November 15, 2018.
Niagara College’s Research & Innovation conducts research projects with industry partners through its Agriculture & Environment Innovation Centre, and the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre and the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. The division also offers support in the areas of digital media and web solutions and business and commercialization solutions. For more information on the Top 50 list, go to researchinfosource.com.
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies 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 aesthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
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