Niagara Research welcomes new project manager

Niagara Research continues to grow its services to the college and community with the addition of a research project manager focused on business. Neil WilkinsonNeil Wilkinson joined Niagara Research Aug. 1 in the position of Project Manager, Business and Commercialization Solutions. This portfolio was previously managed by Nigel Corish, who is also the project manager for Food and Beverage Innovation. Nigel will now be able to focus on the exciting developments in the culinary portfolio, including the opening of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.

Neil brings with him recent experience as a research project manager with a private company in the Barrie area, as well as a post-graduate diploma in the research analyst program, from Georgian College.

“I like the variety that comes from business and commercialization solutions,” says Neil. “I can be working with a company that makes chocolate products one week, and a company that manufactures precision automotive parts the next.

“This work keeps me on my toes and it makes me think about the commonality amongst all businesses; that is, the smaller businesses will usually need some sort of assistance, whether with their marketing, or product positioning, or a feasibility study, and we have that to offer.”

Neil’s background also includes a BSc (Hon) in biochemistry from his native country of England, several years working in the sciences, including as a franchise operator of Mad Science, a hands-on program bringing science into classrooms and after-school programs.

Neil came to Canada 13 years ago, after meeting his future wife (a Canadian) while travelling. Since his wife relocated to Niagara for work two years ago, he has been doing consulting work and looking after the couple’s two young children. He is now looking forward to joining the same organization that employs his wife; Christine Wilkinson is a professor of recreation therapy and recreation & leisure services, based at the Welland campus.

Neil is also looking forward to growing the business portfolio, meeting and developing partnerships with many of Niagara’s small and medium-size businesses. Those partnerships will also involve student research assistants, giving them experience to improve their resumes in preparation for the job search after graduation.

“When I was a student working on a research project, I found it to be an invaluable part of my education to gain that experience.”

Neil will be based at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. He will also be responsible for the administration of the college’s Research Ethics Board. He can be reached at [email protected].

Niagara Research, the Research & Innovation Division of Niagara College, provides real-world solutions for business, industry and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities.

Niagara Research conducts projects that provide innovative solutions, such as producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products or processes for small and medium-sized businesses.

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