The Research & Innovation division of Niagara College provides real-world solutions for business, key industry sectors and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. We have grown both in resources, capabilities and therefore, outcomes for industry, during the past two decades of operation.
In fact, last year (fiscal year 2021-22), we leveraged $34,648,976 in funding from a variety of sources to work with 222 industry and community partners on 306 projects and services. They come to us to conduct applied research projects, involving teams of students and faculty, and a mix of partner and government funding; technical services, which are shorter, fee-for-service projects that still provide student training; and course-based projects, which are conducted during the course of a term, and often involve partner time, but minimal or no funding. There were 65 applied research projects, 151 technical services, and 90 course-based projects.
Each interaction with industry involves students, who learn real-world skills as paid employees, or through course work, and faculty-researchers, who bring their new experiences back into the classroom. Last year, 1,258 students from 23 academic programs were able to participate in projects, alongside 60 faculty and researchers.
Comparing this fiscal year to the one before (FY 2020-21), the number of applied research projects more than doubled, to 65 last year, up from 31 the year before. The 151 technical services represents a 45% increase over the previous year, when the services numbered 104. Similarly, the number of partners coming to Niagara College increased by 17%, to 222, compared to 190 the year before.