Niagara College has been awarded two new contracts for global development projects due to its unique approach to applied research and support of the Pacific Alliance Education (PA) for Employment program.
Over the past five years, NC was involved in projects in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Chile as part of the PA program, a global development investment managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). Focusing on sustainable development and skills for employment in Latin America, the program is funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
Through the two most recent contracts, NC collaborated from April to June 2022 with Honorio Delgado Espinoza Institute in Peru, and Centre for Education and Training of the Universidad Catolica del Norte (CEDUC UCN) in Chile, by providing training in Applied Research for 120 teachers – 60 in each institution. The main purpose was to provide training and support for creating and implementing applied research centres to advance their innovation agendas.
In order to showcase NC’s approach to applied research and collaboration with the PA program, NC’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre Associate Director, Lyndon Ashton, and NC’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Subject Matter Expert, William Vallejo, made a presentation at the fifth edition of the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program Capitalization Forum, held from January 24 to 26 in Mexico City.
“Building on this success, NC’s Research and Innovation Division has partnered with the College’s Global Engagement Division to deliver contract training, along with strategic planning and management consulting services to international partners in the post-secondary education sector.”
– Lyndon Ashton, Associate Director,
Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre
The forum’s main objective was to share experiences, approaches, and innovative tools developed in the projects and to make the program’s impact in Latin America visible. Lyndon’s presentation emphasized the critical importance of recognizing that enabling innovation and applied research in any community and its economy is a team sport that requires establishing strong bonds among all vested stakeholders built on trust and mutual benefit.
“Our contribution to the PA program is strong, as the training we provided was principled on the sharing of experiences, conceptual tools, and models based on our learning from both our successes and our shortcomings, which have continually shaped the direction our programming takes over the years,” said Lyndon. “The real value is recognized when we see our partners taking these shared learnings and incorporating them successfully in their own settings in a manner that fits their unique circumstances.”
Lyndon added, “Witnessing these accomplishments, and hearing from our partners on how we helped make a difference in that journey is how we measure our success as a contributor.”
Niagara College has successfully conducted applied research and innovation supports directly with industry for over 20 years. During this period, it has evolved into a sophisticated system of academic staff and faculty incorporating applied research opportunities and training into curriculum and the growth of a Research & Innovation (R&I) division supporting workforce, talent, and economic development for key industry sectors via funded applied research projects, four innovation centres, and leading several multi-institutional networks dedicated to driving industry partnered R&D and innovation partnerships.
After eight years in a row of being ranked as a top 10 Canadian research college, earning the number two spot in the country and number one in Ontario in 2022, NC is a recognized expert in the development and growth of Applied Research Centres in the post-secondary sector.
“Building on this success, NC’s Research and Innovation Division has partnered with the College’s Global Engagement Division to deliver contract training, along with strategic planning and management consulting services to international partners in the post-secondary education sector,” said Ashton. “The focus is on sharing concepts, theories, and conceptual tools to establish applied research programs and industry-facing innovation centres to meet local community and business needs.”
For more information on Global Education and Partnerships and how to get involved, visit ncglobal.ca.
Sections of this article were sourced and written by Fernanda Portugal from NC’s Global Engagement Division.