Red River College’s research partnership wins national award

A research partnership between Red River College (RRC) and Manitoba Hydro that focuses on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation received Canada’s top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between Canadian colleges and industry partners. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO of Red River College. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba and providing our graduates with the skills industry requires.”

The partners have now spent more than a decade conducting applied research in sustainable building infrastructure and transportation, and there is plenty to show for it.

Two major projects associated with the collaborative research by Red River College and Manitoba Hydro include the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place, which has added an iconic image to energy efficiency on Winnipeg’s skyline, and the development of a zero-emissions electric-battery transit bus.

The ongoing four-year demonstration of the electric buses on the streets of Winnipeg is in partnership with Winnipeg Transit, the Province of Manitoba, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and New Flyer Industries, the industry-leading Winnipeg-based manufacturer of transit buses in North America.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and Red River College will live on in our downtown office tower and zero-emission buses for decades to come,” said Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s Vice President of Customer Care and Energy Conservation“These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like Red River College.”

Manitoba Hydro Place uses less than 70 per cent of the energy of a typical office building while providing the highest quality of space for its occupants.

Manitoba Hydro’s partnership with the college has also been instrumental in the establishment of the new NSERC-funded Building Envelope Technology Access Centre.

The Synergy award grants Red River College up to $100,000 in funding for applied research tools and instruments and Manitoba Hydro will receive a $20,000 voucher towards any future NSERC-funded applied research project.

Earlier this year, Red River College was ranked as the top college in Canada in research partnership growth, and as a top 10 research college overall for the third consecutive year by Research Infosource. The college was also ranked as one of Canada’s greenest employers for the fifth year in a row.


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