Perhaps the most exciting “growth area” of the college, its faculty and students, during the past few years – and for the foreseeable future – is Research and Development, whether on its own or in partnership with private sector business and industry.
An update about R&D was presented to the Board of Governors by the administration during its February 28th meeting. It stated:
To support R&D, St. Clair College partners with local businesses and organizations to address their specific innovation needs through the development, testing and implementation of new products, services, processes and technologies. These innovations are then implemented through R&D investment, commercialization activities, and enhanced student and employee training.
Collaborative participation with the Research and Innovation Department at St. Clair College will help position Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent as competitive regions for innovation, generating new revenue and high-value jobs, both locally and throughout Canada.
The following outlines the Research and Development initiatives that operationalize the objectives within the 2022–23 Strategic Directions:
1. Promote Interdisciplinary Research Aligned with Area of Program Strengths/Degree Offerings:
The measure of this objective is “Plan and conduct research professional development sessions, research scholarship, and innovation days for faculty. Concentration to be added in Schools offering degrees.” To this end, we have conducted the following professional development:
• Ensured that researchers, primarily from the Honours Bachelor of Social Justice and Legal Studies program, involved in the Social Innovation Fund grants, participated in and successfully completed the Tri-Council Policy Statement training.
• Conduct a research project involving interdisciplinary research between the Honours Bachelor of Social Justice and Legal Studies and Data Analytics programs. This collaboration between programs broadens the knowledge and scope of the individual programs by applying skills in a unique application.
• Encouraged faculty to attend the WE-SPARK Health Research and Emerging Technologies conferences. There were a total of approximately 30 faculty, staff and students that attended the WE-SPARK Health Research conference, and approximately 35 faculty, staff and students that attended Emerging Technologies.
• Increased engagement of faculty and staff in WE-SPARK committees. This promoted the interdisciplinary engagements between the college and the other four institutions that are part of WE-SPARK. Each member received orientation on the activities and goals of WE-SPARK.
• Established a committee to develop a Research Data Management strategy for the college. One of the goals of the strategy is to develop training on research data management.
• We initiated a Health Research Committee to develop strategies for engagement and collaboration of faculty in the Schools of Health Sciences, Community Studies and Nursing. The goal of the committee is to promote interdisciplinary research activities and explore opportunities for engaging more faculty in research.
2. Document and Increase the Number of Students Participating in Research:
The measure of this objective is to “Implement and maintain a database regarding internal research projects”. To this end, we have conducted the following:
• Registered 25 students to attend the Emerging Technologies conference, where they attended speaker sessions, and interacted with industry partners. Feedback from industry partners was very positive, as they stated the students were professional and well prepared to meet with prospective employers.
• Registered 32 students to attend the WE-SPARK Health Research conference, where they attended speaker sessions and interacted with community partners. One student from the Social Justice and Legal Studies program participated in a student presentation session, and was awarded the top price for her presentation.
• Five research students continued their participation in the Ford Innovation Showcase, winning prizes for their research projects.
• Two students working on the EV Truck Conversion project have been featured in local and national media for their work.
• The number of paid students participating in funded research projects is just under 100 this year, up from just over 20 in 2021-22.
3. Increase Awareness of St. Clair College Research:
The measure of this objective is to “Increase communication and showcase College research internally and externally”. To this end, the Research and Innovation department has conducted the following:
• Enwin Utilities launched a social media campaign, documenting the progress of the EV Truck Conversion project, and St. Clair College Research was part of that campaign, and was featured in some of the posts.
• We have distributed an R&D newsletter internally throughout the college early in the Winter 2023 semester. This newsletter highlights the successes of the previous year, faculty, and programs that have been involved in research activities, and upcoming opportunities.
• St. Clair College was the platinum sponsor for the Emerging Technologies Conference, providing the opportunity for the Research and Innovation department to have a booth and provide a presentation on the main stage, outlining research capabilities.
• St. Clair Research was highlighted in the media for the EV Truck Conversion project and the two Social Innovation Fund awarded grants.
• Published a paper on Automation Alley’s website on October 31, 2022, titled “Securely Supporting the Transition to Industry 4.0”.
• Chair, Heads of Applied Research Intellectual Property Subcommittee, developed a model commercialization policy for Ontario colleges.
• Attended the internal Advisory College Council Meeting on May 20, 2022 to provide updates on research activities.
• Represented St. Clair College at the following events:
- Roundtable Discussion – Consul General of Poland;
- Windsor-Detroit Economic Strategy Network Building Reception;
- WE-SPARK Cheers to Hope;
- Industry Opportunity Forum;
- Mines to Mobility Conference;
- Hexagon Live Conference;
- Regional Technology Development Site dinner;
- Detroit International Auto Show;
- Ontario Colleges webinar;
- SOSCIP 10th Anniversary Celebration Event;
- APMA conference;
- Emerging Technologies conference;
- WE-SPARK Health Research conference;
- 26th Annual Polish-Canadian Society Business Dinner;
- Canadian Materials Circular Economy Syndicate (CMCES) virtual information session.
MORE STORIES FROM THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING
• The nine-month financial update: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/college-track-another-sizeable-surplus
• Cancelled and suspended programs: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/st-clair-packs-away-its-golf-clubs
• The college’s involvement with the community: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/we-emphasize-community-community-college
• Student Services and “Soft Skills”: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/sr-clair-shows-its-softer-skilled-side
• The past year of beautifying campuses: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/knowledge-skills-beauty-weve-got-it-all
• College expands online offerings: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/online-course-development-exceeds-goal