ORSIE wins bronze in 2020 CICan Awards of Excellence

A decade of leadership and achievement draws honours in Applied Research and Innovation category

Oshawa, Ont.Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce that its Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) has received bronze in the 2020 Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Awards of Excellence in the Applied Research and Innovation Excellence Award category. CICan announced this year’s winners today in a media release. CICan is a national organization representing publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs and polytechnics in Canada and internationally.

“Durham College takes great pride in CICan recognizing our decade of leadership in providing business solutions and student training,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Under the leadership of Debbie McKee Demczyk, the ORSIE team continuously demonstrates an incredible ability to anticipate emerging trends and provide consultative, collaborative services that meet the needs of businesses, all while providing significant hands-on learning experiences for students.”

The CICan award recognizes ORSIE’s extraordinary contributions to the DC campus community and the team’s role in supporting social, cultural and economic development at local, provincial, national and global levels. Winners of the Applied Research and Innovation Excellence Award category are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Institutional commitment: evidence within the last five years of commitment in building the institutional capacity to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social innovation in the community.
  • Impact on SMEs: evidence within the last five years of new or improved products, processes, services that enhance profile and market opportunities.
  • Impact on communities and regions: evidence of enhanced collaboration with companies, community partners, local associations and organizations that have a significant and sustainable impact on local or regional innovation.
  • Impact on students: demonstrated application of skills into workplace settings, with a focus on the capacity to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship activities. Must be supported with data.

The long list of ORSIE’s accomplishments since it first opened in 2009 includes the launch of four applied research centres on campus – the AI Hub, Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation, Mixed-Reality Capture Studio and Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation – as well as supporting entrepreneurship and social innovation through FastStart and Enactus, which enable students to use their creativity and skills to develop solutions to real-world challenges while contributing to the economic growth of their communities.

“Since ORSIE launched, research at Durham College has accelerated at an exhilarating pace,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “We entered into 2020 on the wave of success enjoyed last year that saw us achieve all-time highs on an expanding number of initiatives. The dedicated faculty, staff and students continue to demonstrate exceptional hard work and commitment in their pursuit of excellence. Their work is cutting-edge and impactful at every level.”

Learn about ORSIE’s work in these areas and more, including its leadership in autonomous vehicle applied research.



About Durham College

At Durham College (DC), the student experience comes first. With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby and a learning site in Pickering, we offer approximately 13,400 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 140 full-time and nine apprenticeship programs, including the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management.

We enable students to develop the career-ready skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market by connecting them with expert faculty and offering quality programs. With a focus on experiential learning through field-placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads have the skills and knowledge employers need.

The Oshawa campus features DC’s newest building, the Centre for Collaborative Education, which represents the college’s commitment to working with local business and community partners while bringing together local, Indigenous and global communities and members of key business sectors.

DC’s Whitby campus is home to the Skills Training Centre, where students receive hands-on training and instruction in industrial-grade shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices and crane operation, among others. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food prepared by students in the college’s culinary programs.

For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

For more information, contact:
Melissa McLean
Communications and Marketing