Durham College (DC) has once again been named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges by Research Infosource Inc., a Canadian research and development intelligence company. This is the sixth consecutive year the college has been included on the list, which is informed by data on research income, research intensity, research partnerships and projects at colleges across the country.
DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), which is responsible for facilitating all applied research at the college, has been hard at work in 2018. With a mandate to solve industry and social challenges through innovation and collaboration, ORSIE has launched two new research centres, undertaken 41 social innovation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other industry-led applied research projects and placed 60 student research assistants this fiscal year alone.
“We are very proud to be recognized for our research efforts,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “With the help of dedicated and talented faculty, students and industry partners, we are undertaking groundbreaking initiatives that further strengthen Durham College’s position as a leader in the applied research space.”
DC’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (the AI Hub) is one such initiative. Now with a dedicated space on campus to conduct its research activities, the hub is designed to offer industry partners access to technical expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and platforms as well as student talent, helping businesses uncover insights while providing intelligent and autonomous solutions that increase productivity and growth.
Thanks to $250,000 in funding, awarded through the Government of Ontario’s Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund and administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence, the AI Hub is studying how “narrow AI” can help small- and medium-sized enterprises uncover new insights while also providing intelligent and autonomous solutions that help increase their efficiency and development.
The AI Hub will also offer applied research opportunities for students enrolled in DC’s new graduate certificate program,Artificial Intelligence Analysis, Design and Implementation. The first of its kind in Canada, the program launches in September 2019 and aims to make students employable even before they graduate. It is tackling the shortage of AI professionals by putting emphasis on hands-on learning and training, as students gain real-world experience while solving actual business problems through capstone projects, an optional work term and research with the AI Hub.
In addition, ORSIE opened the doors to the Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation (CCBI) at DC’s Whitby campus. By providing access to expertise, state-of-the-art technology and micro-analytical services, the CCBI helps craft brewers experiment with new recipes and flavour profiles, propagate and maintain yeast strains and conduct scientific analyses to ensure the analytical and microbiological integrity of the beer, supporting this growing sector of the local economy.
From helping to refine and add AI capabilities to the functionality of a distant healthcare delivery app to assisting in the development of an award-winning non-alcoholic craft beer recipe, ORSIE continues to prove why DC is a top research college year after year.
For more information or to learn about ORSIE’s research capabilities visit www.durhamcollege.ca/research.