Defining Applied Research

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Nov 18, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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Defining Applied Research

Our Goals, Objectives, and Opportunities

May 9, 2012

Speaker Bio

Rob
Spewak


B.Sc. (Agricultural Engineering), University of Manitoba


M.Sc. (Agricultural &
Bioresource

Engineering, University of
Saskatchewan)


Work experience
-

engineering consulting, technical sales


Westlink

-

Technology commercialization internship program


RRC’s first “Research Manager”


2007 onward









Agenda


Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C)



Who are we? What do we do? Why are we here?


Defining applied research


Overview of applied research at colleges


Benefits to staff/students, industry partners


AR&C


our main activities, and development of an “applied
research module”







Who we are: the AR&C office


Created in 2004


Facilitates applied research activities at RRC


Serves as contact point for industry, granting agencies and
councils









Who we are: the AR&C office

Our activities


Assists
in development of applied research proposals


Identify
and
form partnerships
with industry


Seeks and administers external funding


Administers internal research funding program


CARD


College Applied Research Development Fund (formerly RIF)







Who we are: the AR&C office

Staff

Management
and administration


Ray Hoemsen (Director)


Rob
Spewak

(Research Manager)


Aman

Hussein (NSERC Research Manager)


Danielle Puddicombe
(Research Office Manager)


Lyndsay

Ross (Administrative Assistant


currently on mat leave
)

Technical


Ken
Klassen

(CARSI Research Professional)


Jose Delos Reyes (Research Coordinator)


Serge Broeska (SITRG
Mechanical Engineering Technologist
)


TBD (SITRG Civil Engineering Technologist)









Who we are: the AR&C office

Staff

Technology Transfer & Communications


Brent
Wennekes

(Technology Transfer & Communications Manager)


Adam Campbell (Communications Officer)

What is Applied Research?

What is a good definition of
Applied Research
?


Wikipedia


“involves the practical application of science”; “deals with
solving practical problems”; and “resides in the messy real world”


Lawrence Berkeley
National
Laboratory's

ELSI in
Science
:



Applied
research is designed to solve

practical problems

of the
modern world, rather than to
acquire
knowledge for knowledge's
sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is
to

improve the human condition

”.


http://www.lbl.gov/Education/ELSI/research
-
main.html

What is Applied Research?

What is a good definition of
Applied Research
?


Wisegeek.com:


Applied research is: “any
fact gathering project that is conducted with
an eye to acquiring and applying knowledge that will address a specific
problem or meet a specific
need”


All definitions focus on the solving of
specific/practical problems


What is Applied Research?

Applied Research (Colleges) vs. Basic Research (Universities)


Problem solving (Focusing on the
HOW

not the
WHY
)


Shorter
-
term projects


Applying knowledge and testing to previous research


Basic research lays the foundation for applied research


Focus on work of students and instructors


Engage on a project basis


Incorporate into co
-
op work terms or


projects for coursework


College
-
based applied
r
esearch

Applied vs. basic research


Intellectual property

-

few to no patents

-

commercial rights routinely assigned to industry partner

-

research and education rights retained by RRC



What is Applied Research?

The line is blurring



Perhaps good question to ask: “
How
long will it be before some practical
application results from the research

?“


The longer the timeline, the more likely it is BASIC research

What is Applied Research?


Basic university research may
involve the discovery of a new
rubber compound formulation
for use in automobile tires that
is thought to improve durability
and performance in all seasons



Applied college research may
involve driving automobiles
outfitted with tires of the new
rubber formulation and
evaluating the durability and
performance


i.e. measuring
tread wear, stopping distance
on ice


An example…

What is Applied Research?


Basic university research may
involve the discovery of
compounds in flaxseed that
have disease
-
prevention
properties



Applied college research may
involve taking the flaxseed or
its compounds and
incorporating into a palatable
food item(s)

Another example…

What is Applied Research?

What defines a “researcher”? Who can do applied research?



“Someone
who studies (something) thoroughly so as to present findings
in a detailed, accurate
manner”


In an applied research context
-

Do we all deal with practical “real
world” problems everyday?
Absolutely!


Not limited to persons with advanced degrees


Is it for everyone?
Not necessarily…


What is Applied Research?

The applied research process


AR&C assists through the entire process


Association of Canadian Community Colleges has developed an applied
research workflow


AR&C developing its own “how to” module (to be discussed at end)



What is Applied Research?

What is Applied Research?

What is Applied Research?

What is Applied Research?

Why are colleges doing it?



Strong relationships between colleges & industry/community


College graduates play a critical role in incremental innovation


Increased federal government investment


More opportunities for staff and students


Increased awareness of
capabilities


Future trends: population growth, energy usage, pollution


shift from
focus on new product creation to finding solutions for using the planet’s
resources in a sustainable manner



What is Applied Research?

Roles of universities and colleges in the research process


What is Applied Research?

Fast facts
-

Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)


Over 100 colleges
and institutes across Canada are engaged in applied
research


4,444 companies partnered with colleges for applied research projects,
4,380 for industry research and 64 for social innovation research


447 areas of research specialization and 305 specialized research
centres

and labs support innovation in all sectors of the economy


What is Applied Research?

Fast facts
-

Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)


13,585
students engaged in applied research in 2010
-
11, up by 63 percent
from 2009
-
10


1,606 faculty and staff, including industrial experts and technicians, engaged
in research, up by 34 percent from 2009
-
10


Private sector investment in Canada’s colleges increased by 13 percent in
the last year to $50.3 million


What is Applied Research?

RRC’s Mandate


Applied research is a key element in RRC’s mandate


Integrated with educational and training activities


Major areas: Sustainable infrastructure
t
echnology, bio
-
sciences,
manufacturing design technology, among others


http://
www.rrc.mb.ca
/files/File/
researchplan
/other/FINALRRCInstitutionalR
esearchMay004.pdf


What is Applied Research?

RRC’s Mission

“The
College’s applied research mission is to assume a leading role in the
application of knowledge through
directed
applied research in specific areas
of expertise, to enhance the connectivity between College
expertise
and
the needs of industry, and to create an institutional climate of support for
applied research. By
adding
applied research projects to the curriculum, the
college will educate the next generation of applied
researchers
, equipping
them to assume leadership roles in their respective fields
.”


http://
www.rrc.mb.ca
/files/File/
researchplan
/other/FINALRRCInstitutionalR
esearchMay004.pdf


What is Applied Research?

Benefits to students


Exposure to solving ‘real world’ industry
challenges


Gain critical skills in proposal development, conducting applied research
and report
writing


Chance
to impress potential future
employers

What is Applied Research?

Benefits to instructors


Exposure to
industry concerns and
trends


Use of research results to update/modify
courses


Access to new
equipment


Professional development



What is Applied Research?

Benefits to industry


Supports innovation


Accelerates adoption of new technologies


Enhances productivity and efficiency


Increases industry competitiveness


Supports community economic development


“Test drive” potential future employees


What is Applied Research?

What makes a good applied research project?


Reflection of the College’s values and themes


Fits in main research areas


Maximizes the building of research capacity


Addresses workforce needs/private sector partnerships


Our resources

SITRG


Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group


Improving the energy performance of new and existing buildings


Funded by a $2.3
-
million grant from the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


Funding supports faculty release time, students, and fees for external
consultants/experts among others


Our resources

NRC
-
IRAP


National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance
Program


Network member since March 2008


Goals of funding:


Benefit technology
-
based SMEs in the sustainable infrastructure sector


Establish/enhance College relationship with public research facilities


Support capacity within CARSI


Our resources

NRC
-
IRAP


Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP)


Developing and implementing digital technology awareness and
advisory services to Manitoba SMEs to increase their productivity.


Key Components:


Digital Technology Strategy Development


Events


Digital Technology Advisory Support Service (DTASS)


Industry Outreach and Linkage Facilitation


NRC
-
IRAP funding: $100,000




Our facilities

Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI)


10,000
sq.ft
. facility opened in
2007


Environmental control chambers


Removable exterior wall section


Structural dynamic test system


Strong floor for testing of large structural members


Our facilities


In development…


EVTEC


Electric Vehicle Technology and Education Centre


Support
electric vehicle innovation in/by Manitoba’s transportation
sector


Enhance
electric vehicle education at RRC and in the
region


I
ncrease
public awareness of electric vehicle technology


ATEC


Advanced Transportation and Energy Centre


To support
innovation
in the transportation
industry


To
introduce new vehicle technologies through
applied research


to
train the next generation of skilled workers to ensure
the successful
commercialization of new innovations



Our facilities


CATT


Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training


Array of cutting
-
edge laser systems


Vapour phase crack
-
cleaning equipment


Aerospace hot section coating equipment


Digital non
-
destructive inspection system


On
-
site materials lab


CNDI


Centre for Non
-
Destructive Inspection


Distributed network of technologies, facilities and expertise in non
-
destructive inspection of components and assemblies


Defect visualization using ultrasonic imaging and x
-
ray radiography


Distributed network of workstations


Our work

RRC


Applied Research Project Examples


Plug
-
in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) study


Conversion of 10 Toyota Prius vehicles to PHEVs


Our work

RRC


Applied Research Project Examples


Concentrated solar power project with Manitoba Hydro


Parabolic solar trough


evaluate performance in cold climate

Our work

RRC


Applied Research Project Examples


Air leakage testing of large buildings


Data plentiful for residential buildings, but not for large



commercial/industrial buildings


Our work

CARD (formerly Research Innovation Fund) Projects


College Applied Research Development Fund


Supports internal, short
-
term research projects (Since 2005)


Wide variety of projects have been funded (Over $300,000 in total)


High efficiency furnace evaluation to early childhood development


2012 deadline: May 31, 2012


More info:
http://
www.rrc.mb.ca
/
index.php?pid
=7614


Our work

High efficiency furnace evaluation


Our work

And…the “crappy” side of research….



Effects of eco
-
friendly water
-
saving devices
on drainage/venting systems


For more information:


http://xnet.rrc.mb.ca/rcharney




What is Applied Research?

Applied research module


AR&C developing “how to” or researcher guides for both staff &
students, including a webinar


Reference guide for the entire applied research process, from proposal
development to final report and technology transfer activities

Your feedback is important!


What are your main questions/unknowns?


What are the critical pieces that need to


be in the researcher guide?


Expertise survey





Our work

More information

Rob
Spewak
, M.Sc., E.I.T.

Research Manager

Applied Research & Commercialization

632
-
2537

rspewak@rrc.ca


b
logs.rrc.ca
/
ar

Twitter.com
/
RRCResearch


Our work