Humber College’s focus on applied research and innovation continues to grow, as the institute substantially increased its ranking on the list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges.

In one year, Humber jumped 10 spots to 20th place. Humber also ranked in the top three colleges in Canada in several key areas, including the number of research partnerships and the number of paid student researchers. Humber also achieved a 45 percent increase in research income.

“We are very proud of Humber’s accomplishments,” says Dr. Darren Lawless, Humber’s dean of Applied Research & Innovation. “Through the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and industry and community partners, we’ve been able to strengthen our position as a leader in the applied research space.”

Through three Centres of Innovation (the Centre of Innovation in Health & Wellness, the Centre for Creative Business Innovation and the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation), Humber is building capacity for even more applied research and innovation activities.

Recently, Humber also received nearly $400,000 in research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Approximately $240,000 of that is for a two-year research project to help design a seamless technology platform, in partnership with Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community, to accelerate the organization’s ability to reach more people and caregivers, especially people who are isolated.

Several Humber students are involved in the project to research who will use the service. More students will come in down the line to develop it.

“It is great to have received the funding,” says Bernie Monette, Web Development program coordinator. “The project has the potential to transform palliative care in Windsor and, quite frankly, all over Ontario. We are working to understand the foundations for the service so that new features can be added in the future.”

More than $130,000 is for the purchase of three “cobots,” or collaborative robots. Cobots can work side-by-side with humans without bulky, expensive safety cages.

Humber's Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation will use the cobots, with a focus on experiential learning, applied research and innovation. They are already in use creating automated solutions for companies such as Magna, Higgins and 416 Automation.

“On campuses across the country, colleges are pursuing exciting research opportunities and at the same time helping companies enhance their products and processes, bringing promising ideas to the marketplace,” says Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “With research areas ranging from advanced manufacturing to artificial intelligence, the projects being funded today will have real-life benefits for all Canadians.”