Two hands hold wires - one yellow, one red - together over a circuit board

Humber College has been a steadily-rising leader in Canadian applied research, and it was recognized as the national leader in research partnerships on December 15. 

The ranking is according to the Research Infosource Inc., which publishes an annual list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges. 

In addition to the first-place research partnership ranking, Humber is listed as the third in Canada for industry research income. 

Overall, Humber is number six on the list of Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges. 

Climbing the ranks 

Humber’s impressive climb from number 20 on the overall list in 2017 is, in part, the result of a strong network of research partners, which create learning opportunities for students, faculty and industry to work together to solve real-world challenges. 

Partners like the Barrett CTI Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium provide the institution with the latest technology and equipment, which benefit the entire Humber community and help address industry skill gaps.  The Barrett CTI is seen across a parking lot. It is a large irregularly-shaped grey building with gold accents

“Through our Centres of Innovation and applied research projects, Humber serves as an innovation intermediary for organizations of all sizes and from all industrial and social sectors. This latest rating reflects that commitment,” said Chris Whitaker, President, Humber College. "As we look ahead to 2021, we will continue to actively reach out and engage with Canadian businesses and community organizations as part of our ongoing efforts to respond to COVID-19 and stimulate economic recovery.” 

Adding to the accolades, Humber has also been ranked third for industry research income among comprehensive colleges. 

The innovation effect 

Humber College’s Centres of Innovation (COIs) reinforce the interdisciplinary collaboration the college is known for in five areas: technology, creative business, health and wellness, entrepreneurship and social innovation. 

Among the COIs is the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (Barrett CTI) which has proven to be a collaborative space where students of various faculties and disciplines learn to tackle real-world issues with enhanced creativity and innovative values. 

The Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) matches that interdisciplinary thinking with entrepreneurial supports, providing opportunities to collaborate and create. A person writes on a clipboard. Their hands are visible and they are wearing a high-vis orange and yellow shirt

Three more COIs are currently in development: The Centre of Innovation in Health and WellnessThe Centre for Creative Business Innovation and The Centre for Social Innovation

ARI: bringing it all together 

The Applied Research and Innovation (ARI) team at Humber has been facilitating meaningful work in a variety of sectors, including social innovation, sustainability and transmedia. 

“Humber is pushing boundaries, supporting collaboration, applied research and innovation in the college community and beyond,” said Ginger Grant, associate dean of ARI. “Our inclusion and top rankings on national research lists are a reflection of our success in supporting research that approaches problems and needs in a systematic way, leading to meaningful and innovative solutions.” 

Both students and industry are benefitting from the work at ARI. For example, as more people play video games in an expanding billion-dollar industry, accessibility has become a requirement to meet the needs of players.  One research project resulted in the creation of The Morse Breath Controller (MBC) which is a specially-designed controller that enables people with ALS and Parkinsons’ to play video games over a PC platform. 

To learn more about ARI projects and research, visit