Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.63
Liaison Dwayne Doornbosch
Submission Date June 24, 2021

STARS v2.2

Langara College
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Kelly Sveinson
Applied Research Centre
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Langara's Applied Research Centre

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

At Langara, research is not considered in employee promotion or tenure decisions, which is why credits AC-9, AC-10, and AC-11 were not applicable as part of this submission.

Despite not being a research-based institution, a number of faculty have taken steps and considerable efforts to develop Langara College's Applied Research Centre (ARC). The ARC is a hub for connecting faculty, staff, students, and administrators to potential funding for supplemental applied research activities, including those focused on finding innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

While a research centre would not be considered innovative at a typical research-based institution, we feel that this is a unique Program for a College such as Langara, and felt it was worth highlighting through the IN credits as an area that Langara is demonstrating leadership.

About the Applied Research Centre (ARC)

ARC shines a spotlight on those who are applying their knowledge and learning to the world beyond the classroom - whether it's through community partnerships, educational leave, or experimental research.

While not being a research-focused institution, Langara still supports research and scholarly activity through the ARC and a number of funds, including funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The ARC also has its own internal funding to encourage and support small-scale original research and/or scholarly activities at Langara. The ARC fund grants up to $3,000 per year to support researchers. Funding received also assists in employing Langara students to work with instructors, gaining research skills and experiences that would normally not be taught in a classroom setting.

Projects undertaken through the ARC have included:

- The Biochar project. Led by the Chemistry instructor Kelly Sveinson in partnership with McCue Engineering Contractors, this project uses the Colleges experimental biochar reactor to convert a variety of biomass wastes into biochar, a substance similar to charcoal. Biochar is a form of carbon that is removed from the atmosphere and therefore has climate change mitigation potential. Biochar has also been shown to have soil improvement benefits, and so may be a valuable amendment for agriculture or forestry applications. Funding included $25,000 from NSERC, the first ever NSERC grant awarded to Langara.

- The Feral Hops project is a study on BC’s Feral Hops to provide scientific support to the BC craft beer industry and provide a potential use by BC hops growers and brewers. By running DNA samples through gene-sequencing machines the goal is to find DNA markers to distinguish the different varieties of hops. This project uses Langara College grounds to grow certain hop plants from the wild for analysis. The project was awarded $200,000 from NSERC, allowing for multiple students to be employed in research endeavours.

- The Wearable Wi-Fi project, through which Langara is working with a Vancouver software developer on a smartphone app that employees can wear to track movement in an industrial Wi-Fi network, such as in a mine, mill or complex construction site in order to make the workplace safer for employees. The project received $3,000 from ARC and $25,000 from NSERC.

- The European Fire Ants project, which focuses on how fire ants (first introduced to the east coast of North America in in the 1900s) made their way across the continent to British Columbia. Funding was provided by the ARC fund of $3,000.

Many more large and small projects have been conducted with the assistance of Applied Research Centre and the internal ARC fund.

- Applied Research Centre: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/index.html

- Applied Research funding: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/funding/index.html

- Funding ARC: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/funding/arc-fund.html

- Past & Current Research Projects: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/research-projects/index.html

- Biochar Research: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/research-projects/biochar-research.html

- Feral Hops project: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/research-projects/craft-beer-industry-bc.html

- Wearable Wi-Fi: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/research-projects/wearable-wifi.html

- European Fire Ants project: https://langara.ca/about-langara/applied-research/research-projects/european-fire-ants.html

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

While a research centre would not be considered innovative at a typical research-based institution, we feel that this is a unique Program for a College such as Langara, and felt it was worth highlighting through the IN credits as an area that Langara is demonstrating leadership.

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