Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.59
Liaison Maria Mendes
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Red River College Polytechnic
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Applied Sustainable Research

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:

RRC Polytech’s Research Partnerships and Innovation (RPI) provides industry partners with applied research, technical services and training in areas that align with their expertise, resources and facilities, and with regional socio-economic demand. The areas of focus are advanced design and manufacturing, clean technology, digital technology and health, nutrition and social sciences. RPI has shown a dedicated commitment to research that advances sustainability within industry. Some recent examples of Applied Sustainable Research at RRC Polytech are listed below:

RRC Polytech’s Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC), with support from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is working with partners Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech), on Enhancing Workplace Charging across Canada’s Prairie Region through Emphasizing Strategies for Cost-Effective Adaptation of Charging Infrastructure (Enhancing Workplace Charging). The overall aim of the collaborative initiative is to address one of the most significant barriers to EV adoption, “range anxiety” due to lack of access to charging infrastructure. RRC Polytech and project partners have identified that the Prairie region presents a major opportunity to implement charging stations to meet workplace charging needs. Throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, there are numerous existing plug-in-points (nearly 500,000 in Manitoba alone) due to the cold climate, which can be adapted in a cost-effective manner for Level 1 charging. To support EV adoption, RRC Polytech’s VTEC team, NAIT and Sask Polytech will leverage collective expertise to research and distribute informational material to build awareness of charging options and how to adapt current infrastructure for Level 1 workplace charging.

The Building Efficiency Technology Access Centre (BETAC) supports the building industry by helping clients address the challenges of designing and constructing durable, energy-efficient building envelopes, components and assembly in an environment with extreme conditions. Its core purpose is to support the needs of those involved in the design, construction, renovation, commissioning and maintenance of a building’s envelope.

Recently, BETAC performed an air tightness test at Gordon Bell High School, whose building features walls and mechanical systems are more than 50 years old. The results will provide insights into the most cost-effective measures for reducing energy usage when Gordon Bell undergoes an upcoming renovation. BETAC will perform a post-renovation test on the school to validate the airtightness improvements and identify any problem areas before the building goes back into service. The goal of the renovation is to reduce energy costs by 50 per cent.

Frontiers North’s goal of converting a Tundra Buggy® in their touring fleet from diesel-powered to battery electric was two-fold: to lessen their environmental footprint and reduce sound pollution across Manitoba’s sub-Arctic. In early 2021, RRC Polytech’s VTEC researchers, engineers, and technicians were asked to lend their expertise to assist Frontiers North and project partners with testing and validating the the Tundra Buggy conversion to battery-electric. It also provided the opportunity for RRC students in the Electrical Engineering Technology program to put their applied learning into practice, taking batteries provided by New Flyer Industries, and repurposing them for use in the EV Tundra Buggy. The EV Tundra buggy is estimated to reduce Frontiers North’s greenhouse gas emissions by 8.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the autumn polar bear touring season. With the goal of converting their Tundra Buggy fleet to electric by 2030, Frontiers North is paving the way to further promote sustainable tourism, while continuing to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for guests.

The Prairies are home to an abundance of pulses – creating a rich opportunity for research centred on new ingredient applications and product developments. The Prairie Research Kitchen (PRK) collaborated with the University of Manitoba’s Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, as well as the ARD-Food Development Centre (ARD-FDC) – in partnership with funding from the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG), Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) and Ag Action Manitoba – to research new, innovative applications for Prairie plant proteins, including a variety of pulses, soybeans, and hemp. The primary goal of the research project was to discover novel plant-protein sources that function as protein extenders or replacers. Project objectives also included fostering partnerships to integrate applied and culinary research into Manitoba’s research network; demonstrating new plant-based protein options for Canadian consumers, sourced from Manitoba and throughout the country; and helping increase and diversify the range of foods Canadians eat, highlighting the versatility of plant-protein sources.

After developing several varieties of nouveau tofu, including a new take on traditional soy tofu, Prairie Research Kitchen’s chefs transformed the Prairie plant protein sources into food applications. The culmination of research and culinary art came together in a cookbook, Pulse of the Prairies: A Culinary Celebration of Manitoba’s Plant Proteins.

As industries adopt electric vehicles, the need for specialized training has increased. Currently New Flyer Industries (New Flyer) provides an intensive e-bus course to transit maintenance technicians across North America. While this training is immersive, the VTEC team saw a need for reskilling and upskilling transit mechanics and technicians in preparation for the New Flyer course. A group from the RRC transportation department took the New Flyer e-bus course to determine where knowledge gaps might exist and what information and training would be a beneficial precursor to this course. After identifying the gap and demonstrating the need for specialized training, VTEC worked closely with RRC transportation department members to develop the “Intro to Electric Bus Technology” course in collaboration with Winnipeg Transit.

The B2U project involves the second-life use of the batteries from the previous Winnipeg Transit Electric Bus Demonstration. The VTEC team designed, built, and tested the system to utilize repurposed batteries as an energy storage system (ESS) to power a 25-kW direct current fast charger (DCFC). The ESS is charged at off-peak times and stores energy for peak use times. The charger is equipped with a combined charging system (CCS) and CHAdeMO dispensers to accommodate most electric vehicles.

RRC Polytech is proud to be a founding member of Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2), a group of climate-action leading colleges, Cégeps, institutions, and polytechnics from across Canada who have joined forces to educate a post-pandemic workforce to support a new climate-focused economic recovery. C2R2 champions projects across Canada to: support a recovery that delivers good jobs, positively impact for the environment, and address socio-economic inequality. By working together, colleges can help lead the transition to a clean economy. With a vision to build back better from the COVID-19 crisis, colleges are positioned to quickly develop thousands of training and research opportunities to help Canadians access good jobs, support the transition to the low carbon economy, and foster inclusion, diversity, and equity.

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:

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