NC-led SONAMI awarded $266,000 investment from Intellectual Property Ontario

Partnership supports innovators in developing, managing, and commercializing their intellectual property

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), led by Niagara College, has been awarded $266,000 from Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) for year two of its pilot program, further augmenting the capacity of Ontario postsecondary institutions’ innovation and commercialization efforts. This program is part of the Commercialization Mandate Policy Framework, which was first introduced by the Government of Ontario in January 2022 to help colleges and universities advance the shared goal of ensuring that “made-in-Ontario” research and innovation benefit Ontarians.

This second year of funding allows SONAMI to continue building on the most recent strides made in connecting with past industry partners by integrating dedicated staff resources into its operations, augmenting the SONAMI toolkit for industry, and increasing Intellectual Property (IP) education to all its partners, while highlighting commercialization services and IP protection for those in IPON’s priority sectors. In addition, to maximize these efforts, SONAMI will hire a dedicated staff member to connect with industry partners at the beginning and end of projects to help acclimate them to the IP protection possibilities.

“By extending Niagara College’s funding into year two of the IPON pilot, we get the privileged opportunity to continue to lead in supporting manufacturing companies to successfully commercialize their research and associated IP,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, Niagara College’s Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Strategic Enterprises. “The magic of the industry-applied research projects that are conducted with SONAMI is that the IP developed belongs to the industry partner at the end of the day. We now have the mandate to continue providing IP-related consultations for industry partners and support them as they move forward in their commercialization journey.”

Outcomes from year one of the pilot program funding included: completing 31 IP-related consultations for small-and medium-sized businesses, with many receiving direct IP services and financial support and completing a survey of industry partners to learn more about barriers to commercialization, alongside ways to address them. In addition, SONAMI members and IP experts came together to deliver a combination of 13 in-person and online events, reaching 186 participants.

This funding has made an impact on many industry partners, including Dan Atkinson, Founder of Eden Aeroponics. “The prompt assistance from Niagara College has been instrumental in our endeavours to establish and fortify our brand’s presence within our market strategy. The quick support provided by SONAMI has not only facilitated our exploration of IP protection strategies but has also significantly contributed to our ability to navigate the challenges of being a startup, where funding is often limited,” Atkinson said.

ParemTech Products Chief Developer, Mike VandeBeld is another industry partner who has seen the value of this funding program. “Thanks to the consultations we received from SONAMI, ParemTech Products is now pursuing various other tax and funding programs. We’re also hoping to move forward with the design patenting of our base design. It is very helpful to have someone knowledgeable in these areas who can point us in the right direction,” he said.

The April 8 announcement included a total investment of $4.6 million to build and enhance intellectual property (IP) capacity across Ontario’s postsecondary sector. The investment includes $2.9 million allocated to 10 new program recipients and an additional $1.7 million to expand its existing pilot funding program. With this announcement, IPON’s total funding amounts to $6.6 million since April 2023, supporting eight colleges and 12 universities to date.

SONAMI was originally awarded $290,000 from IPON in April 2023. SONAMI’s established collaborative network structure means commercialization support will be offered across southern Ontario, through the award-winning collaboration of 11 post-secondary institutions (PSEs) supporting SMEs with their manufacturing-related challenges, through their research centres.

“In today’s global knowledge-based economy, Ontario’s postsecondary institutions are critical, not just as centres of learning, but as incubators for innovation and commercialization,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Through the province’s support of IPON, our government is ensuring the social and economic benefits of publicly funded research stay in our province, so that Ontarians and the Ontario economy benefit from these new discoveries and innovations.”

SONAMI leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment, together with federal funding through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, to conduct projects that provide innovative solutions. Network research centres partner with SMEs to design and test prototypes, evaluate new technologies, and develop and commercialize new or improved products, in many sectors, including transportation, medical devices, food processing, and energy systems.

Since its inception in 2016, SONAMI partnerships have resulted in 374 completed projects (as of Dec. 31, 2023).

Quick facts:

  • IPON will provide $4.6 million to build and enhance IP capacity across Ontario’s postsecondary sector.
  • The investment includes $2.9 million allocated to 10 new program recipients and an additional $1.7 million to expand its existing pilot funding program.
  • With this announcement, IPON’s total funding amounts to $6.6 million since April 2023, supporting eight colleges and 12 universities to date.
  • Postsecondary institutions in IPON’s pilot funding program are Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Durham College, Lambton College, Niagara College, York University, and a joint initiative led by Laurentian University with Trent University, Lakehead University and Nipissing University.
  • SONAMI was established in 2016 – led by Niagara College, in partnership with McMaster University, Mohawk College and Sheridan College – with an initial $7.3-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), which provided funding through March 2019. The network expanded to include seven additional academic institutions: Centennial, Conestoga, Fanshawe, Lambton, and George Brown, Fleming colleges, and Queen’s University.

Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) is a provincial agency that provides trusted IP support and services to enable Ontario businesses and researchers to innovate and grow. IPON works directly with innovators and postsecondary institutions to help them better understand how to protect and maximize the value of their IP, strengthen their capacity to grow and compete in the market, and advance the province’s economic growth. For more information, visit www.ip-ontario.ca.

For 14 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) is a Niagara College-led network of post-secondary institutions, who, through their respective Research and Innovation Centres, collaborate with small- and medium-sized companies to tackle their manufacturing-related challenges. SONAMI leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment, together with funding from the federal government, to support manufacturing in Canada.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate, and bachelor’s degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Laura Bunn
Communications Lead
[email protected]  

Alyssa Milana
NC Communications Consultant (Acting)
[email protected]

NC-led SONAMI awarded $266,000 investment from Intellectual Property Ontario

Partnership supports innovators in developing, managing, and commercializing their intellectual property

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), led by Niagara College, has been awarded $266,000 from Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) for year two of its pilot program, further augmenting the capacity of Ontario postsecondary institutions’ innovation and commercialization efforts. This program is part of the Commercialization Mandate Policy Framework, which was first introduced by the Government of Ontario in January 2022 to help colleges and universities advance the shared goal of ensuring that “made-in-Ontario” research and innovation benefit Ontarians.

This second year of funding allows SONAMI to continue building on the most recent strides made in connecting with past industry partners by integrating dedicated staff resources into its operations, augmenting the SONAMI toolkit for industry, and increasing Intellectual Property (IP) education to all its partners, while highlighting commercialization services and IP protection for those in IPON’s priority sectors. In addition, to maximize these efforts, SONAMI will hire a dedicated staff member to connect with industry partners at the beginning and end of projects to help acclimate them to the IP protection possibilities.

“By extending Niagara College’s funding into year two of the IPON pilot, we get the privileged opportunity to continue to lead in supporting manufacturing companies to successfully commercialize their research and associated IP,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, Niagara College’s Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Strategic Enterprises. “The magic of the industry-applied research projects that are conducted with SONAMI is that the IP developed belongs to the industry partner at the end of the day. We now have the mandate to continue providing IP-related consultations for industry partners and support them as they move forward in their commercialization journey.”

Outcomes from year one of the pilot program funding included: completing 31 IP-related consultations for small-and medium-sized businesses, with many receiving direct IP services and financial support and completing a survey of industry partners to learn more about barriers to commercialization, alongside ways to address them. In addition, SONAMI members and IP experts came together to deliver a combination of 13 in-person and online events, reaching 186 participants.

This funding has made an impact on many industry partners, including Dan Atkinson, Founder of Eden Aeroponics. “The prompt assistance from Niagara College has been instrumental in our endeavours to establish and fortify our brand’s presence within our market strategy. The quick support provided by SONAMI has not only facilitated our exploration of IP protection strategies but has also significantly contributed to our ability to navigate the challenges of being a startup, where funding is often limited,” Atkinson said.

ParemTech Products Chief Developer, Mike VandeBeld is another industry partner who has seen the value of this funding program. “Thanks to the consultations we received from SONAMI, ParemTech Products is now pursuing various other tax and funding programs. We’re also hoping to move forward with the design patenting of our base design. It is very helpful to have someone knowledgeable in these areas who can point us in the right direction,” he said.

The April 8 announcement included a total investment of $4.6 million to build and enhance intellectual property (IP) capacity across Ontario’s postsecondary sector. The investment includes $2.9 million allocated to 10 new program recipients and an additional $1.7 million to expand its existing pilot funding program. With this announcement, IPON’s total funding amounts to $6.6 million since April 2023, supporting eight colleges and 12 universities to date.

SONAMI was originally awarded $290,000 from IPON in April 2023. SONAMI’s established collaborative network structure means commercialization support will be offered across southern Ontario, through the award-winning collaboration of 11 post-secondary institutions (PSEs) supporting SMEs with their manufacturing-related challenges, through their research centres.

“In today’s global knowledge-based economy, Ontario’s postsecondary institutions are critical, not just as centres of learning, but as incubators for innovation and commercialization,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Through the province’s support of IPON, our government is ensuring the social and economic benefits of publicly funded research stay in our province, so that Ontarians and the Ontario economy benefit from these new discoveries and innovations.”

SONAMI leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment, together with federal funding through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, to conduct projects that provide innovative solutions. Network research centres partner with SMEs to design and test prototypes, evaluate new technologies, and develop and commercialize new or improved products, in many sectors, including transportation, medical devices, food processing, and energy systems.

Since its inception in 2016, SONAMI partnerships have resulted in 374 completed projects (as of Dec. 31, 2023).

Quick facts:

  • IPON will provide $4.6 million to build and enhance IP capacity across Ontario’s postsecondary sector.
  • The investment includes $2.9 million allocated to 10 new program recipients and an additional $1.7 million to expand its existing pilot funding program.
  • With this announcement, IPON’s total funding amounts to $6.6 million since April 2023, supporting eight colleges and 12 universities to date.
  • Postsecondary institutions in IPON’s pilot funding program are Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Durham College, Lambton College, Niagara College, York University, and a joint initiative led by Laurentian University with Trent University, Lakehead University and Nipissing University.
  • SONAMI was established in 2016 – led by Niagara College, in partnership with McMaster University, Mohawk College and Sheridan College – with an initial $7.3-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), which provided funding through March 2019. The network expanded to include seven additional academic institutions: Centennial, Conestoga, Fanshawe, Lambton, and George Brown, Fleming colleges, and Queen’s University.

Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) is a provincial agency that provides trusted IP support and services to enable Ontario businesses and researchers to innovate and grow. IPON works directly with innovators and postsecondary institutions to help them better understand how to protect and maximize the value of their IP, strengthen their capacity to grow and compete in the market, and advance the province’s economic growth. For more information, visit www.ip-ontario.ca.

For 14 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) is a Niagara College-led network of post-secondary institutions, who, through their respective Research and Innovation Centres, collaborate with small- and medium-sized companies to tackle their manufacturing-related challenges. SONAMI leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment, together with funding from the federal government, to support manufacturing in Canada.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate, and bachelor’s degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Laura Bunn
Communications Lead
[email protected]  

Alyssa Milana
NC Communications Consultant (Acting)
[email protected]

Niagara College launches its largest-ever fundraising campaign at annual Gala

With an ambitious vision to address some of the most challenging issues and opportunities facing the community it serves, Niagara College has launched Together, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to support new and expanded facilities, student access, diverse and inclusive learning environments, global competencies and perspectives, and productivity and innovation.

The Together campaign is built on six pillars: solving the skilled trades crisis, solving the healthcare crisis, empowering students to achieve their dreams, advancing a more equitable and diverse college, graduating tomorrow’s global citizens, and closing Canada’s productivity gap.

“We live in a changing world that is marked by significant needs – for frontline healthcare workers and skilled tradespeople; increased access and enhanced experiences for students; diverse and welcoming learning environments; global competencies and perspectives; and increased productivity and innovation,” said Niagara College President Sean Kennedy. “Niagara College is uniquely positioned to address these challenges, but we can’t do it alone. We’re calling on our community to join us in embracing this historic opportunity to build a successful Niagara.”

The campaign was launched in front of more than 700 business and community leaders and supporters at the sold-out Renaissance Gala on April 6. The annual Gala is Niagara College’s premier fundraising event, which has raised more than $3.5 million in support of students in its 32-year history.

The multi-year Together campaign seeks to raise $50 million to support a range of projects and initiatives, from new and expanded health and skilled trades facilities to increased scholarships and bursaries, new classrooms, alumni and student spaces, new housing and student services opportunities, expanded support for BIPOC students, new study-abroad opportunities, expanded applied research and more.

Already, the campaign has attracted significant support, including three transformational gifts announced at the Gala:

  • The Joyce Family Foundation has provided an exceptional gift of $1.5 million to create the Joyce Family Foundation Healthcare and Skilled Trades Bursary program at Niagara College. The program will provide tuition and ancillary costs for several skilled trades, nursing and healthcare students each year who come from the Niagara region. These bursaries will be renewable for each year of the recipient’s program of study. This transformational bursary fund will exist in perpetuity, supporting countless students over many generations, and directly supporting the urgent need for more frontline healthcare workers and skilled tradespeople. The Joyce Family Foundation is a private, family foundation created by legendary Canadian entrepreneur Ronald V. Joyce to enact philanthropy that reflects his deep-rooted sense of responsibility to give back to his community.
  • The McCall MacBain Foundation has provided a generous gift that will help to graduate more nurses, personal support workers and paramedics. The gift will be used to launch the ConfideNCe program, a student-focused and trailblazing initiative that will address anxiety and stress for students in applied health programs, while also providing new resources to help these students’ success after graduation. The McCall MacBain Foundation is named for John McCall MacBain and his wife Dr Marcy McCall MacBain, who founded the McCall MacBain Foundation in 2007. The Foundation seeks to improve the welfare of humanity by providing scholarships and other educational opportunities that nurture transformational leadership, and by investing in evidence-based strategies to address climate change, preserve our natural environment, and improve health outcomes.
  • The Embark Student Foundation has provided a generous gift of $500,000 to help launch the Indigenous Student Success Pathways project, which aims to embolden Indigenous students and support their education and career aspirations before, during and after their postsecondary studies. Embark selected Niagara College as one of only seven inaugural postsecondary recipients across Canada, and its gift represents the College’s largest single philanthropic gift in support of Indigenous education.  The gift will contribute directly to developing opportunities for Indigenous students and forwarding calls to action related to Truth and Reconciliation at Niagara College. The Embark Student Foundation is focused on providing specific funding for innovative programs, initiatives and services that support student success before, during and beyond their post-secondary years.

“These are remarkable, transformational gifts,” said Gord Arbeau, Vice President, Advancement. “They come from donors within and outside of our community reflecting the reach of our College outside the boundaries of Niagara, and they create a tremendous momentum as we move forward with our ambitious campaign.”

To learn more about the Together campaign, or to contribute, visit www.niagaracollege.ca/together.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor’s degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:
Michael Wales
Director, Communications
905 328-4101
[email protected]

 

Calling nature lovers: Learn about native species at Niagara College’s Bioblitz on April 13

Tree huggers, unite!

Niagara College’s Sustainability Office and students are calling all nature lovers to join the 9th Annual Spring BioBlitz at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday, April 13.

Bioblitz is a free, family-friendly event where citizen scientists explore NC’s campus grounds – a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve – to identify and catalogue bugs, birds, amphibians, mammals and plants. Volunteers will come together with the common goal of identifying as many species as possible to create a baseline for researchers and the local community to monitor biodiversity over time.

“Bioblitz is a chance for the community to explore our campus biosphere alongside expert scientists, community members, and passionate Niagara College students,” said Taryn Wilkinson, Manager of Sustainability the College. “We look forward to welcoming amateur enthusiasts to help us identify and catalogue native species, which is especially important as climate change and pollution impact local habitats.”

A warmer winter and lack of snow cover might mean the presence of special critters this year.

“We know salamanders are already coming out to start breeding, and frogs are also out calling due to the warmer temperatures from climate change,” said Katie Bristow, NC’s Sustainability Program & Outreach Coordinator. “It will be interesting to see if there is a different species make-up compared to years past.”

The day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes various bird and insect hikes – including a family-friendly option – exploration of lagoon organisms, and a cultural exchange with NC’s Indigenous Education.

NC Ecosystem Restoration alumnus Valerie Andrew (2023) will host an interactive display of skulls, antlers, skeletons, furs and other animal anatomy of native wildlife. Indigenous beadwork vendor Emma Gizzarelli of Jacob & Co Designs will hold a beading workshop where participants can make friendship or pony bead bracelets. Canadian Wildlife Federation, the NPCA, and local nature clubs will also have a presence.

Participants are welcome to drop-in to whichever sessions are of interest, and lunch will be provided for those who registered.

Agenda:

8 to 9:30 a.m. Birding Hike with Marcie Jackling
9 to 10 a.m. Benthos with Kerry Royer
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Biodiversity hike with Owen Bjorgan (family friendly)
11 a.m. to 1 pm. Free lunch for registrants
1 to 2 p.m. A cultural exchange with Aria D’alimonte and Karl Dockstader of NC’s Indigenous Education Department
2 to 3 p.m. Birding hike with Jean Hampson and Bob Highcock
3 to 4 p.m. Insect hike with Margaret Pickles
Other hikes may occur throughout the day on an as-needed basis.

For the full agenda, to learn more about Bioblitz, and register, please visit www.niagaracollege.ca/sustainability/students/bioblitz/.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica Torok
Communications Consultant
Niagara College
905-932-1520
[email protected]

Niagara College offering occupational testing for future law enforcement personnel, fitness assessments for community members

A new Justice and Fitness Training Centre at Niagara College is expanding access to career-specific fitness testing and advanced fitness assessments.

Located at the Welland Campus, the Centre is part of the College’s School of Justice and Fitness, which prepares students for careers in law enforcement including in policing, border services, corrections and security, and in the fitness industry to support individuals in achieving a healthy active lifestyle.

NC students within these program areas have benefited from the use of NC’s state-of-the-art facilities that are comprised of the latest testing and fitness equipment. Now, future law enforcement personnel and fitness-minded individuals can also access the services, which can be booked online at an affordable cost.

“We are excited to be offering our alumni and community members the testing that is required when applying for a position in law enforcement,” said Sandro D’Annunzio, NC’s Associate Dean, School of Justice and Fitness Studies. “The Justice and Fitness Training Centre is supported by our qualified employees who are helping many individuals pursuing a career in this in-demand field.”

In the Advanced Fitness Lab, NC offers fitness assessments and training including VO2 Max Testing, Muscular Strength and Endurance Assessments, Body Composition Analysis, Resting Metabolic Rate and Submaximal Aerobic Fitness Tests.

On the occupational testing side, offerings include the PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation) and the FITCO (Fitness Test for Correctional Services of Canada). Practice sessions are also available for the PARE and FITCO, as well as the PIN (Police Fitness Test) and the PREP (Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police).

The occupational testing aligns with the pre-employment fitness requirements for Royal Canadian Mounted police (RCMP), Canada Border Services (CBSA), Ministry of Solicitor General – the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Correctional Services and Municipal Policing Services.

Advanced Law Enforcement and Investigations student Ryan Potrecz participates in the PREP (Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police) test at NC’s Justice and Fitness Training Centre.

By providing practice testing, Sonya Siebert, NC’s Justice Studies Lab Manager, said individuals planning on applying for a career in law enforcement can familiarize themselves ahead of time with the physical fitness assessments that they will be required to successfully complete for employment, so they know how they measure up.

“There is anxiety in completing the fitness testing,” said Siebert, who noted that people have travelled to the College from as far as Ottawa to use the services. “They can come here, run through the fitness testing and find out exactly where they are at – like a practice run. Our sessions are conducted in a controlled environment, where our qualified staff explain the test protocols and demonstrate the requirements.”

For more information, visit NC’s Justice and Fitness Training Centre website.

All bookings are completed online through the JaneApp booking portal, which includes full descriptions, availability and pricing.

NC’s Justice and Fitness Training Centre launched in November 2023 as one of the College’s Dream Big Fund projects. The fund enables NC to more quickly approve pilot initiatives and activities that further one or more of the College’s Strategic Plan objectives to continue NC on its path of being welcoming, trailblazing and innovative.

Later this year, NC hopes to expand the Justice and Fitness Training Centre offerings with the addition of an interactive simulator that can be used to learn about judgement and police use of force options.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Elyse Howarth
Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-329-4910
[email protected]

 

Student beers on tap at Project Brew – Pints in the Pines

Niagara College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students are bringing their creativity and passion for craft beer to the outdoors with Project Brew – Pints in the Pines. The student-led beer festival marks the culmination of their academic journey, offering a glimpse into the future of the craft beer industry.

Acting as the final term project for the Beer Sales and Promotions class, Project Brew provides a platform for 13 students to showcase their brewing techniques and event coordination skills that they have developed during their studies at the college. From conceptualization to execution, students lead every aspect of the festival, including marketing campaigns, social media strategies, creating promotional materials and presenting their own uniquely crafted brews, preparing them for their future careers.

“I am really looking forward to another edition of Project Brew,” said Victor Pauka Alves De Oliveira, Manager, Catering & Special Events. “It is always exciting to witness the hard work our students have applied to their learning throughout the year, and it’s a great way to celebrate their accomplishments at the end of term.”

Project Brew is a key component of the experiential learning that takes place at Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery.

“Our students craft custom beers from scratch using their imaginations, knowledge and research, and it’s always a pleasure to see what they create,” said Brewmaster Professor Jon Downing. “Project Brew is a great opportunity for students to showcase the knowledge and expertise they have acquired throughout the program and share it with their families, friends and community members.”

This year’s theme ‘Pints in the Pines’ invites the community to embrace the spring season and gather outdoors on April 12, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Attendees will get to try sixteen student-crafted beers on tap, accompanied by live music and culinary offerings prepared by students in Niagara College’s Culinary Arts programs.

Student Erick Patrician, the Project Brew class chair, has brewed a dark lager called ‘Dusk til Dawn’ balanced with roast malt characteristics. He chose this style based on his belief that dark lagers have the potential to bridge the gap between what craft and non-craft beers typically deliver in their flavour and drinkability.

“While I was aware of this beer style previously, it wasn’t until third term when I had a pint of it at a local brewery that I really saw its potential,” said Patrician. “From that point on, I was hooked and went about trying to refine the style and deliver a version that would be approachable for craft and non-craft beer drinkers alike.”

Despite student Michael Haswell’s love for dark beers, he challenged himself to brew a light lager infused with lime flavours called ‘Green Lemons’ to align with the changing season and outdoor theme of the festival. He chose to integrate a Norwegian strain of yeast called Kveik, inspired by a personal milestone in 2022 where he completed his first solo bike trip through the Nordic countries.

“After a month of cold rainy days, sleeping on the side of the road, and more gas station hotdogs than a man should ever consume, a few celebratory pints were definitely in order, many of them brewed with Kveik,” he said. “These pints tasted better after crossing that finish line and since then, I have always had a special love for those strains.”

A highlight of the Project Brew festival is the beer-judging competition, where all student-crafted beers are evaluated by a panel of judges from Niagara College. The winning student will be honoured with the $4,500 Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship. Guests will also get to participate as judges and vote for their favourite beer to be crowned the People’s Choice Award winner.

A portion of the proceeds from Project Brew are donated to support the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Matt Soos, who graduated from the Brewmaster program in 2015. The scholarship was established by Railway City Brewing, and Muskoka Brewing, where Soos worked at the time of his passing, shortly after graduating from Niagara College. The scholarship is supported by Natterjack Brewing Company Ltd., founded by the family of Matt Soos in 2016 as a legacy to honour Matt’s passion for the craft beer industry.

Guests will also get to taste the talents of two students from Niagara College’s Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program, who will showcase their culinary creations specially made to complement the diverse beer offerings. Their creations will serve as complimentary additions to the Project Brew food menu and are part of the students’ free-form Capstone Project, which focuses on developing ready-for-market products for the food and beverage industry.

Student Michael Koski is most looking forward to witnessing the enjoyment on guests’ faces as they taste the beers and immerse themselves in the festival.

“Seeing people enjoy our beer and sharing a social event to celebrate all our learnings is the ultimate reward for me,” he said.

Project Brew tickets are still available for purchase here. Ticket prices are $35 plus taxes and fees and include four beer tokens and a beer glass. Additional tokens are available for purchase at $2 per token. Guests must be 19 years or older to participate.

NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year diploma program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-campus, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Visit ncteachingbrewery.ca.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 10,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Alyssa Milana

Communications Consultant (Acting)

[email protected]

Experience the NC difference at Spring Open House, March 23

Niagara College will welcome prospective students and future Knights to campus on Saturday, March 23 for Spring Open House, one of the College’s largest recruitment events of the year.

Happening simultaneously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both the Welland Campus and Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the event is a chance for prospective students and their supporters to meet faculty, staff and current students, explore the learning environments and facilities on campus, and ask questions about what to expect while studying at NC.

“Spring Open House is one of our favourite times of the year at Niagara College and we look forward to welcoming our guests to campus,” said NC President Sean Kennedy. “Open House provides an important opportunity for prospective students and their families to interact with our incredible academic and student service professionals, who are committed to the success of all students.”

Registration is required for prospective students attending Open House. Those who register and attend will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $5,000 credit towards their NC tuition for the 2024-2025 school year. There is also a chance to win one of 10 $100 Amazon gift cards by registering before Thursday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Visit the Open House website for full contest details.

With expanded offerings for guests to see and do this year, Open House is a not-to-be-missed event that includes participation from all program areas, as well as many departments from the College’s comprehensive suite of student services.

“This is Niagara College’s biggest Open House event ever and is an excellent opportunity for prospective students, applicants and members of the community to come on campus to discover all that we offer,” said Dorita Pentesco, NC’s Senior Director, Marketing and Student Recruitment. “With a wide range of programs and services, along with state-of-the-art facilities, labs and classrooms, Niagara College is supporting students in achieving their goals and dreams.”

During the event, guests can visit the Student Services Fair to learn about the outstanding student supports available at the College and attend faculty-led information sessions with each of NC’s Schools of Study. New this year, is an information session with the School of Trades that will zoom in on the various apprenticeship programs available at NC.

Guests can also visit academic displays throughout campus to chat one-on-one with faculty and students to learn even more about NC’s trailblazing programs and experience live demonstrations and lab tours.

At the Welland Campus, the School of Community Services is hosting a Broom-X demonstration, facilitated by NC’s Therapeutic Recreation Activity Collective (nc-TRAC), while open labs include paramedic lab, nursing lab, massage clinic, Teaching Hair Salon, justice labs, green automotive technology lab, photonics lab, Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film studios and more.

At the Daniel J. Patterson Campus, the Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program is hosting a miniature cookie factory, while the School of Environment and Horticulture will debut its new interactive display on the first floor of the North Wing. Guests can take photos and learn more about NC’s horticulture and landscape programs.

Those who are unsure of where their programs of interest are located are encouraged to visit the Open House website here for information about NC’s Schools of Study and their campus locations.

Campus tours with current students will begin at 10 a.m. and will depart every 30 minutes from a dedicated tour booth, where alumni will mingle with guests to share their NC experiences.

Staff from NC’s Enrolment Services office will also be available during the event to facilitate new student applications and to help applicants confirm existing offers of acceptance.

For more information about Spring Open House and to register, visit openhouse.niagaracollege.ca. Free parking will be available at both campuses during the event.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Elyse Howarth
Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-329-4910
[email protected]

Niagara Health Knowledge Institute launches research scholarships with Niagara College, Brock University,

A Niagara Health media release:

Niagara post-secondary students will spend their summers advancing critical healthcare research that could change standards of practice, thanks to unique partnerships between the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute (NHKI), Brock University and Niagara College.

NHKI has partnered with both educational institutions to co-fund two new scholarships, worth $10,000 each, to enable the participation of a Brock and Niagara College undergraduate student enrolled in a health-related program in research-focused placements at the NHKI between May and August.

“The goal of the NHKI-Brock University Summer Student Research Scholarship and the NHKI-Niagara College Summer Student Research Scholarship is to support the retention of high-potential students in Niagara,” says Dr. Jennifer Tsang, NHKI Executive Director and Chief Scientist, and Niagara Health Intensivist. “These partnerships will expose students to a vibrant and prolific research environment committed to advancing patient care and treatment locally and beyond. In the process, they’ll develop valuable research skills and new networks within a community hospital research setting to carry forward in their careers while contributing to the growth of the NHKI.”

Scholarship recipients will work alongside an NHKI researcher to contribute to an existing research project. They will assist with data collection, entry, validation and analysis, abstract writing, and presenting study findings or updates.

“We’re very excited to co-fund the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute – Brock University Summer Student Research Scholarship,” says Brock University Acting Vice-President, Research Michelle McGinn. “We value our long-running, fruitful partnership with Niagara Health and share their passion for developing students’ research skills and networks in a real-world setting.”

“Niagara College is committed to providing highly skilled, knowledgeable graduates for front-line healthcare positions that are in high demand,” says Sinéad McElhone, Niagara College Dean of Health Sciences. “Research is a foundational pillar of higher education and it adds tremendous value to the educational experience of our students. This unique opportunity will offer a Niagara College student the chance to work with a team of research scientists at the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute and explore key health issues, giving them a distinct advantage as they look ahead to a career in healthcare.”

NHKI participates in research and multi-centre clinical trials in cardiology, critical care medicine, emergency medicine, hematology and transfusion medicine, neurology, oncology and thrombosis with a commitment to improving the quality of patient care. The Knowledge Institute was launched in May 2023 with a $4-million donation from the McCall MacBain Foundation.

The Summer Student Research Scholarships will continue to be awarded annually, with NHKI and the partner institutions contributing $5,000 each to their respective student awards.

“Community partnerships are essential to the work we do at Niagara Health,” says Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thrilled to count Brock University and Niagara College as partners in a collective journey toward knowledge generation that will improve the quality of care for our patients, and help us to recruit and retain talented healthcare professionals.”

Students have until Thursday, March 28 to apply online for the NHKI-Brock University Summer Student Research Scholarship or the NHKI-Niagara College Summer Student Research Scholarship. More information, including application requirements and instructions, are available on the Niagara Health website.

Niagara Health is a regional healthcare provider with multiple sites and a growing network of community-based and virtual services. Our team is mad up of more than 7,300 staff, physicians and volunteers who we count on to deliver Extraordinary Caring. Every Person. Every Time. Our Accreditation of Exemplary Standing is a clear demonstration of the team’s commitment to the highest safety and quality standards. We provide a full range of acute care hospital services to the 450,000 residents of Niagara region and we are a national leader in community hospital research. Learn more at niagarahealth.on.ca.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

Brock University is a comprehensive institution with rich academic programs and world-class research activity. Located in Ontario’s scenic Niagara region on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, Brock is situated in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With about 600 full-time faculty members and researchers, Brock’s robust academic scope offers more than 70 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate programs in seven dynamic Faculties. The University’s 19,000 students come from across Canada and around the world. Brock’s renowned student experience is enriched by an emphasis on experiential education, as illustrated by community partnerships, volunteerism and one of Ontario’s largest and most successful co-op programs. Learn more at brocku.ca.

 

Media Contact:

Tiffany Mayer (she/her)

Niagara Health Communications Specialist

[email protected]

905-988-0580

Teaching Brewery steps up support for women in brewing

Raise a glass on International Women’s Day with four new Pink Boots brews from the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.

The NC Teaching Brewery’s new student crafted Pink Boots brews – in support of women and non-binary people in the fermented beverage industry –were released just in time for International Women’s Day: Rose Wellies, Pale Moonlight American Pale Ale, Rose Parks New Zealand Pilsner and Knock Your Pink Boots Off.

The Pink Boots beers were brewed at the Teaching Brewery in January and February involving various classes of students from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program as well as staff and volunteers throughout the School of Wine, Beer and Spirits.

Pink Boots brewing began at the Teaching Brewery in January with Knock Your Pink Boots Off, an 8.6% abv fruited Belgian Blonde (raspberries and passionfruit) designed by students Aiden Hole and Katelyn Buzanko which was brewed by their second semester class, a Pink Boots American Pale Ale (Pale Moonlight), designed by Brewmaster graduate Jenny Lukasiewicz and ‘Rose Wellies’ a Brut IPA recipe from Brewmaster grad and current faulty Nicola Davey – both brewed with third semester students.

On February 9, the Teaching Brewery hosted an open brew for students from various classes to brew Rose Parks, New Zealand Pilsner, which was designed by fourth semester student Noelia Melisa Quiverio Hincapie and second semester student Lina Marcel Farfan Gonzales. The Teaching Brewery also welcomed a representative from Pink Boots Canada and Yakima Chief Hops on February 9.

Pink Boots brewing continues on International Women’s Day. March 8 will be an ‘open brew day’ when students and volunteers will brew another Pink Boots beer, ‘Hazy Boots,’ designed by second-semester students Catherine Lear and Mandy Blais.

“I am super excited to be showcasing the power and talents of women in the brewing industry, be it students just starting out or even promoting those that have been paving the road forward for everyone for years,” said Catherine Lear. “I find it extremely important to not just support but showcase the many talented women in brewing. It is an underrepresented field and is at times difficult to get the recognition that is deserved.”

Nicola Davey, who participated in Pink Boots as a Brewmaster student a few years ago and now teaches current students in the program, has been supporting students with the initiative over the past couple of years by offering advice with recipe development. Davey organized Pink Boots hop rub in 2022 and 2023 which tasks Brewmaster students to complete sensory assessment on 14 different hop samples, and select, as a group, their top seven. Their favourites, along with the other Canadian brewery results, were submitted to the Pink Boots Society who worked with Yakima Chief Hops to determine the hop blend for 2023 and 2024.

This year, Davey and recent Brewmaster graduate Jenny Lukasiewicz (2023) brewed their Pink Boots beers with first semester students.

“The Pink Boots Society has been supporting women in brewing since 2014 by teaching useful skills, raising money for scholarships, and making the beer industry a real, constructive possibility for women. The educational strength of NC’s Brewmaster program and the Teaching Brewery along with the chance to participate in Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day initiatives brings forth an exciting opportunity to unite, recognize and appreciate female brewers,” noted Davey. “I am so thrilled when our female brewers, create and brew their first commercial beers (second semester brewers).

“Their smiles and sense of accomplishment make my day which is why I stay involved.”

The NC Teaching Brewery has been involved with the Pink Boots initiative since hosting its first collaboration brew day 2020.

Brewmaster Professor Jon Downing indicated his strong support for continuing the initiative at the Teaching Brewery.

“We’re focused on awareness and invite students from all fermented beverage-based programs to participate,” he said.

“It is such a pleasure to know the students and faculty are actively engaged in keeping up this important tradition,” said Maija Saari, Associate Dean for the Division of Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies.

“Events that celebrate the accomplishments of women and non-binary people in the brewing and fermented beverage industries are a great way to highlight the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion and why we must persevere to create working spaces safe for all.”

Pink Boots Society Canada is a national non-profit organization helping women and non-binary people in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry advance their careers through education.

Tammy Joho of Pink Boots Canada, joined a Pink Boots Brew Day at the Teaching Brewery on Feb 9.

“The need to support women and non-binary people, transgender women, to provide them a safe space in the industry, still exists,” she said. “We assist, inspire and encourage women.”

Several of the NC Teaching Brewery’s 2024 Pink Boots Series are now available for purchase (while supplies last) at the Teaching Brewery retail store and the Wine Visitor + Education Centre, located at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, alongside products from NC’s Teaching Brewery, Teaching Winery, and Teaching Distillery. Visit ncteachingwinery.ca.

NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-site, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Located at the College’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

 

Media inquires, please contact:

 

Julie Greco
Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

 

 

Niagara College to host DSBN’s 26th Annual Technological Skills Challenge

On February 28, Niagara College (NC) will host 350 Niagara high school students as they compete across many different disciplines in the District School Board of Niagara’s (DSBN) 26th annual Technological Skills Challenge.

a student operates a saw in a construction lab

A high school student builds on their construction skills at the Welland Campus in 2023.

Students from 16 DSBN secondary schools will compete in 30 challenges at both the Welland Campus and the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Challenges will demonstrate students’ skills in everything from precision machining to floristry and 2D character animation to carpentry, culinary arts, plumbing, robotics, welding and more.

By participating in the challenges, students have the opportunity to explore careers in the skilled trades and technologies by completing industry-related projects, using industry-standard equipment and adhering to industry regulations. Challenges will be judged by industry mentors who will provide students with valuable feedback and the opportunity to make industry contacts.

DSBN students are well prepared for the competition as there is ample opportunity for students to find their niche in the skilled trades and technologies at DSBN. Education, preparation and training for these challenges happens during the school year through the numerous technology classes students can take in high school. Many of the students involved are Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM) students and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) participants.

NC staff and faculty from the schools of Trades, Technology, Media, Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism, and Environment and Horticulture, as well as the Career Services department, will work alongside the DSBN to help administer the challenges and give students a taste of real, hands-on experience in their chosen fields, further preparing them for successful careers in the skilled trades.

A student in a chef uniform prepares baked goods

A high school student participates in a baking challenge at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in 2023.

“Niagara College has been hosting the Technological Skills Challenge in partnership with the DSBN for nearly 10 years to provide high school students with an opportunity to further explore their interests in the skilled trades,” said Leo Tiberi, NC’s Dean, Media, Trades and Technology. “The competition helps students develop their skills through hands-on challenges supported by our faculty, who hope to inspire these students to become the next generation of skilled workers.”

“DSBN students have been working with our highly skilled technology teachers, and now have the opportunity during these Challenges to enhance and build on their skills,” said Roy Smith, DSBN Technology and SHSM Consultant. “Students can apply problem solving techniques, leadership abilities, and creative ideas to real-world applications on their way to successful careers in the skilled trades.”

Gold medalists from the DSBN Skills Challenge will advance to the Skills Ontario Competition (SOC) which will be held May 6th and 7th at the Toronto Congress Centre. Gold medalists at the SOC will become part of Team Ontario and will have the opportunity to compete at the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), held this year in Quebec City during the last week of May.

Media interested in attending the Skills Challenge are asked to contact Elyse Howarth, Communications Consultant at [email protected] to arrange a time and location.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is the largest public school board in Niagara. The DSBN serves over 43,000 elementary and secondary students across the Niagara region. The DSBN is committed to ensuring all students have the individual support and encouragement they need to become successful in school. For more information, visit https://www.dsbn.org/programs-services/tech-ed/home

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Elyse Howarth
Communications Consultant
Niagara College
Cell: 905-329-4910
[email protected]

For media inquiries to speak with DSBN students or teachers, please contact:

Milica Petkovic
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Relations
District School Board of Niagara
Office: 905.641.1550 ext. 54162
Cell: 289.219.4302
[email protected]