News Archives: CRI Officially Launched at GPRC
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
The current Alberta government emphasis on applied research has been the timely catalyst for a new partnership: The Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI.) Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) and Peace Region Economic Development Alliance (PREDA) have worked closely together since 2002, developing a model for innovation support and research which has provided a strong foundation for the Centre for Research and Innovation.
PREDA and GPRC, together with innovators and researchers already busy with projects, today celebrated the Grand Opening of the Centre for Research and Innovation at Grande Prairie Regional College - a partnership designed to enhance the potential for support of applied research and innovation projects in the region.
The services of CRI are designed to support and strengthen the inventor, the researcher, the entrepreneur, industry and institutions. Idea Filtering and Invention Management is a major category of service, which includes everything from patent searches to assistance with a business plan. The Applied Research Services can help by networking research opportunities, or by conducting academic and applied research.
At present, there are 17 test clients using the services of CRI, representing $600,000 in innovative projects. GPRC instructor Dr. Connie Korpan is currently involved in two applied research projects through the CRI. The CRI is assisting through project management, finance and budgeting, and research design assistance. The specific projects are:
Scientific Literacy: This project, funded through the Canada Council on Literacy, examines the ability of high school and College students to interpret and question information presented in the media on scientific phenomenon, discoveries, and events. It is, in many ways, a continuation of and an application of research previously undertaken in her PhD.
Service Providers for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: This research looks at barriers and challenges to finding and retaining qualified staff for service providers to persons with developmental disabilities. This research is funded through AACTI and PDD.
\"The active participation of Colleges such as GPRC in Applied Research is essential to continuing the leadership role of Alberta in Innovation," says Dr. Scott McAlpine, GPRC Dean of Arts and Science, who has long been a leader in applied research in our region. \"We can and we must continue to participate in the community and in the growth of the region through our offerings of a full range of post-secondary programs and services. Being \'open for business\' in Applied Research and Innovation is one more way we can bring value-added post-secondary educational experiences to the people of the Peace.\" Dr. McAlpine is a member of the CRI Management Team, with Nicole McMullan, MEDes, PREDA, and Jim Smith, P. Eng., The Innovation Network.
"We believe the services provided here will "bridge the gap" for inventors and serve as a model for other rural communities," says McMullan. "A merger between GPRC's Integrated Research Unit and The Innovation Network, the new Centre for Research & Innovation is a positive next step for all parties", she adds.
The Centre for Research and Innovation is committed to provide more accessible innovation services to entrepreneurs and businesses in northwestern Alberta by creating and enhancing business products and services. Innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses are invited to contact the CRI team and discover what this service can do to strengthen and facilitate great ideas in our region.