College looks to connect student innovation with business

Students are hoping to lend their innovative ideas to local business through a new initiative at the College of the Rockies.

Students are hoping to lend their innovative ideas to local business through a new initiative at the College of the Rockies.

The Inspire Centre, a new college service that is going live this semester, is designed to connect students with businesses in order to tackle and solve real-world problems with applied research and academic innovation.

“It’s an area of increased focus for the college and I would say that our main intent with this is to grow a culture of curiosity and grow the College of the Rockies as a learning organization,” said Gina Bennett, the chair for the Inspire Centre.

“Our two main functions of the centre here are going to be to support and further develop a scholarship of teaching and learning. The other big thing is to support innovation through applied research designed to tackle business and community problems.”

Bennett said that the college, though a smaller post-secondary institution in relation to the rest of the province, has a great reputation for innovation in educational and classroom technology.

“This includes technology involving smart boards, lecture recording, distance learning technology—that sort of thing,” she said. “We really are seen as very forward-thinking in the province.”

Though the semester has just begun, the centre is working on establishing the business connections that will allow college students to apply their ideas and innovation to the local business community.

“The plan for applied research, as it is in other places as well, is to connect with business groups, innovation infrastructure of the East Kootenay, find out where the needs are, find out where we can best add value,” Bennett said.

With a myriad of programs up at the college, there are all kinds of areas where students could lend their ideas, said Bennett, who pointed to local industries such as mining and tourism.

“We want to focus in a little bit, we can’t be all things to all people, but we will want to focus in on areas where we do have expertise,” she said.

“For example, we have our Bachelor’s degree in Applied Business: Sustainable Business Practices, so far, our only Bachelor’s degree. The degree is growing in popularity and we have students doing comprehensive capstone projects every year.

“On the other hand, we’re doing a lot of project work, international projects etc, related to mining, so those are two very different sectors. We’re not sure yet if it’s going to be one of those, both of those, or something more.”

For now, it will be a matter of getting local businesses and organizations on board with the centre’s mission, she continued.

“We will be soliciting collaborations and partnerships with businesses and we’ll probably be starting with—I’m guessing we’ll start by talking with business organizations, so perhaps Community Futures or Chamber of Commerce or tourism umbrella organizations,” Bennett said.

“…Definitely we will be soliciting partnerships and collaborations with businesses and then seeking funding to do the research.”

Just Posted

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

x
It’s hard out there for a billionaire

I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that while many, many people… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Most Read