The Canadian rankings show GBC has the most student researchers
George Brown College (GBC) dropped from first place to second this year in Canada’s Top 50 Research College rankings for 2018, published by Research InfoSource Inc.
In first place was Lambton College with $11.4 million of research income, a narrow lead of less than half a million over GBC, which came in at $11.1 million.
While rankings are important, Krista Holmes, director of innovation and research at GBC, believes that many important factors aren’t captured by the dollar-focused rankings.
For example, the study doesn’t consider the quality of the research being done, or how industry partners feel about their experience working with the colleges.
“The quality of output and the quality of experience that George Brown College provides is unparalleled in the country,” said Holmes.
Defined as the amount of money that goes towards any given research project, research income includes grants, industry cash, and in-kind contributions such as equipment.
Areas that received the most research income at GBC in 2018 were food innovation & research, product development, digital experience, and green building.
GBC made the top of the list in another category— number of paid student researchers.
This is the third year running that the college has ranked number one in paid student researchers in the study.
Students bring fresh perspectives and ideas, which are crucial for innovation.
“There are a lot of challenges that exist in society because we keep doing things the same way that we’ve always done them, and we don’t stop and ask why,” said Holmes. “If you get a diverse group of multi-disciplinary students in a room together to start unpacking those wicked problems that we see as a society, you really get the innovation happening.”
At GBC, students across the college work on applied research projects that tackle real industry problems, gaining real-world experience.
“We have active work happening in all of the academic centres, and most of the schools at George Brown,” says Holmes.
GBC received $588,303 in funding this November for research projects in the social innovation space.
The funding will be used to develop a training solution to integrate newcomers into the Canadian workforce, research how to help youth impacted by human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Ontario, and create an innovative community-based model of transformational education that aims to re-engage marginalized groups.
Other exciting research initiatives on the horizon involve smart connected buildings and building information modelling, and continuing development on The Arbor, which will be Ontario’s first tall wood, low-carbon institutional building along with a research program in mass timber construction.
There will also be research that focuses on scholarship and teaching, health and wellness, and increasing sustainability or reducing waste in the fashion industry.