Algonquin placed highly in a review of applied research success this year in a report from a business intelligence firm.
The college now holds second and third place in research partnerships ranking and number of projects respectively in this year’s Research Infosource publication. These results are from the 2013-2014 fiscal years and are the result of hard work by the Office of Applied Research and Innovation and the programs that work closely with them.
Applied research happens when Algonquin partners with a local business or enterprise to help deliver features or products that a business might not have the resources to implement. The research income, number of partners and projects are what Research Infosource measure as metrics for success. But Mark Hoddenbagh, executive director partnerships and applied research, thinks there is more to the story.
“The key thing to measure on is, which they don’t measure, is the number of students who’ve you’ve impacted and the number of faculty involved,” said Hoddenbagh. “That’s where your impacts happen.”
Now with the ongoing success of the partnerships, Applied Research and Innovation looks towards filling more of an incubator or accelerator role for Ottawa-area entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to fruition.
“We help somebody be more effective in their business. Now they’re able to have more sales, now they’re able to reduce their cost of goods, now they’re able to hire more people,” said Hoddenbagh.
Currently, one major project is a collaboration with GaitTronics. They are an Ottawa-based company which is developing a robotic rehabilitation device. A team of five from the School of Multimedia and Design are helping create the user experience for the tool that assists a physiotherapist or a nurse to safely and easily mobilize patients.
“This is a great experience for both myself and my team to be working closely with a live client,” said Jordan Koski, student GaitTronics project lead at Algonquin and student in the interactive media design program, “It gives us excellent, real world industry experience.”
It is co-founder and CTO of GaitTronics, Ali Morbi’s second time using the skills of Algonquin students to create a completely new component of their technology.
“Our core expertise isn’t as much in that software area,” said Morbi. “Just in this particular case, we don’t have someone on staff who can do it right now, it works really well for us to partner with Algonquin.”
GaitTronics is collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team at Algonquin to make a user interface that leverages your tablet or smart phone to control the device.
“That includes people with technical backgrounds, and some with more design backgrounds,” said Morbi.
Their previous project partnership was a cloud based gait data monitoring software and it won third place at the Applied Research Day in August of this year.