Strengthening communities through innovation
Innovation runs deep at NSCC. The College is full of faculty, support staff and researchers that think outside the box to enhance student success and help communities tackle challenges across the province.
Thanks to three newly awarded College and Community Social Innovation funds NSCC Applied Research has embarked on projects that will help First Nation communities improve energy resiliency and sustainability, better prepare farmers for climate change and address water security challenges for rural homes with wells.
Director of Applied Research, Alain Joseph, explains how these federal-funded projects can benefit students at NSCC:
“This funding helps us create more student positions. We have a long history of hiring students from the School of Technology and Environment and the School of Trades and Transportation to work part time while studying or full time at the end of their programs to complete internships.”
NSCC encourages individuals from underrepresented groups to apply to work with Applied Research. Research Scientist, Dr. Wayne Groszko, explains how students working on these projects will gain valuable experience:
“These newly funded projects will introduce student research assistants to sustainable practices, innovative thinking and to organizations that could lead to work opportunities when they finish their education.”
Additional project details
Applied Energy Research has begun a three-year, collaborative research project with Acadia First Nation (AFN), Passive Design Solutions and Solar Nova Scotia. Working closely with AFN, NSCC’s energy researchers will collect data to better understand the community’s energy needs and concerns. Once that’s established, an energy sustainability plan will be developed, followed by hands-on training and pilot projects to build capacity for the implementation of energy resiliency and sustainability.
The Engineered Technologies Applied Research Lab has partnered with Acadia University, the Town of Shelburne, Municipality of Argyle, Acadia First Nation, and HMC Emergency Management Consulting to assess Nova Scotians’ broader perception of drinking water issues. Investigating water-related concerns, challenges, knowledge, and behaviours will involve qualitatively assessing rural drinking water stakeholders in southwestern Nova Scotia. This will include, decision-makers (municipal councils and water operators), municipal water consumers and private well owners.
The Applied Environment and Agriculture Technology Research Lab’s new project is focused on reducing the impact of projected weather events on crop quality and yields. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) funding is being used to purchase three controlled environment chambers to help companies test and create products. These chambers will help NSCC researchers tackle agricultural challenges around testing and determine the usefulness of soil amendments and biostimulants under various climate scenarios. The acquisition of this equipment provides a valuable resource for local agricultural businesses and supports future college-industry collaborations.