According to Research Infosource Inc., Fleming achieved its highest ranking since first appearing on the Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges list in 2011. Ranking is based on research income with data obtained through surveys of publicly funded colleges and from 2018-2019 financial statements. During that time, Fleming had $4-million of sponsored research income, up 79.1 per cent from the previous year, when it ranked 30th.
However, the real measure of applied research is not just in funding dollars and rankings, it is the impact on industry partners, communities and students.
The Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies (CAWT) is an example of Fleming College providing research leadership in finding solutions to current problems. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAWT was able to secure funding with partners across the country to acquire a refrigerated centrifuge and an ultra-low-temperature freezer. This equipment will allow researchers to safely extract and store samples of wastewater containing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. CAWT is currently working with an Ontario company to develop technology to keep our communities safe – by detecting and monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens, in wastewater.
“In addition to contributing to pandemic-related research, Fleming continues to keep our finger on the pulse of important issues that impact the communities we serve,” said Maureen Adamson, Fleming College president. “Research areas at Fleming cover a broad spectrum, from preventing human trafficking and analyzing labour markets, to Indigenous participation on police forces, and supporting rural and remote nurses.”
This year, Fleming will launch two new research centres in aquaculture and the industrial internet of things. These centres, funded through a variety of grants, will create new research spaces on campus, equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology. The two centres are already working with 11 industry partners ranging from small family businesses to regional enterprises.
Applied research is embedded in many teaching programs at Fleming. Through capstone and applied projects, and similar courses, students can use the skills and knowledge they have learned to answer pressing questions and find solutions for industry and community partners. Fleming students have measured water quality for lake associations, coded software for industry partners, created GIS applications for historical societies, developed training material for non-profits, and continue to make positive impacts on our local economy.
Applied research at Fleming isn’t only about supporting industry – enriching and improving communities are equally prioritized. The research projects offer opportunities for students to get involved and gain practical experience working on real-world problems, increasing their chances for success after graduation.
Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications with Colleges and Institutes Canada. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.