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Holland College awarded eligibility for college research fund

July 23, 2014

Charlottetown, PE – Holland College has been awarded tri-council eligibility by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) giving the Applied Research department at the college access to a $10 million pot for projects related to social innovation, Holland College President Brian McMillan announced today.

Applied research attempts to solve problems or take advantage of market opportunities by developing new products, processes or services. Existing technology may be used in new ways, or new technology may be developed. Holland College provides subject matter expertise, lab and workshop space, assistance in the preparation of research funding proposals, linkages to outside expertise and resources and project management support, while industry partners provide guidance, expertise and financial support.

Applied research projects are mutually beneficial. Students gain invaluable hands-on experience and interact with industry partners, and college instructors remain connected to industry trends, improving communications and providing professional development opportunities. Industry partners are able to develop new products and services in a cost-effective way, while protecting their intellectual property.

Holland College has two applied research pillars, Science and Technology, and Social Innovation. The college has already made a mark nationally in the science and technology sector with Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, a Technology Access Center funded through NSERC. Obtaining SSHRC eligibility was a logical next step in developing the applied research agenda at Holland College. Holland College has been involved in social science research for over 15 years, and has established itself as a leader in research on learning gain, adult learning trajectories and early intervention strategies to retain learners. With this additional granting source, Holland College is poised to become a leader in colleges utilizing SSHRC funds.

Dr. McMillan said the SSHRC eligibility means that the college can continue to build on the social innovation projects that it has already completed.

“Our staff and industry partners will be able to continue their important work in areas such as early childhood learning, persons with learning difficulties, unprepared or underprepared learners, and workforce development,” he said. “The college is already involved in two SSHRC projects, one is research into the digital economy, in partnership with UPEI, and the other is a in partnership with UNB on emergent learning in Aboriginal communities.”

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