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March 15, 2016

Energy-Efficient Housing for Arctic Living

What does it mean to live sustainably in the North? With two months of darkness, monthly utility bills over $1,500, temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius, and variable permafrost, it can be a challenge. SAIT Polytechnic’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department was approached by GBM Construction in Fort Simpson, NWT, to design a high-performance net-zero energy home. Through consultation with Fort Simpson-based engineers, architects and tradespeople, ARIS’s Green Building Technologies researchers brought together passive and active elements to design the ultimate sustainable home. Fit for an extreme climate, “Arctic House” includes a high-efficiency, wood-fired boiler to generate the hot... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Cleaning Condo Air Quality

Condominiums and high-rise apartment buildings are often designed with ineffective corridor ventilation. In these buildings, fresh air is pumped into the hallways and then pulled into individual units. This means that most of the air in a unit comes from beneath the condo door, and can be full of tobacco, allergens, pollutants and dust from nearby construction sites. Bordin Racing Inc. envisioned a lightweight retrofit that could be easily installed by a condo owner to help filter out most of these unwanted pollutants. Faculty and student researchers from the Mechanical Engineering program at George Brown College helped the company with... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Clear Skies with Advanced Green Technology

Clear Blue Technologies designs on-grid and off-grid wind and solar energy devices for renewable energy manufacturers. In 2012, Clear Blue and George Brown partnered to develop, manufacture, and test 20 prototypes of a key product. Clear Blue and the college have partnered again recently to develop a manufacturing process for Clear Blue’s Blackbird and Eagle releases. The goal is to improve and scale the current manufacturability of its products and automate the existing manual manufacturing and testing of their systems. The company expects product quality and reliability to improve with proper reliability testing. This latest phase has supported Clear Blue... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Oilseeds to Environmentally Friendly Bioproducts

Cégep de Thetford and its Centre collégial de transfert de technologie en oléochimie industrielle (OLEOTEK) operate a pilot factory and sophisticated processing equipment for applied research into oilseed use in industrial applications to produce technical materials and fluids. OLEOTEK develops new oils with a biosourced functionalized base for Elevance Renewable Sciences, a company that processes renewable materials into a wide variety of bio-products including performance waxes, detergents, cleaners, and solvents. The project is in a pilot stage of development with the goal of knowledge transfer to industry. Funding received from an Applied Research Tool and Instruments grant led to the... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Making the Shoe Fit Every Time

Science has solved many conundrums, but finding the shoe that fits perfectly was never on the list. At Centennial College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre, researchers are dedicated to using science to solve practical, real-life problems. Custom shoe manufacturing typically requires complex processes like plaster casts. Toronto firm PodoTech aimed to create a three-dimensional foot scanning system to make measurements simpler and more accurate. Waterloo University researchers developed a proof-of-concept Orthotic Design System, which led to the creation of photo scanner hardware and basic software to make a 3D model from the image. However, the software had been created using... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Beacons for Airplane Safety

Tall structures such as wireless communication towers or windmills can be hazards for air traffic. A Québec company has developed specialized protective lighting for these structures to help aircraft see these obstacles. Technostrobe approached the Centre collégial de transfert technologique en optique-photonique (Optech) at Cégep André-Laurendeau for help increasing the efficiency of their beacons, which are installed on radio broadcasting and wireless communications towers and on wind turbines. Meeting Transportation Canada’s very strict photometric standards, the beacons are exposed to severe climatic conditions over very long periods. “Optech’s participation clearly and greatly sped up Technostrobe’s product development,” according to Francis... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Improving BigBlueButton Online Learning

Seneca’s open technology developers, working in collaboration with Blindside Networks, have made significant contributions to the development of the BigBlueButton platform for distance education. Blindside Networks is an Ottawa-based company dedicated to helping universities, colleges and commercial companies deliver high-quality learning experiences to remote students. They do this by providing commercial support and hosting for BigBlueButton, an open source web conferencing system for on-line learning. “The mission of BigBlueButton is to ensure every student with a web browser has access to a high-quality on-line learning experience,” says Fred Dixon, CEO of Blindside Networks. “BigBlueButton is an open source project that... Read more
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March 15, 2016

3D Modeling in the Cloud

Creators of 3D digital graphics have a new cloud-based software option thanks to an applied research project undertaken by Seneca College researchers in partnership with Ottawa tech company Exocortex Technologies. Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT) worked closely with Exocortex to produce Clara.io, a high-quality online 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. Clara.io was built with many open source technologies, including three.js, a popular JavaScript library for 3D web development. As is the pattern in the field of web development, Exocortex has lent their experience in 3D graphics to enhancing the three.js library. The development of Clara.io built... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Mozilla Webmaker in Thai and Russian

Making popular software available to non-English speaking users is a challenge for computer program developers. To get help with localization of their software Webmaker, Mozilla came to Seneca College’s Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT). Seneca’s open technology researchers have worked with Mozilla on many projects that extend the functionality of the web. The college’s diverse student body became an important asset in this development project. Students come from all over the world to study at Seneca College, bringing their knowledge of other languages and cultures. The CDOT research team put students to work on the internationalization and localization... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Greek Spoon Sweets with Local Fruit

In preparation for opening a Greek yogurt bar in Toronto, an Ontario food company wanted to develop a Canadian version of a Mediterranean spoon sweet, a fruit preserve served with yogurt. Colossus is a company that produces authentic Greek dishes for customers around the world. Its products are Greek spreads hand made by expert chefs from traditional recipes with no additives or preservatives. The company approached Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre to help develop a new spread, using Niagara-grown fruit instead of more expensive Greek imports. Niagara’s research team developed several recipes and tested them using... Read more
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