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April 19, 2018

A Small Solution for a Big Cleaning Problem

Planes today that seat as many as 200 passengers have just two to four lavatories, which means they can get pretty dirty, pretty fast. But fuel-conscious airlines sharply restrict the weight, size and balance of equipment carried on board, and lavatories and galleys on planes are small. Regular cleaning tools just don’t fit. When Vaughan Payne, president of Calgary-based Dakota Supplies, watched flight attendants cleaning airplane lavatories with nothing more than spray bottles and paper towels, he was sure there must be a better, more sanitary way. So, Payne and his partner Deborah Humphries got to work on what would... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Making Canada’s Summer sport safer for kids

After 10 years playing for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, Jeff Pilon knows about contact sports. So, when he witnessed some of the hits being taken by his son and his teammates on the community lacrosse team, he felt he had to do something. Kids playing lacrosse are at risk of neck injury because most have not developed the coordination to cross check safely. Jeff decided to make a neck guard that would protect young players and allow them to participate more safely in this fast-growing contact sport. Armed with a home-made model, Jeff approached Red Deer... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words

Picture this: women, working to get footholds in a new country, are armed with cameras. What will the pictures they take tell them about the journey they’re on? What will they tell the new country about itself? Choon Lee Chai hopes the photos will fill in details and open up discussion on the programs and services available for immigrant women in a small city in central Alberta. He and his colleagues at Red Deer College and the University of Calgary are using a Community and College Social Innovation Fund grant to find out from immigrant women how those programs meet... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Confronting Loneliness in Crowded Places

They might seem a world apart, busy college students and homeless people, drifting around the downtown streets of a big city, but many share a hidden bond: they are lonely. Researchers in Edmonton are trying to help. A research team from Norquest College is working in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library, to study the impact of loneliness on marginalized people. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Community and College Social Innovation Fund. The project began when Bob Marvin, a social work instructor at Norquest College, asked students in one of his courses to... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Measuring What’s Hard to Quantify

Calculating the value of unquantifiable change, identifying the ingredients of intangible success — it is no easy task to plan and evaluate social innovation. Yet, in the face of competing needs and limited resources, it must be done. “The more you understand why something was or was not successful the more you can generalize later and come up with best practices that will help future projects have success,” said Russ Wilde, of Bow Valley College in Calgary. Wilde is directing a project to develop evidence-based criteria for evaluating social innovation and to identify factors that promote or inhibit its success.... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Partnering with Industry in Green Building Innovation

Green-minded home buyers in Calgary have recently purchased two net-zero energy homes constructed by student researchers at SAIT Polytechnic. Green Building Technologies (GBT) is one of SAIT’s leading research areas in the Applied Research and Innovation Services department. The GBT research initiative was established in 2008, and received a five-year CCI Innovation Enhancement grant in 2009. The research group has grown in expertise, industry-based applied research projects and laboratory capabilities. One of the research team’s key partners is Avalon Master Builders, a pioneer in green construction that has developed a series of net-zero energy homes. Two of these houses were... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Smart Technologies Enable Thermostat Management From Afar

A virtual thermostat developed through research at SAIT Polytechnic could allow building managers to have wireless control of heat throughout large facilities. Kalen-Hudson Group is a manufacturer and importer of small electronic devices, especially thermostats and other control devices. Having previously worked with Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) at SAIT to test and validate technologies, Kalen-Hudson knew where to turn when it needed to design a smart-control thermostat and a smaller, cost-effective consumer model. “In order to develop the technology, having access to a facility like SAIT and the research grant gives us the chance to develop something new... Read more
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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

Skate Manufacturing Analysis for Graf Canada

Graf Canada Ltd. is working with researchers at SAIT Polytechnic’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department to develop better performing, lighter-weight skates. SAIT’s Sports and Wellness Engineering Technologies specialists are hoping to provide Graf with the necessary information to manufacture more of its skate components in Canada at a higher quality with shorter lead times and smaller batch orders. The project will also provide Graf with some preliminary models of a skate that incorporates new materials and manufacturing processes. Graf approached ARIS for assistance in reviewing the manufacturing processes and materials used in the production of its ice hockey... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Crop Inputs – Are there economic limits?

Does a producer’s net profit increase continually each time more inputs are added to the crop? This question is the focus of a four-year research project about field crop input intensity initiated at Lakeland College in May 2014. The goal of the study is to develop field-scale data on the benefits of adding crop inputs at various levels and managing the plots using a typical crop rotation. Plots were established on Lakeland’s student-managed farm land, with replications on the land of three local producers. The same plots will be used for the next four years. One of the local producers,... Read more
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