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Timmins college to establish new applied research labs

Northern College project funded by federal College-Industry Innovation Fund
Applied research led by Northern College includes the testing of a communication network, designed and developed by electrical students, underground at Gowest Gold's North Timmins Gold Project. (Supplied photo)

The Innovation Hub at Timmins’ Northern College is getting some new research space, thanks to federal funding.

Established as part of the school’s Department of Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, the 24,000-square-foot space will include two manufacturing labs, a carpentry lab, a virtual reality lab, a simulation lab, and a mining exploration lab.

The project will be funded by more than $190,000 in federal funding from the College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF).

“Dedicating a wing for research and innovation will allow the college to meet the high demand for innovative technology development in the mining sector and beyond,” stated Amy McKillip, manager of applied research, entrepreneurship and innovation at Northern College, in a July 11 news release.

“This space demonstrates the commitment that Northern College has to community growth and economic development in Northern Ontario and beyond.”

Northern College’s Innovation Hub conducts innovative product, process, and service prototyping and testing that enhances industry competitiveness and boosts regional economic development while serving as an experiential learning and resource hub for our students and the broader community.

Among the businesses it’s helped support are Handy Hydrant, a portable water pump used in firefighting; Storring Engineering & Design Services Inc., an engineering company that offers services to the manufacturing, forestry, mining, aerospace and medical sectors; and Mine Safety Solutions, which manufactures gloves designed for industrial use.

“In conjunction with industry, much of the applied research that we have undertaken over the past five years seems to have naturally gravitated to issues present within the mining sector,” Northern president Fred Gibbons said.

“By choosing to make mining-related applied research the focus for the Innovation Hub, we will be assisting the sector to promote technical innovation while giving our students further valuable, transferable skills.”

The funding comes following an earlier announcement of $200,000 for the Innovation Hub to create a new technology development position. That person will then help co-ordinate and support new applied research projects in the mining industry.