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Humber’s Centres of Innovation (COIs) bridge the gap between innovation and application, concepts and commercialization.

Toronto’s Humber College is taking creative problem-solving to the next level. Through its Centres of Innovation (COIs), Humber is bringing together talented faculty, students, and industry and community partners to put ideas into action. Humber’s COI network focuses on five areas of proven strength and industry sector growth: technology innovation, creative business innovation, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, and social innovation. 

Integrated industry-academia partnership model exemplified through the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation

The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (Barrett CTI), which opened in April 2019, is the first of Humber’s COIs to become operational. The Barrett CTI is home to the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium, a set of eight industry partnerships focused on applied research projects, collaboration between partners, and training and development solutions for students and workers. Humber’s partnership model encourages closer collaboration with partners to help them with both their technical challenges and the development of their talent pipeline. These partnerships create new opportunities for students while helping Humber obtain the latest technology and equipment, as well as project-based research grants and internship and job opportunities.

Humber Mechatronics students at work
Photo: Courtesy of Humber College

For Maramawit Demisse, a third-year electromechanical engineering technology student at Humber College and research assistant at the Barrett CTI, the experience has been invaluable.

Maramawit Demisse

Maramawit Demisse

Electromechanical Engineering Technology Student, Humber College

Thanks to the partnerships the Barrett CTI has with the various industry partners, I’ve had the opportunity to gain real-world experience, establish connections, and receive career advice from individuals working in the field.

One of those industry partners is SEW-EURODRIVE, a German family-owned multinational enterprise that’s working with the Barrett CTI to provide knowledge and solutions relating to machine automation components and automated guided vehicles, as well as the move to Industry 4.0. Early results have been encouraging.

Lyall Watson

Lyall Watson

Central Canada Sales Manager,

SEW-EURODRIVE has been able to collaboratively develop new products and secure new opportunities.

Humber students have worked with the company’s employees, and some have been hired on permanently as a result of the collaboration.

Humber a leader among Canada’s research colleges

The success of the Barrett CTI and the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium has contributed to Humber’s strong position in Canada’s research ecosystem. Humber continues to gain momentum as a top Canadian research college. According to the 2019 Research Infosource rankings — which rank Canada’s top 50 research colleges — Humber is in first place in several key areas, including industry research partnerships, industry research income, and industry research intensity. According to the same source, Humber boasts the second-highest number of paid student researchers in Canada.

For small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to enhance their research and development (R&D) and training needs, there are many benefits to connecting with the Barrett CTI. The Barrett CTI helps SMEs by providing research infrastructure, a lower-risk environment for R&D, and access to knowledgeable faculty and students, making it easier for SMEs to pursue ideas and technical advancements, as well as training and professional development.

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