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New Member: Humber College

Humber College continues to gain momentum as a top Canadian research college with a focus on five key research areas, one of which is community-based research. Humber’s projects in social innovation aim to address community challenges through collaboration with community organizations. NSERC recently awarded $1.8 million to support social innovation and design-driven analytics research projects at Humber. The funding comes from NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program and its Innovation Enhancement grant.

Social Impact:

Humber received funding through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) for the following projects:

  • Affordable Housing Needs in South Etobicoke

  • Community Agency Partnerships: Best Practices for the Creation of Healthy Communities

  • Engaging and Educating Young-Adult Cannabis 2.0 Consumers

  • Experiences of hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration: Foundations for a consumer-informed compassion-based human services delivery framework in a Canadian context

  • Measuring the Impact of 21st Century Experiential Learning on New Immigrant Workplace Performance

In collaboration with ACCES Employment, the project entitled “Measuring the Impact of 21st Century Experiential Learning on New Immigrant Workplace Performance” will help internationally-trained professionals find employment and integrate into the Canadian job market.

The project called “Affordable Housing Needs in South Etobicoke” in partnership with LAMP Community Health Centre, will uncover the cost of living and the resulting social impacts. The project team directly involves members of marginalized communities to develop a baseline of housing affordability. “This project allows for genuinely collaborative work,” says Salomeh Ahmadi, Principal Investigator and faculty member in Humber’s Faculty of Social and Community Services. “We will use community-based participatory research to involve Canadian residents from research design to solutions and outcomes…enabling empowerment, buy-in and longer-term sustainability.”

Design-driven Analytics:

Through NSERC’s Innovation Enhancement grant, Humber researchers will establish an Institute for Design-Driven Analytics (IDDA). The IDDA will combine design, business analytics and connected technology to create competitive advantages for companies.

The project will challenge the traditional emphasis on descriptive analytic reports and visuals to explain what happened in the past. IDDA will focus on using analytics to predict the future and to make recommendations on how to do a job better (prescriptive analytics).

Ginger Grant, Acting Dean in the Office of Applied Research and Innovation, hopes the NSERC-funded projects will be leveraged into other areas at Humber. The IDDA project, for example, may influence how some students and professors look at and process data. “I anticipate after initial training with students, we will cultivate interdisciplinary projects through the Centres of Innovation at Humber,” Grant said. While the college hosts the projects, the work of students, faculties, and collaborating partners will have an impact far beyond the Humber community.

More information about Humber’s College and Community Innovation program 2020 awarded grants can be found here.

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