College of the Rockies providing new round of research assistance

Posted on
Image shows a man and two women sitting around a table at a coffee shop.
David Bonk, CEO, HomeFree Living was able to take his sustainable housing initiative to the next level thanks to research conducted by College faculty researcher Becky Pelkonen (centre), and overseen by Gaby Zezulka, Chair, Academic Innovation and Applied Research.

For-profit enterprises in the East Kootenay region with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible for up to $5,000 in research assistance from College of the Rockies. This support is intended to assist a tech-related research project aimed at helping the business to grow.

“Research projects could include, but are not limited to, advancing manufacturing or expanding prototypes, improving culinary technology or expanding available products, or business planning support for technology companies,” said Gaby Zezulka, Chair, Academic Innovation and Applied Research.

Funds are provided by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industry Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and administered through the College’s Academic Innovation and Applied Research department. All research projects must be completed by March 31, 2020.

This is the second consecutive year the College will be assisting local businesses to complete research, with three successful projects taking place last year. These included a market assessment for an off-grid power solutions company, investigating the possibility of using alternative currency for an innovative housing community, and exploring the potential of a digital tool to help land managers assess and quantify risks associated with climate change and hydrology.

“The Institutional Research Assistance Program, in partnership with College of the Rockies, made it possible to take our sustainable housing initiative to the next level,” said HomeFree Living founder and CEO David Bonk. “We came away with new insights and possibilities for our business as a result of the quality and depth of the research. Thank you to the team at the College for being the first to believe in us.”

The $5,000 available for each project covers research assistance in the form of faculty expertise and access to specialized facilities and equipment at the College.

East Kootenay businesses may contact Lynnette Kuervers at 250-489-2751 ext. 3496 or research@cotr.bc.ca for more information or to express interest in participating.


About College of the Rockies
For more than 40 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.


Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies