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CARDF Announcement attendees

Sheridan receives over $1.2 million in funding from Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund

Feb 6, 2018
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The Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, visited Sheridan today to announce the latest round of funding from the Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF).  Sheridan was awarded funding in each of CARDF’s three streams:

Stream One:  Virtual Human Characters – An Interdisciplinary Approach

Virtual humans are interactive, computer-generated characters that have the capacity to communicate using natural human facial expressions, speech and gestures, and to convey emotions and empathy.  Virtual humans are destined to play a primary role, not only within media and entertainment, but also in areas of social and individual well-being, including health care, education, and cross-cultural understanding. Working together with leading university researchers and Sheridan experts in machine and deep learning, the college will establish globally leading research and development activities that include faculty and students from the arts, computer sciences, engineering, social sciences, and applied health.   Potential application areas include virtual patients and caregivers for health care education and treatment, and virtual mentors that can respond to the unique needs and social and cultural context of the individual learner.

The project has been granted full funding of $1 million from Ontario Centres of Excellence over a two-year period, to be matched by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from our industry partners, for a total value of $2 million.  The project involves three of Sheridan’s research centres:  the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre, the Centre for Mobile Innovation, and the Centre for Elder Research.  Approximately 20 faculty from a variety of programs will participate, along with 20 student research assistants each year, with many more students involved as participants in user experience studies and in related curriculum-based activities. The project is led by Principal Investigator John Helliker, with Dr. Lia Tsotsos, Dr. Ed Sykes, Mike Darmitz, Specer Idenouye, Stephan Kozak,  Josh Kerekes, and David Dexter. 

Stream Two:  Rapid Engagement Innovation Network

Sheridan has been granted $200,000 in vouchers for technology adoption that connects eligible companies with our expertise and resources to solve their business and innovation challenges.  A number of these projects fall within the purview of the Centre for Elder Research, including:

  • Research into how older adults engage with online social platforms and apps to form new and meaningful friendships
  • Conducting user testing for an online community connecting like-minded people through face-to-face video.
  • Assessing a wearable system for older adults with vision loss.
  • Evaluating a method of identifying, retrieving and verifying music that has significance to people with dementia.
  • Testing an app that offers remote monitoring after a hospital discharge.

This project is led by Dr. Lia Tsotsos and John Helliker. 

Stream Three:  College Vouchers for Innovation and Productivity

Our successful project is titled “Simulation and Optimization of Airflow Channels and Equipment Layout in Beverage Coolers”, and is a collaboration between QBD Cooling Systems Inc. and a team of Sheridan researchers.  The project has been granted $20,000 from CARDF, with $70,000 of additional funding from other sources. The project is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Amin Ghobeity, with Dr. Farzin Abbasian and Simon Heathcote.

“This funding allows us to offer valuable experiential learning opportunities to students across a span of disciplines, including the arts, applied sciences and business,” said Brian Jervis, Sheridan’s Vice Provost, Research.  “By working with innovative companies, students get to apply their skills to real-world problems, which in turn will enhance their ability to contribute to Ontario’s tech-based economy after they graduate.”

“Research has long been an integral part of Sheridan’s institutional identity,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, Provost and Vice President Academic.  “Applied research engages our faculty and students with industry and community partners in a wide array of projects that span Sheridan’s academic strengths in the arts, technology, social sciences and humanities, and applied health and community studies fields, all with a view to developing innovative solutions to societal and industry issues and challenges.’

The Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund is a three-year, $20 million program aimed at furthering applied research in the province, and is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, Colleges Ontario, and Ontario Centres of Excellence.

 Pictured top right: (Left to right) Linda Franklin, President and CEO, Colleges Ontario; Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence; The Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science; Dr. Janet Morrison, Provost and Vice President Academic; Brian Jervis, Vice Provost, Research

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