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Okanagan College is RIPE for applied research

Okanagan College Media Release

Curiosity, entrepreneurship, and creativity will be hot topics at RIPE, the Research and Innovation Partnerships Expo being held at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College on May 9. RIPE celebrates applied research and will bring together researchers and businesses to explore working together to solve real-world problems.

“Applied research greatly enriches the learning and teaching environment at Okanagan College and opens up doors to collaboration with our communities that advances economic and social development in the region and beyond,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President, Education. “The College’s growing applied research portfolio unites employees, students and our industry and community partners to explore subjects from the economic impact of wine tourism, to creating better outdoor play spaces, to building ‘plug-and-play’ homes.”

RIPE is the first major showcase of applied research projects going on at the College. It will include presentations, workshops, and demonstrations, as well as a call for research partners led by Mark Holland of New Monaco. The day begins with keynote speaker David Chalk. 

dave chalk newsA self-proclaimed epic entrepreneur, Chalk is recognized as a leader in technology, cyber security, and business consulting. He hosted Canada’s longest running technology show, Dave Chalk’s Computer Show, and aims to bridge the gap between technology and practicality.


can get mired in the details, while innovation drives entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs feed a passion, and the post-secondary sector drives innovation as the forefront of ideas and research,” says Chalk, whose talk is titled Innovation is Nothing New.

“A quality education means I would rather be looking at my future than examining my past. Applied research can be that future,” continues Chalk.

Applied research at Okanagan College can involve any employee, not just instructors, and students play a key role as partners in projects, gaining valuable real-life experience that can lead to future employment.

When a business or organization approaches the College with a possible project, it is evaluated based on whether or not it answers a practical research question, if the College has the right experience for the project, and if it embraces curiosity.

“We can all be engaged in applied research,” says Hay, “and our goal with RIPE is to create greater opportunities to connect across the college with our communities.”

RIPE gets underway at 8:45 a.m. and runs until 2:15 p.m. It is free to attend, however guests are asked to register in advance. Full details can be found at