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The Okanagan is RIPE with innovative applied research
Okanagan College Media ReleaseRIPE logo 2019

Does your business or organization have unique problems that need solving? Can eating bugs really help save the planet? How can you grow a new industry in your city?

Applied research may provide the answers.

From craft brewing to hydroponics, the Okanagan is RIPE with applied research projects and Okanagan College is helping to drive these projects, benefitting community members, entrepreneurs, students and business owners along the way.

To shine a light on applied research, the College is opening its doors to the community for its third annual RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) event. The event is an opportunity for community members, industry, business owners, educators, researchers and students to network, hear about current cutting-edge projects and learn how to get involved with their own.

Dr. Peter Janele April 2019“On a local scale, applied research is about listening to your community to learn about obstacles or inefficiencies and then finding a sustainable solution and implementing real change,” explains Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Director of Learning and Applied Research at the College. “Applied research by Okanagan College employees is making a big impact regionally and globally.”

The event features a wide variety of workshops led by industry-leading professionals. Keynote speakers for RIPE 2019 include Dr. Peter Janele, PhD and Dr. David Waltner-Toews, BA, DVM, PhD. Janele will speak to applied research as a vital component of business development and prosperity in the Okanagan Valley.

“The results and impacts of applied research are all around us,” says Janele. “Our global efficiency has improved and we live in a vastly different and improved community, now, then say only a few decades ago.”

Waltner-Toews will bring scientific, cultural, ecological and value-laden perspectives to the idea of eating right in a world that has contradictory and ever-changing information about nutrition.
Dr. David Waltner-Toews April 2019
“They may not know it, but community members play a prominent role in applied research,” says Waltner-Toews. “They’re the end-users who help define the questions and provide information from their own experiences – which helps produce more resilient and more sustainable solutions.”

“If we as researchers and communities can get enough small actions, we can tip whole systems in new directions and there is no telling what the possibilities are.”

Attendees will be treated to a morning mixer, a panel discussion and can hear applied research pitch questions and connect and expand their own applied research opportunities.

Tickets are $25 and include lunch and refreshments. To view the event schedule, learn more about the workshops and to purchase tickets, visit

The event is being supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).