Camosun Innovates pilot safety monitoring project
Feature Stories, Technology & Innovation

Spotlight on Innovation

West Shore Technology

Spotlight on Innovation

Camosun Innovates

By Anne Marie Moro

Header Photo Credit: Camosun AV Services
Other photos by GAP Publishing Group

Camosun Classroom of the Future

This is the first in a series of articles about a cutting-edge technology hub on the Camosun College campus that’s fast becoming a dynamic catalyst of innovation throughout the capital region. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Dr. Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates and Jamie VanDenbossche, Associate Director, for taking GoWestShore Magazine staff members on an exclusive tour! The tour rekindled our optimism in the incredible diversity of opportunity available in our community for youth and business today. Thank you.

The Jack White Annex on the Camosun College campus is an unassuming building, originally used for sheet metal trades. Today it houses ‘Camosun Innovates’, a multipurpose space that was repurposed to support an interdisciplinary classroom of the future for applied research, manufacturing, social innovation and sport innovation.

You wouldn’t believe the sophisticated suite of intellectual, technology and manufacturing assets students and faculty have access to. This is where student-industry partnerships connect and where, together, ideas are turned into reality.

That happens because students don’t just sit in classrooms theorizing about prototypes. They gain job experience by actually working, hands-on, with real life company projects. Students gain a different sense of responsibility because the company is their customer. The company, on the other hand, gets help developing, testing and refining products without prohibitive overhead costs. Companies also get access to machinery and expertise that they would otherwise have no affordable means of accessing. Funding from various sources support these partnerships.

Enter into the Classroom of the Future

In partnership with Babcock Canada, Camosun recently acquired an Interaction Lab. The Lab is a technically- advanced physical space where students, faculty and staff from diverse disciplines can use cutting-edge technology such as 3D printers, robotic systems, and 3D scanners to turn their ideas into market-ready innovations. It’s a game-changer that will drive forward economic development with industry partners in our region.

Camosun Ben Costin

Spotlight on a Commercial Success

Congratulations to Ben Costin, a Mechanical Engineering Technology student, who helped retool a control handle bar for a small local company in the kiteboarding industry. It is a ground-breaking device that is more comfortable, safer and performs better than earlier models. The company, who worked with the Camosun team, hired him as soon as he finished his studies. The new device was launched to great fanfare and now big companies in the industry are vying to licence this device for their own products. Costin received Camosun’s Board of Governors Award for Innovation in 2017.

Watch Camosun award winner Ben Costin share the story of his work with Ocean Rodeo and Camosun Innovates.

Camosun Omax Machine

State-of-the-Art Equipment & Expertise

Dr. Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovate, stands alongside a highly efficient, flatbed water-jet laser cutter. It is so powerful and accurate, it can slice a precision cut through thick stainless steel!

The Camosun Technology Access Centre (CTAC) provides dedicated access to all the specialized technology, equipment and expertise that local and regional companies need to enhance their productivity and innovation. There are 30 Technology Access Centres across Canada, providing services in various fields, and CTAC is the only such centre in BC.

Camosun Prototype Machine

High Speed Machining Centre

This booth machines composite materials like styrofoam, and light alloys, to produce excellent, finished-quality prototypes. It’s adaptive technology can quickly produce a complex surface—like the adaptive sled seating prototype pictured below—without reducing the surface quality or accuracy of the design.

Camosun 3D Printer Products

3D Printers

Students use rapid prototype systems like 3D printers to build custom parts. These high accuracy printers work by exposing an ultra-violet (UV) responsive resin to a high intensity UV laser. This hardens the resin into an epoxy-like plastic, that can be built up layer by layer. Wherever the laser beam touches the resin, the material instantly changes from a liquid to a solid.

This machine gives users a super high level of control to expedite the production of extremely accurate, strong parts for prototyping, functional testing, tooling and low-volume manufacturing.

All this the technology is very impressive; yet, even more important is what happens when student/business partnerships collaborate on real-world solutions all under one roof. Therein lies the magic—and the social and economic benefits for our community as a whole.

Camosun Interaction Lab

Collaboration is King

All this the technology is very impressive; yet, even more important is what happens when student/business partnerships collaborate on real-world solutions all under one roof. Therein lies the magic—and the social and economic benefits for our community as a whole.

Watch Camosun Innovates in action for yourself!

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