The grand opening of the new Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship offices and The Pivot will take place from 2-6 p.m. on Sept. 24. Learn more here.

Creating solutions that help business owners and entrepreneurs and that open career doors for students is the goal of Lethbridge College’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARIE). And now, for the first time, the centre has a dedicated space to bring those solutions to life.

On Tuesday afternoon, CARIE will celebrate the grand opening of not only its offices, but The Pivot, a dedicated hub for student entrepreneurial activity at the college. The offices and entrepreneur space are located on the second floor of the Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility. The space is representative of the steps the college has taken to increase its presence in the applied research field and its goals for expanding the centre in the coming years.

LC-The-Pivot-2.jpg“Over the past year, we have tripled our externally-funded applied research projects and have re-built our administrative team up to six members,” says Dr. Kenny Corscadden, Associate Vice President – Research. “We have also appointed two new applied research chairs that complement our new program areas and have been chosen as one of only 17 post-secondary institutes to participate in a Tri-Council Equity, Diversity and Inclusion pilot project. This new space is indicative of our increasing efforts to work with industry to create solutions for their challenges.”

The Pivot is an innovative, open concept area where students, faculty members, researchers and industry partners can work collaboratively to nurture innovation, ideas and the entrepreneurial spirit. The Pivot grew out of the successful Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) extracurricular program that allows students to work closely with industry partners to identify and solve real-world challenges in the agriculture industry.

The success of the first year of the AgENT program necessitated the need for dedicated space and resources to help build the mindset and skills the future workforce needs.

“The Pivot is the central point from which the college will nurture innovation and grow ideas,” says Megan Shapka, manager of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “It is a versatile collaboration space for cultivating student-entrepreneurs. Not only is it the home of all AgENT workshops and events, it will also act as a student business incubator space, giving students access to resources, technology, business advisors and one-on-one coaching.”

LC-The-Pivot-3.jpgCARIE is a catalyst for economic growth, sustainability and social development in the region. It brings together community organizations, researchers and students to collaborate on projects that use new or existing knowledge to solve real-world challenges with immediate practical applications.

The new administrative space and The Pivot are the latest infrastructure additions to the college, joining the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence; the 6,500 sq. ft. Innovation Space in the college’s Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility; the organoleptic lab; the microbiology lab; the Bel-Aire Virtual Welding Room; and the innovative outdoor play space.

Lethbridge College has been named one of Canada’s top-50 research colleges in each of the past two years, and in five of the past six years, by Research Infosource.