Lakeland College’s Applied Research and Innovation activities are focused on the four key themes of expertise within the College: energy entrepreneurship, agriculture, sustainable environments and buildings, and fire and emergency medicine. These are closely linked with the schools of Energy and Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, and the Emergency Training Centre, respectively. All of these areas are supported by significant strengths in construction, manufacturing, and business and are approached with an interdisciplinary mindset.

Lakeland College is focused on developing research outcomes of value to industry and strengthening Lakeland's core capacity areas (faculty, equipment, and infrastructure) to the benefit of students, local industry, and the region the College serves.


Lakeland has for several years explored energy research in both traditional and non-traditional energy sectors(e.g., biogas, biodiesel and other energy topics). If resources permit, Lakeland would like to explore the development of skunkworks and incubation space for heavy oil and gas entrepreneurs within the proposed expansion of the Heavy Oil Operations Technology facilities (Lloydminster).

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Agricultural Science

Lakeland College is pursuing both crop and livestock research projects. The College’s recent acquisition of ten quarters of farmland has increased its capacity to undertake projects both independently and in partnership with companies. Crop research is focused on crop and forage varieties that are commonly grown in the region and the commercial scale demonstration of new varieties.

New developments specific to Lakeland’s livestock research include the recent acquisition of Growsafe Feeding System technology. Funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), this made-in-Alberta innovation allows the College to become a part of the network of Alberta research organizations and feedlots using this technology to assess feed efficiencies in cattle.

Future opportunities in agriculture research include precision crop management trials and building on the College's capacity for beef, sheep, dairy, equine, and small animal research at the Vermilion campus.

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Environmental Science

Lakeland’s research in environmental sciences has included a broad base of ecology, renewable energy and land reclamation and restoration projects. The College will continue to partner with Vermilion Provincial Park, Alberta Environment, and others to explore ways to enhance the stewardship of our region’s ecological resources.

Lakeland is currently expanding its Centre for Sustainable Innovation (Vermilion), which blends environmental, energy, agriculture, and building and construction research. This builds on the College’s original investment in the Energy Cabin, an off-grid demonstration facility. This evolved into our current five-year NSERC College Community Innovation renewable energy project that is focused on developing technologies to bridge between distributed energy technologies (wind, solar, solar thermal, geothermal, cogeneration) to integrate them into systems that are cost effective and efficient for the rural, small urban and commercial user. This facility, located on the new land acquired by the College, demonstrates many different technologies working together and provides a grid-connected workspace to explore, how to balance energy conservation with generation.  

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Although the College has identified the four priority areas of energy entrepreneurship, agriculture, sustainable environments and buildings, and fire and emergency medicine, other opportunities often align with our stated mandate of enhancing teaching and learning and supporting regional innovation-based economic development. Lakeland College has also taken a significant leadership role in the development of the Regional Business Accelerator, based in Lloydminster. This grassroots-led organization forms part of the College’s strategy to increase collaborations with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region. College faculty and staff provide support to regional businesses as mentors and coaches. This includes several energy companies focused on developing new tools and services for the heavy oil and gas industry in the region. Lakeland has acted as a conduit to the advanced expertise available in intensive research organizations in Alberta or Saskatchewan for local SME partners. 

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