Jul 02, 2024


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Shannon van Leenen, MA

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Canada Foundation for Innovation grant will expand VR and simulation centre

Bow Valley College’s entourage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots and high-fidelity mannikins is growing with a $537,000 investment from the Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI).

Offered through CFI’s College Fund, the applied research and health technology grant will be used to create an advanced immersive Simulation Centre at Bow Valley College.

A social humanoid robot will be rolling into the Centre to assist with applied research. Students will be trained to use the new technology to assess human-robot interactions, including how AI robotics can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation in people living with dementia.

Joining the robot will be a collection of AI mannikins and simulators that can recreate lifelike medical scenarios.

“Our new Simulation Centre will be groundbreaking for our students, preparing the next generation of healthcare workers to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving, tech-driven health system,” says Tanya McDonald, Dean of Applied Research and Centre for Entertainment Arts, Bow Valley College.

The college is also acquiring an augmented reality (AR) holographic headset and expanding its virtual reality (VR) equipment.

Bow Valley College is considered a leader in using VR and simulation to replace clinical hours for our Practical Nurse Diploma students by 30 per cent, creating a safe and controlled environment to demonstrate their skills, says Michael Crowe, Vice President, Academic. “We are excited to see how this new technology will inspire our applied research and help our students make a difference on the frontlines.”

Bow Valley College is changing the landscape of nursing education in Canada. This funding, in addition to an investment from the Government of Alberta Targeted Enrolment Expansion Grant, will support program innovation that will ensure our graduates are work-ready and able to provide high-quality nursing care to Canadians.

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About Bow Valley College 

Bow Valley College is the largest college in the Calgary area, with over 15,000 students. We open doors to in-demand jobs across Canada. Our graduates contribute to the economy and community through careers in business, entertainment arts, technology, health care, social services, and more. We are proud to be named one of Alberta’s Top 80 employers and one of Canada’s Top 50 research colleges. Our innovative applied research, focused on health and health technology, educational technology, and social innovation, is helping shape the future of college education. Learn more about the opportunities we create for students, employees, and our province at bowvalleycollege.ca.

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