Manitoba Rural Broadband Project

As more and more Manitoba rural communities are accessing and using broadband, the Rural Development Institute, Brandon University, has engaged in investigating the impact of broadband usage, and digital technologies in general, on rural communities. Four communities have joined the project: Hamiota, La Broquerie, Powerview-Pine Falls, and St Claude.

In each community, a survey of digital technologies infrastructure, access, and usage is carried out at the household level to describe accurately the digital situation of each community. In addition, a complementary set of interviews and focus groups is designed to highlight the opportunities and barriers characterizing the implementation of projects. The joint analysis of both sources of data will support the breadth and depth of the results.
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Rural Research Centres in Canada

Throughout Canada, a small number of university-based research centres have been working with rural and northern communities to increase the understanding of rural development, policy, and practice. Great diversity exists among these rural research centres. The Rural Development Institute has prepared a report outlining university-based rural research centres to increase the understanding of centres across Canada.
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Rural Innovation in Manitoba: Reducing Barriers to Commercialization and Growing Capacity in the Agri-food Sector

While there is creativity, thinking and science across Canada, the Conference Board of Canada reports an “innovation gap” that is mostly related to commercialization – the transformation of ideas and knowledge into value. The research and activities undertaken in this project aim to close the knowledge gap that exists around understanding the complex of issues that slow down innovation in the Manitoba Agri-Food sector. This project focuses on innovation in rural Manitoba, a less studied area, where limited information exists about the commercialization aspects of innovation.

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101 Ideas for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The 101 Ideas for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a research project designed to collect and share stories of innovators and entrepreneurs from rural communities across Canada. The purpose of this project is to inspire people to embrace a culture of innovation and to promote rural innovators/entrepreneurs and their products to the general public.

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Food and Beverage Processing Industry, Growth Pathways to 2020

Recent RDI research answered this question “How big will the Manitoba food and beverage processing industry be in 2020? Examination of major sectors of pork, potatoes, and canola, plus the other sectors in the province’s food and beverage processing industry resulted in a sales profile for 2011. Sales trends to 2020 were based on Statistics Canada data and interviews with industry opinion leaders. Two scenarios for growth emerged: i) if effective action is taken in the pork and potato industries, an industry with $5.4billion in sales in 2020 is possible; ii) if nothing changes or ‘business and usual’ a reduction of $100million from 2011 sales of $4.7billion is projected.  Industry leaders also stated that growth in all sectors will be encouraged by industry and government jointly developing a strategic plan to maximize potential in primary processing of bulk ingredients, and niche, specialty products.

For more details see the full report or report highlights

Building Welcoming Communities

Rural Development Institute recently completed projects exploring the impact of temporary foreign workers on the demographics of Brandon and examining the community’s ability to absorb and support newcomers. These foundational projects provided the impetus for the development of dialogue groups and networks that resulted in the gathering of information on what constitutes a welcoming community.
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Community Foundations in Manitoba

This project aims to understand the diversity that exists among Manitoba community foundations. The project will achieve an increased understanding of community foundations, their organizations, their structures, their endowments, their community grants, and local benefits. Read more about this project

Demonstration and Investigation Into Livestock Systems Adoption

This project, as proposed by the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District (UARCD), is an integrated approach with a focus on livestock systems (i.e. cattle) and secondary emphasis on cropping systems and agroforestry. The aim is to demonstrate environmentally responsible practices for reducing greenhouse gas emission while simultaneously reducing livestock production costs. Read more about this project

Ethnocultural Organizations

In January 2008, Rural Development Institute embarked on a new research project that explores ethnocultural communities and organizations in rural Manitoba. With support from Manitoba Labour and Immigration, the purpose of this project is to develop an understanding of ethnocultural groups in rural Manitoba, what they need to be vibrant and successful, and the challenges they face as a community. Read more about this project

International Comparative Rural Policies Studies (ICRPS)

The ICRPS program aims to create a high-level, international, inter-disciplinary, and research-based learning environment for future leaders in rural policy development, research, teaching and practice. The program provides a post-graduate program in comparative rural policy studies at post-secondary educational institutions in Canada, United States and the European Union. Read more about this project

Manitoba Food Processing Research 2012-13

The purpose of this research is to help business and stakeholders in Manitoba’s Food Processing Sector better understand job creation and employee retention in rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Additionally, scenario planning will engage participants and stakeholders in understanding the community and sectoral impacts of projected regional population changes. Read more about this project

Manitoba 2012 Planning Conference – Legacy Project

We need to learn how to look at planning differently. Planning to thrive involves embracing health and developing well being, individually and collectively, in the context of Our Communities, Our Economy, and Our Environment. Read more about this project.

Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies

The Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies (MIRIPS) is an international collaborative project to build an understanding of intercultural relations. The project is designed to promote the idea that intercultural relations can be best understood when both recent immigrants and community members are surveyed using similar questions within a community. Read more about this project

Pathfinder for Communities: Selecting Tools for CED

The purpose of this project is to help communities make better decisions in choosing CED Tools and improve the effectiveness of development efforts. To achieve its goal of supporting more effective CED, the project proposes to develop a decision-making framework, the Pathways Matrix, which communities can use to identify the CED tools that are right for their specific situation or context. The project will conduct initial tool scans and inventories across the CED spectrum and will then focus on the economic development pillar of CED in this first stage of development for the Pathways Matrix. Read more about this project