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Research & Innovation

Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI)

Since 1999, Olds College has played a leadership role in applied research activity aimed at advancing innovation-based rural economic development in Alberta. The mandate of Olds College Centre for Innovation is to enhance innovation in the agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental management sectors through market-focused applied research and the development of enabling processes and new products.

Ranked Top 50 in Canadas Top Research Colleges$28 Million Applied Research Funding

Talked to 175+ clients, partners & organizations resulting in 95+ projects to date.

Established the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology including 6 academic programs including two new ag credentials

60+ discussions/projects in progress for 2022 

Areas of Focus

The College’s primary research areas of focus include field crop production, livestock production, environmental stewardship, barley and triticale variety development, and smart agriculture technologies and practices. The College collaborates with industry, academics and government to support applied research, innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Crops Research

Crops research – as small plot trials or full field investigations – is a key part of our research portfolio.

Environment Stewardship

Our facility serves as a model to demonstrate the way wetlands can help reduce negative impacts on our environment and the increasing demand for clean water.

Field Crop Development Centre

The FCDC is recognized as a world-class research facility that is focusing on producing new barley and triticale varieties, as well as maintaining a vast source of germplasm.

Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production

We address industry priorities related to production efficiency, animal health and welfare, and environmental sustainability.

Smart Ag Research

Smart agriculture research works closely with Olds College Smart Farm to enhance agricultural operations at the College through innovation and the integration of technology on campus.


Olds College actively builds a culture of entrepreneurship across our entire province through training, support for entrepreneurs, learning enterprises, and business incubators.


Each area of focus within OCCI demonstrates excellence as measured by the connection to student learning, industry partnerships, government investment, and the expertise and facilities that we offer. Olds College is committed to using innovative partnerships to sustain and enhance the ability of the institution to achieve its established outcomes. OCCI actively pursues involvement in applied research that advances innovation-based rural economic development in Alberta.

View All Areas of Focus

Our Commitment

Our commitment has resulted in a profound impact on the ability for hundreds of small and medium sized companies in the agriculture sector to explore new ideas, test innovative products and processes and incubate technologies prior to full commercialization. OCCI offers entrepreneurs access to expertise, equipment, unique facilities and funding leverage. We demonstrate excellence, as measured by the connection to student learning, industry partnerships, government investment and our unique facilities and expertise we offer.

OCCI collaborates on applied research projects with numerous government agencies, Campus Alberta members, and institutions across Canada and around the world. Research supports and informs the curriculum through exposing learners to the most innovative and up-to-date information available in a variety of disciplines. OCCI builds project teams on a case by case basis to provide industry with the resources and solutions necessary for success. Facilities also include spacious office, lecture and meeting space for research scientists, staff and clients.


OCCI  provides research services for industry partners on a fee for service basis, and will assist industry in leveraging research funding from alternate sources and funding agencies. Services offered at OCCI include:

  • Applied Research
  • Product and Process Development
  • Analytical Testing
  • Technology Verification and Demonstration
  • Access to Facilities / Lab Space / Field Plots/ Incubator Space
  • Training Services
  • Consulting Services
  • Access to Research Funding

Turfgrass Research

Turgrass research delves into all aspects of turf and it’s ecological needs in order to best meet the needs of the industry and develop it further for a sustainable future. The Alberta Turfgrass Research Foundation (ATRF) is a non-profit organization whose directors represent each sector of our turfgrass industry. Distributing 100% of its profits through membership investment, the foundation fuels operations of the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center at Olds College.

Student And Faculty Involvement

The applied research activities at OCCI have led to huge successes for industry, but also for Olds College faculty and students, who have had a unique opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in their field of expertise. Students are exposed to research opportunities through year round employment as student research assistants. Faculty are contracted directly to provide expertise on a project, or play a mentorship role for student researchers.

Funding Model

Since 1999, applied research activities have expanded significantly at Olds College Centre of Innovation, through increased support and involvement from Olds College, learners, staff, industry partners and funding organizations. We have received support from many organizations, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Prairies Economic Development Canada and the Government of Alberta. The Olds College Centre for Innovation provides research services for industry partners on a fee for service basis, and will assist industry in leveraging research funding from alternate sources and funding agencies.

Research Data Management Institutional Strategy at Olds College

The Canadian Tri-Agencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) created a Tri-Agency Research Data Management (RDM) Policy to ensure data and information is accessible and useful to other researchers and society. A component of this policy is to develop an RDM Institutional Strategy to foster a culture — and develop capacity — that supports researchers in adopting responsible RDM practices which follow the internationally recognized FAIR Data Principles to make research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. This strategy will continue to be updated as the implementation plan is developed and the College continues to grow. If you have comments or questions about this Institutional RDM Strategy, please reach out to

Research Data Management Institutional Strategy at Olds College

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

Your organization’s intellectual property is yours and working with the Olds College Centre for Innovation will not compromise or change that. Whether we are hosting a trial for you, organizing a focus group, or supporting your business under a grant, you can think of the Olds College Centre for Innovation as part of your organization's research and development team. As is often the case with early-stage product development, intellectual property is not yet formally protected with patents, and must therefore be protected with confidentiality. Our staff, researchers and partners take confidentiality seriously and understands the importance of keeping your intellectual property safe.