Sept.20, 2005

$2.1 million in technology transfer support for southwestern Ontario universities

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Stephanie Atkinson, governing council, CIHR; Anthony Clarke, acting associate vice-president (Research & International Affairs), University of Guelph; Tony Valeri, leader of the House of Commons and MP Hamilton-Stoney Creek; Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president research & international affairs, McMaster; and Janet Walden, vice-president, Research Partnership Program, NSERC.

Hamilton, ON - The federal government has invested $2.1 million to accelerate technology and knowledge transfer in Southwestern Ontario. The funding, from the federal Intellectual Property Mobilization Program (IPM), was announced today at the McMaster Innovation Park by the Honorable Tony Valeri, MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and Leader of the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honorable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and the Honorable Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health.

Awarded to the C4 group of universities – a partnership among McMaster University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Guelph, the University of Western Ontario and their affiliated hospitals and research institutes* – the funding will support the development and commercialization of research. C4 is based on a joint vision for co-ordination, co-operation, collaboration and commercialization. The University of Windsor, Wilfrid Laurier and Brock Universities, will also benefit from the investment. The joint initiative puts the consortium on par with the largest technology transfer institutions in the United States.

“The government’s role in funding research and innovation has increased dramatically over the last decade and, as a result, Canada now ranks first among the G-7 nations in terms of publicly funded research,” said Mr. Valeri. “The C4 will play an integral role in translating the knowledge gained from research into opportunity, competitiveness and prosperity for Canada.”

Janet Walden, vice-president of research partnerships for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), says the C4 is a perfect example of what the federal granting agencies want to achieve from the Intellectual Property Mobilization program. “This is a concerted effort among academic institutions in Southwestern Ontario to increase the commercialization of research in the region through effective sharing of resources, managing and protecting intellectual property, encouraging entrepreneurship and making industry more aware of the knowledge and technology resources at their disposal.”

Collectively, the C4 represents a very significant research capacity. Almost 40 per cent of the sponsored research income in Canada comes from the 19 universities in Ontario; with 35 per cent of those research dollars being attracted by the C4. “The coming together of our universities to ensure that we create the maximum possible bandwidth to move our creative outputs from our universities and into society is something we are very proud of,” said Alan Wildeman, vice-president of research at the University of Guelph, on behalf of all the C4 partners.

The Intellectual Property Mobilization program is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). IPM grants are intended to further strengthen the ability of institutions to manage their intellectual property, attract potential users and promote the professional development of intellectual property personnel through a network approach.

McMaster University, named Canada’s Research University of the Year by Research InfoSource, has world-renowned faculty, and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 115,000 in 128 countries.

* NOTE: Affiliated hospitals and research institutes include: the Robarts Research Institute, the Lawson Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton