Ryerson University issued the following announcement on Jan. 23.
Lab2Market ‒ the first national program of its kind in Canada ‒ helps graduate students and researchers evaluate the market opportunities for their research. Photo credit: David Pike.
For the first time in Canada, graduate students and researchers have access to a unique program to help them commercialize their research. Lab2Market, external link (L2M), a partner program delivered by Ryerson University through the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University and Memorial University, will provide graduate students with an intensive experience to quickly evaluate the market opportunities for their research. Students will enhance the skills necessary to commercialize their research, and see their work through an entrepreneurial lens.
Applications to the program are open until January 31. All science and engineering graduate students at universities across southern Ontario and Atlantic Canada working on research they think can be commercialized are encouraged to apply.
Those involved in L2M say it is a valuable opportunity to elevate Canada’s research commercialization performance. “We can do a better job of moving work out of the lab in Canada,” says John MacRitchie, assistant vice-president, zone learning and strategic initiatives. He stresses that university research is often foundational for Canadian companies that are addressing the problems we care about on a national level.
“The program will help a researcher that’s interested in making an impact with their research, very rapidly evaluate its market opportunity and understand the customer problem they are solving,” says MacRitchie. “I think that’s one of the biggest strengths of L2M: the grad student and researcher come away with a great set of skills around how to interact with industry, how to evaluate and adapt their technology from a customer perspective, and build the entrepreneurial skills that are valuable whether they go on to work in industry or academia.”
Sri Krishnan, associate dean, research and external partnerships, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, agrees. “L2M is a unique opportunity to learn to take research and effectively commercialize it -- it’s knowledge made tangible. The program also provides this network of mentors and remarkable instructors to participants, to set them up for success.”
The first cohort of L2M will run for four months and includes in-person workshops at Ryerson and an intensive seven-week discovery phase engaging with customers. Outside of the workshops, the participants may be based at their home institution and will have access to a vast entrepreneurial ecosystem including Ryerson’s iBoost Zone.
Teams ‒ comprised of a graduate student, a faculty supervisor and a mentor ‒ focus on the rapid problem validation and customer discovery during the program, building the entrepreneurial skills needed to assess the commercial viability of their university-based research. Teams are expected to meet at least 100 potential customers and industry experts, and the program will conclude with a two-day workshop series to assess their research’s commercial validity and recommend next steps for each team. The team is provided up to $15,000 toward the activities and as a stipend for the graduate student.
“Ryerson is proud to be supporting L2M, the first program of its kind in Canada,” says Steven N. Liss, vice-president, research & innovation at Ryerson University. “Across our faculties, our researchers and students are exploring innovative solutions to real-world problems, and L2M provides an invaluable tool to enable our community to make an impact and maximize the potential of their research.”
The program based on the successful National Science Foundation I-Corps program in the U.S. and the I-CURe program in the U.K. To learn more about the L2M program, and to apply, visit the Lab2Market website, external link. The L2M program is delivered with the generous support of the Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Mitacs.
Original source: https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2020/01/take-your-research-from-concept-to-customer-with-the-lab2market-program/