Springboard to Enhance Commercialization of University Research

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Prince Edward Island researchers and businesses will benefit from a new Atlantic region-wide commercialization network, called Springboard, launched in PEI at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) on June 28. Springboard encourages collaborative work on the transfer of technology among universities in Atlantic Canada and works with universities and the private sector to advance the commercialization of research. UPEI is one of 14 Atlantic universities which are members of Springboard.

"Springboard will help to accelerate the transfer of research and development to the private sector where it can benefit everyone in Atlantic Canada through increased economic activity," said the Honourable Joe McGuire, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Details of the network and its objectives were introduced to representatives of the local business community, governments and economic development agencies.

"Commercialization of research is essential in advancing the knowledge economy in PEI and in the Atlantic region," said Dr. Katherine Schultz, Vice-President of Research and Development, UPEI. "Springboard will play a key role in helping UPEI and other Atlantic universities to make our technology transfer work with the private sector more effective and efficient."

Dr. Schultz added that UPEI currently has two technologies under license to private sector companies, and expects that these numbers will increase as some of the university's major research initiatives mature and lead to new product opportunities. "We are particularly optimistic about the possibilities of new technologies from the major research investments that are being made in the biosciences, animal and human health areas," she said.

"Springboard's objective is to bring research to life in Atlantic Canada," said Sarah Jane Snook, Executive Director, Springboard. "It will assist university members to lead the commercialization of research across the Atlantic region by providing access to a broader range of resources than can be provided at any single institution."

Springboard is supported by ACOA through the Atlantic Innovation Fund with a $3.6 million contribution over three years. Springboard will provide proof of concept, patenting, and legal funds for university researchers to expedite the commercialization of research.

More information about Springboard can be obtained by visiting: www.springboardatlantic.ca


Anne McCallum
Media Relations and Communications