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Intellectual Property & Commercialization

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We support the development of relationships between industry and Laurentian, evaluate, protect and commercialize intellectual property developed at the university and disclosed to the Office of Research Services, and provide the coordination of provincially-led entrepreneurship activities.

Specific tasks related to intellectual property management include:

  • advising faculty and students on matter matters relating to intellectual property including patents and copyright reviewing and evaluating invention disclosures
  • conducting prior art and patent searches
  • developing marketing strategies, contacting potential licensees and negotiating licenses
  • managing all expenses and revenues related to commercialization.

For more information, please contact Gisele Roberts, Director of Research & Innovation, at groberts@laurentian.ca or at ext. 3866.

Laurentian University's Commercialization Policy sets out our institution's commitment to the management and protection of intellectual property (IP) in a manner that maximizes commercialization opportunities, protects Ontario interests and strengthens the Ontario economy. It is intended to outline a supportive structure that facilitates the commercialization of intellectual property created at Laurentian University.

Laurentian University Commercialization Policy

Public Statement on Research & Innovation and Commercialization Action Plan at Laurentian University


1. Laurentian’s Approach to Research and Innovation Activities

General Overview

As a primarily undergraduate university, Laurentian aspires to be a leader and partner for research projects and innovative solutions that are regionally, nationally and globally significant. Laurentian is committed to advancing the discoveries generated from academic research and their application to society in a manner that creates economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits within Greater Sudbury, the province of Ontario, and nationally. The University is a recognized research leader with its foundation built upon partnerships.  A collaborator in both its research and commercialization activities, Laurentian is strongly connected to its ecosystem and leverages its relationships to positively impact the dissemination of the outcomes of research.

IP Ownership

An inventor owned institution, ownership of intellectual property (IP) created from research activities at Laurentian rests with the creator unless otherwise determined by a partnership agreement. The University’s Commercialization Policy outlines a supportive structure that facilitates the commercialization of intellectual property created at Laurentian University while respecting societal needs, the interests of the University, its creators and research partners, our tricultural mandate, and any relevant policies, procedures and collective agreements.

Approach to Promote Innovation and Commercialization

Laurentian recognizes the value of innovation stemming from research and academic activity and provides the mechanism to support and celebrate innovation and commercialization through access to physical, financial and intellectual resources.

The Office of Research Services provides intellectual property advice and consultation to faculty, staff and students.  Support from this office also includes introductions to service providers and financial support for baseline introductory services when faculty wish to commercialize intellectual property independently from the University.  The Office of Research Services also has a funds to support the cost of a provisional patent application when ownership of the IP is assigned to Laurentian until a receptor can be identified, a license agreement negotiated or until funds are secured through programs like NSERC’s Idea to Innovation grant.

The Jim Fielding Innovation and Commercialization Space is the focal point for entrepreneurship-related programming outside of the classroom. Services and resources are provided to students, staff, faculty and alumni from any discipline and programming is offered through The Foundry, the University’s flagship entrepreneurship program.  The centre features coworking, meeting and event space in addition to a fully equipped makerspace. The Foundry offers workshops, crash courses, equipment training, mentoring, and connections to the innovation ecosystem.  Events include guest speakers from the entrepreneur and innovation community, Office Hours with staff from partner agencies, high school tours to promote STEM, guest speakers on special topics, and a final year-end pitch Be Your Own Boss pitch competition for students and recent alumni.  

In addition to one on one consultations with the Director of Research and Innovation, workshops on intellectual property are regularly offered to graduate students.  The Innovation and Commercialization Coordinator is also available to present to undergraduate classes to promote IP literacy and awareness about services on campus and in the Greater Sudbury innovation ecosystem.

As part of its annual week-long Research Week celebrations, the Office of Research Services hosts the Voyageurs’ Innovation Challenge. The Challenge is a unique, academically based entrepreneurship competition and teams are made up of students and faculty members, the winning team must be able to pitch an idea or innovation that is original, creative and has economic and/or societal benefits.  Further, every year the Vice-President of Research puts out a call for nomination for the Innovation Award which is given to a faculty member whose research has resulted in an innovative technology, process or product that benefits both the university community and society at large.

In 2023 Laurentian’s Policy on Commercialization, which builds off its Commercialization Mandate Framework, developed in 2022, was officially approved by the University’s Board of Governors and posted on the University’s website.

 

2. 2023 Commercialization Action Plan Overview

Commercialization actions to be undertaken in 2023 are summarized below.

IP Education Actions

  • A minimum of two face-to-face IP education workshops in the Fielding Innovation Space (Spring 2023; Fall 2023)
  • A minimum of one IP education workshop over zoom (recorded and made available to LU faculty, staff, students who were not able to attend)
  • In-class presentations for any class in any faculty (Goal to speak to at least two classes in every Faculty at the University)
  • IP Education workshop for graduate students in the Fall of 2023
  • One-on-one consultations as appropriate

Engagement with Private Sector, Research and Innovation Intermediaries

  • IPON, client referrals for IP education programs, IP strategy advice and other services
  • NORCAT Innovation, client referrals, attendance at innovation events such as Pitch
  • Regional Business Centre and Innovation Quarters, client referrals, Office Hours in the Fielding Innovation Space
  • Ontario Centre for Innovation, faculty and client referrals
  • ORCA and AUTM Canada, maintain memberships and volunteer activity on steering committees, attendance at online and in-person events
  • Northern, provincial and federal funding agencies, client referrals for funding and business strategy advice

Engagement with Laurentian Community and Innovation Ecosystem

  • Be Your Own Boss Pitch Competition for students and recent alumni will occur in the Winter of 2023
  • Goodman Gold Challenge (Winter 2023)
  • Voyageur’s Den Innovation Challenge will be planned in the fall of 2023 with a call for proposals.  Three groups will be selected to pitch their innovation to the “Voyageurs” in the Winter of 2024.
  • The Office of the Vice-President, Research will launch a call for its Excellence in Innovation Award in the Fall of 2023.  The selection committee will deliberate in late 2023 with the award scheduled to be announced at Research Week in 2024.
  • Establish the Laurentian University Advisory Committee for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with membership from Laurentian University staff, faculty and students in addition to members of the Greater Sudbury innovation ecosystem (Fall 2023)

Laurentian University is proud to partner on the Northern and Rural Innovation Cluster with Lakehead, Nipissing and Trent Universities to support IP literacy and access to intellectual property services both on our campus and within our communities. This initiative is funded by Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), a provincial agency launched in 2022 by the Government of Ontario to provide trusted IP support and services to enable Ontario businesses and researchers to innovate and grow.

Do you have an idea, technology or invention and need help understanding how IP can protect and scale your business? IPON works directly with clients, including industry, researchers, and entrepreneurs, to better understand how to protect and maximize the value of their IP, strengthen their capacity to grow and compete in the market, and advance the province’s economic growth.

Their services and support are available for free to all, including an on-demand basic IP education course and learning sessions that take place in-person or online. Client services include funding of up to $25,000, one-on-one mentorship opportunities and numerous tailored services for innovators across the province.

To access Laurentian University intellectual property services, contact Gisele Roberts, Director of Research & Innovation, at groberts@laurentian.ca


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