February 1st, 2022 (Halifax, NS) – Dalhousie University is pleased to announce the launch of Lab2Market (L2M) Halifax Winter 2022 cohort, which will include 11 researchers from 5 universities across Canada. This cohort is focused on supporting women in research with the mentors, facilitators and entrepreneurial leads all being leading women in their fields. The teams are conducting research on diverse topics such as automated circuitry design, fatigue management, ocean waste, and pharmaceutical development. 

The 16-week program will equip graduate and post-doctorate researchers with the skills required to assess the commercial opportunity for their research and extend it beyond the doors of university laboratories. Teams will focus on validating their ideas through customer discovery by identifying a problem with commercial value that they can solve.

“It is great to see our Lab2Market program emphasizing support for the entrepreneurial ambitions of women researchers,” says Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University. “There is a significant disparity between the number of women graduate students in Atlantic Canada’s post-secondary institutions and the number that go on to start enterprises based on their innovations. This is an important step in helping to close that gap.”

While Statistics Canada notes that 60 per cent of Atlantic Canada’s graduate students are women, just 36 per cent of Lab2Market’s past participants have been women. Meanwhile, only 14 per cent of new start-ups in Atlantic Canada are women-led, and less than 4 per cent of all venture capital goes to women-led companies according to Entrevestor’s Atlantic Canada Startup Data 2020. Through this Lab2Market women-in-research cohort, Dal Innovates aims to empower a new generation of women leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists.

Participants will be provided with hands-on support, access to mentorship, a tailored curriculum, and the opportunity to receive $15,000.00 in funding. Each research team includes three participants: the graduate student or post-doctorate fellow, the applicant’s supervisor or primary investigator, and an industry mentor from a related business sector. 

Lisa Chen of Dalhousie University is participating in Lab2Market and is looking forward to gaining the entrepreneurship skills needed to improve her technology. Chen is working on a platform that utilizes citizen science to track and map ghost fishing gear in the ocean.

“As a Divemaster and marine biologist, I have had the luxury to dive into some of the most remote places on the planet. However, ghost fishing gear continued to be a common denominator in all these sites. It is heartbreaking to see all these animals that I swim with struggling for their lives while my team and I desperately cut and remove the nets knowing that we are too late. As such, I am inspired to develop a solution that can help mitigate and remove these kill traps before more animals die from them.” 

Participating teams stem from Dalhousie University, Memorial University, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and Saint Mary’s University. 

The program is based on the successful I-Corps program in the United States, and the ICURe program in the United Kingdom. Led by Dalhousie University, Ryerson University, Memorial University, and University of Manitoba, funding to participating teams is provided with support from the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Mitacs as well as the Ocean Startup Project.

Lab2Market is one of a suite of offerings from Dal Innovates that help deliver innovation and entrepreneurial skills and attitudes to students. Teams can go on to participate in the Ready2Launch accelerator, which is an intensive 3-month pre-accelerator to help teams advance and spin-out new start-ups.

To date, Lab2Market has graduated 120 teams from cohorts across Halifax, Toronto, St. John’s and Winnipeg. Interested future applicants can find more information at lab2market.ca.

The Teams:

Mobile Robot platform design for performing inspection procedures on pipelines, automobiles, and infrastructures in extreme environmental conditions.University of AlbertaMisha Afaq
Dr. Ahmad Rafiq
A network to transform how occupational therapists around the world support people to live well with severe and chronic fatigue.Dalhousie University Michelle Lehman
Dr. Tanya Packer
An electronic design automation tool to retarget analog design from older technologies to advanced ones.Memorial University of NewfoundlandMehrnaz Ahmadi
Dr. Lihong Zhan
Privacy and Security of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices within their computational constraints.Memorial University of NewfoundlandSidra Anwar
Dr. Jonathan Anderson
Development of vegan preclinical testing techniques using in vitro human cells to test drug toxicity.Memorial University of NewfoundlandYanitza Trosel
Dr. Valerie Booth 
Dr. Anand Yethiraj 
Safety intervention for dating app-facilitated sexualized violence.Dalhousie UniversityNicole Doria
Dr. Alice Aiken
A platform that utilizes citizen science to track and map ghost fishing gear in the ocean.Dalhousie UniversityLisa Chen
Dr. Boris Worm
Topical antimicrobial product based on traditional medicinal plants to combat antimicrobial resistance.Saint Mary’s UniversityJulie Anne Dayrit
Dr. Clarissa Sit
Phase I of Development of a tele-health rehabilitation system to improve patients’ adherence and enable remote rehabilitationUniversity of TorontoDr. Somayeh Norouzi Ghazbi
Dr. Sander Hitzig 
Dr. Jan Andrysek
Dr. Roger Goldstein
Developing a consumer hair care product for afro-textured hair using natural raw materialsDalhousie UniversityMmasinachi Atansi
Dr. Alison Thompson
A novel nutritional feed additive using guanidinoacetate and methionine for the poultry industry; to improve feed stability, growth performance, and meat qualityMemorial UniversityMahesha Asiriwardhana
Dr. Robert Bertolo
More information can be found at lab2market.ca. 

About Dalhousie University:
Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an Agricultural Campus in Truro/Bible Hill, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of the university’s 20,000-plus students coming from outside the province. Dal’s 6,000 faculty and staff foster a diverse, purpose-driven community, one that spans 13 faculties and conducts more than $194 million in research annually. Part of a cluster identified as one of the world’s top international centres in ocean research, the university proudly celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2018.

About Lab2Market
Lab2Market supports researchers who foresee impact and potential commercial value in their deep tech research, by providing opportunities and exposure to help commercialize their intellectual property. The program is developed and led by Dalhousie University, Memorial University, University of Manitoba, and Ryerson University, and leverages the national I-INC network. Learn more at www.lab2market.ca.

About Ready2Launch
Ready2Launch supports start-up teams who have identified a customer opportunity from the Lab2Market program in building the capacity they need to identify a viable business model, launch their venture, and reach their next developmental milestone. I-INC will offer a Ready2Launch summer accelerator for students and researchers across Canada with the goal of launching sustainable and scalable companies within 6 months of completing the program. Learn more at https://ready2launch.ca/.

About I-INC
The Incubate Innovate Network of Canada (I-INC) is a pan-Canadian, internationally connected network of high-performance university-linked accelerators and incubators. I-INC creates an ecosystem for the efficient commercialization of university-based and science and technology-enabled innovation. Founded in 2014, the network has expanded to include 13 universities across Canada. Learn more at www.iincanada.ca.

Media contacts:
Andrew Riley 
Manager | Communications
VP Research and Innovation

Joe Krawczyk
Coordinator for Dal Innovates
Dalhousie University