News From Lab2Market.
Backed by the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with partner Mitacs, Canadian universities begin a two-year pilot of Canada’s first deep tech program to take innovation from lab to market .
TORONTO, November 3, 2020 – Innovate-Incubate Network of Canada (I-INC) is excited to celebrate the official launch of the Lab2Market (L2M) Program. As a part of the I-INC network, Dalhousie University, Memorial University and Ryerson University have partnered up to run cohorts and support researchers across multiple regions. The L2M Program will run a total of seven cohorts across the three universities.
Each cohort offers selected researchers access to world-class mentors, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and $15,000 in funding to help researchers explore the commercial potential of their work.
“Canada is home to some of the world’s brightest minds, and we want to help them turn their big ideas into commercial successes. With support from the Government of Canada, the Lab2Market project will help some of our most promising young researchers realize their dreams, while creating good jobs for Canadians. This will ensure that our economy remains on the cutting edge as we’re working to build back better,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
The L2M Program was developed to respond to a need for opportunities for researchers working in deep tech; and to support those who see commercial value for their technologies.
“Through this first-of-its-kind national program, university researchers and students from across all disciplines will have a unique opportunity to explore the marketplace potential of their valuable research and to directly address the real-world problems affecting our communities,” said Steven N. Liss, Ryerson University’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “Many thanks to our partners at FedDev Ontario, ACOA and Mitacs for their support in launching the L2M program in Canada.”
The L2M Program has partnered with VentureWell, who has been delivering a similar program in the United States to help bring the program north of the border. With VentureWell’s help, not only do the researchers have exposure to entrepreneurship lectures/workshops, but they have the opportunity to work with industry leaders and successful founders to help them establish their idea.
Tamaghna Gupta, a PhD student at McMaster University, is participating in the Lab2Market Program, and had the following to say about the program: “It’s easy for researchers to get pigeon-holed into thinking that their technology is beneficial to the world. But by going through the process of talking to customers, industry leaders, and other companies, I’ve started to realize the real value of my work. It’s expanded my horizon of knowledge beyond engineering and into entrepreneurship – this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Lab2Market program and team.”
The L2M Program has achieved success in this pilot phase of the program at Dalhousie University, Memorial University and Ryerson University. The first cohort launched in June 2020, with a focus on health technology innovation, in Halifax. The second cohort focused on ocean technologies launched in September 2020, with additional funding from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and Ocean Startup Project. Currently, there are two active cohorts run in Toronto and Halifax, with 20 teams each.
The L2M Program has been a team effort, with entrepreneurship programs coming together from Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland & Labrador.
“Memorial is deeply committed to supporting innovators at all stages and growing the vibrant entrepreneurial culture here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Neil Bose, Vice-President (Research). “Programs such as Lab2Market provide tangible opportunities for the next generation of creators and inventors to build a strong successful future for our province and beyond, taking their bold research to the next level.”
“Dalhousie University is pleased to partner with Ryerson University and Memorial University on this innovative program,” said Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University. “Canada is a breeding ground for great researchers, and Lab2Market provides all the resources, training and guidance needed to help them innovate their big ideas to life.”
Boilerplate: The Lab2Market program runs in four-month cohorts and offers researchers access to world-class mentors, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and $15,000 in funding. It is funded by the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with partner Mitacs, and delivered through Dalhousie University, Memorial University and Ryerson University.