P11: Canada's Commercialization Challenge

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.

Research and experience in Canada has shown that: • Private sector research and development, as a percentage of revenue for private companies, falls below our international competitors • The time taken to diffuse university and government funded research is too slow • Canada’s global competitiveness in export markets for technology based solutions is weak There is a disconnect between academic research and private sector commercialization activities that limit technology commercialization success and speed to market • While innovations help us create a high number of Canadian start-ups, many of these companies do not achieve their potential, as the rate of growth slows substantially after five years • Government programs, resources and buying practices are not designed to enhance the likelihood of longer term commercial success in our technology based SMEs While various provincial and federal jurisdictions have made tremendous strides towards supporting research and entrepreneurial activities, there seems to be gaps in the innovation process, that ultimately limit the impact our technology ventures have on regional wealth creation Given our appreciation of Canada’s Commercialization Challenge, including the lack of equity finance, our risk aversion and disconnects between academic research and private sector commercialization, there are many opportunities for collaboration between organizations to improve success. These include alignment of each stage of the innovation process, addressing gaps and discontinuities in programs and services, and introducing the market opportunity into the technology development process. This interactive session presents four views on possible options to address some of the gaps and discontinuities identified, in order to maximize the impact of current public and private sector research and innovation, including an examination of:
-Development of a better understanding of the innovation process
-Building a commercialization perspective into technology development
-Focusing attention on the public/private interface so that government funded research can be transferred to the private sector for commercialization, and private organizations can access government funded facilities
-The impact of government funding and purchasing on the development of large, sustainable technology companies
-The impact of patent legislation and institution ownership of IP in increasing commercialization efforts
-The opportunity to train future commercialization agents and innovation managers to increase the likelihood of success Questions to be addressed include:  How can the impact of Canadian (federal and provincial) commercialization policies and programs on the level of commercialization in Canada be increased?  How can we reduce the gap between government funded academic research, and private sector commercialization, and how can these commercialization efforts be best supported?
-How can the roles and responsibilities of the private sector, academia, and government be clarified and supported in order to increase the efficiency of the commercialization process?
-How could Canada become a more attractive environment for the commercialization of technology developed in other countries?
-How should government stimulate the investment in commercialization activities, in Canada and globally?
-What are the resources that companies need to be more successful in their commercialization activities, and how can they be made available either from government, or through government support?


An engineer, Tom Brzustowski graduated with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton in 1963. He was a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo from 1962 to 1987, teaching and carrying out research in thermodynamics and combustion. He served as Chair of Mechanical Engineering from 1967 to 1970 and as Vice-President, Academic of the University from 1975 to 1987. After that he served as deputy minister in the Government of Ontario from 1987 to 1995, first in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and later in the Premier's Council. He was appointed President of NSERC in October 1995, and reappointed in 2000. Tom Brzustowski holds honorary doctorates from several institutions, namely, Alberta, Concordia, école Polytechnique de Montréal, Guelph, McMaster, Ottawa, Royal Military College of Canada, Ryerson, and Waterloo, and received the Engineering Alumni Medal from the University of Toronto. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society of Canada. Tom Brzustowski latest book, published in late 2012 is Innovation In Canada.

Founding Director
Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute

Dr. Fenster is the founding Director of the Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute and Professor at the University of Western Ontario. He is a Professor in the Departments of Medical Imaging, Medical Biophysics, Radiation Oncology and an adjunct Professor in Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Fenster has built the Robarts Imaging Laboratories into an internationally recognized group, which includes 16 scientists and approximately 90 graduate students. He has a unique leadership style that encourages collaboration, clinical involvement and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Fenster was the founder and is the current Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering at Western, combining the strengths of basic scientists, engineers and clinician scientists in 3 faculties. He is Chair of the Basic Science Division of the Department of Medical Imaging at Western which combines the strengths in imaging research across London’s Institutions to make the London medical imaging research community one of the largest in the world, with over 350 staff and students and $100M in research equipment. . He is also the Director of the Biomedical Imaging Research Centre at Western and the Centre Director for the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC), a Canadian federally funded Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research. Currently, he holds a Canada Research Chair-Tier 1. He is the first recipient of the Premier’s (Ontario) Discovery Award for Innovation and Leadership (2007), the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research at the Western (2008). In 2011 he was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Fenster’s research has resulted in over 25 patents and the formation of three companies. He has published over 250 and is regularly in demand as a keynote speaker around the globe.

Chief Innovation Officer
Canadian Innovation Centre

Andrew Maxwell's is jointly appointed to the College of Engineering and Fox School of Business, and serves as Chief Innovation Officer of the Canadian Innovation Centre,In addition to working in technology businesses and startups, he has a deep background in academia and practice, founding the University of Toronto’s technology incubator, the Exceler@tor, and launching undergraduate masters programs in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Maxwell recently received the Academy of Management’s prestigious Heizer Award for his thesis on angel-investor decision-making. He has published 10 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as 11 industry papers. His research interests include technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, clusters, and university- industry interactions. He received his PhD in Management of Technology, as well as a Master’s degree in the same concentration, from the University of Waterloo. He also has an MBA from London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from London’s Imperial College.

Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.

Harold Schroeder is President of Schroeder & Schroeder Inc., a Toronto based firm of senior program and project managers, management consultants, and corporate managers. By focusing on both the “art and science of transformation” ®, the firm assists organizations who are planning and implementing major transformation initiatives and who have had, or currently are experiencing, sub-optimal business results through their strategic or operational transformation projects.

Having worked many years in politically challenging and complex environments with demanding timelines and deliverables, Mr. Schroeder is recognized by clients for his superior relationship-management, problem-solving, communication and negotiation skills. He has led various management consulting practices in large consulting firms and acted as a consultant and project manager on over 150 consulting engagements for clients throughout North America and Europe.

Most recently, Mr. Schroeder has been involved in significant projects in the area of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, including projects for both private sector clients and government Ministries. Some of his work has included private-public sector multi-stakeholder projects in the original creation of the Ontario Cancer Research Network (OCRN) – now the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), development of an Economic Development of action plan for the City of London, and the creation of the Health Technology Exchange (HTX) – as well as various consulting projects for entrepreneurial growth companies. He has also published and presented on the topic of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.