Through partnerships with universities, businesses, and community organizations, companies are able to address challenges they’re facing with the help of university researchers and achieve success in their industry. Research offices ensure businesses are connecting with the right people and finding solutions.
BioLinc at Brock University
Located in Brock University’s Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, the Goodman School of Business BioLinc brings opportunities for collaboration between southern Ontario’s research and business communities.
The facility has the capacity to nurture multiple companies, projects, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs from across the Niagara region in the health and bioscience sectors. It is part of Innovate Niagara’s Network of Incubators, a network of industry-specific business incubators that provides companies with access to the state-of-the-art equipment and workspaces, and endless collaborative opportunities. Industry partners with BioLinc include Turn 180 Custom Prototyping and Folger Rubinoff LLP.
Industry and Partnership Services at Carleton University
Carleton University’s Industry and Partnership Services (IPS) manages and facilitates co-operation between companies and Carleton’s researchers. The service identifies researchers with interests that match business requirements, and assists companies in meeting their corporate research and development needs. IPS helps businesses through collaborative discovery, which means finding suitable researchers and technology to complement business interests; translating business problems into a potential university research challenge; structuring a suitable arrangement; and leveraging company capital with available public sources.
Through IPS, Ottawa-based DRS Technologies, an electric manufacturing company, was able to connect with two undergraduate co-op students from Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design and Faculty of Science. The company has developed a specialized automatic deployable flight recorder system to enhance the post-crash recovery of aircraft black boxes. Carleton undergrads Shasthra Ranasinghe and Kevin Guy are part of a small team tasked with developing the flight recorder’s ground support equipment, a laptop based application that will connect to the recorder to retrieve its flight data.
University of Guelph’s Guelph Food Innovation Centre
The Guelph Food Innovation Centre (GFIC) at the University of Guelph offers research services to the food industry that are crucial in driving safety, quality, functionality, and cost-effectiveness needed for products to be competitive in the marketplace. Technical services include product development, analytical testing, and food safety and quality.
Carleton University’s Front Door
Carleton Front Door (CFD) at Carleton University is designed to operate as a single point of contact, connecting local and regional companies with Carleton University researchers for joint research and development projects. The CFD initiative also helps companies and researchers navigate the academic-industrial government funding landscape and fund the training of highly qualified personnel on industrial research projects.
In its first year and a half, the program has brought in more than $500,000 in industry-partnered grants and research contracts to the university and has supported the training of more than 10 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
One such partnership involves researchers at Carleton’s Mass Spectrometry Centre and Ottawa’s Broadhead Brewing Company, addressing shelf life and storage temperature challenges for the microbrewery. This research project uses mass spectrometry—an analytical research technique—to analyze how the chemistry of the beer changes over time at a range of temperatures and in different containers. This analysis will allow the local business to better advise its clients on how to handle the product.
Queen’s University’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation
In 2017, Queen’s University created the Office of Partnerships and Innovation (OPI) to advance research partnerships with industry, government, and non-profits, while providing researchers with the commercial expertise to advance discoveries and technologies to the marketplace.
The OPI also supports start-ups and offers entrepreneurship programming.
The Research Partnerships Unit of OPI consists of an outward facing team with a mandate to be a responsive institutional front door to industry and non-profit organizations seeking interactions and collaborations with the university and research community.
The Technology Transfer Unit of OPI is comprised of eight professionals with the commercial, financial, and intellectual property expertise required to advance research-based inventions and technologies towards the marketplace. Team members of OPI develop relationships with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in Kingston, working with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) and other partners to attract and recruit businesses to Kingston.
A recent partnership facilitated by the OPI launched a project to evaluate water treatment. SanEcoTec, an Ottawa-based company had developed a water treatment system to meet the challenges facing the North American water industry. Now, partnering with Queen’s University researchers, the team will show how microorganisms in drinking water change when the treatment system switches from chlorine to hydrogen peroxide (less harmful to the environment), demonstrating the efficacy of SanEcoTec’s system.
UOIT’s Research Partnerships Portfolio
The Research Partnerships Portfolio at UOIT connects researchers to research users in order to realize the real-world impacts of UOIT innovation. Working with inventors to license and commercialize inventions, UOIT liaises with partner organizations to enable the mobilization of research outcomes to the community.
The university interacts with more than 300 external partners to support their innovation and commercialization needs. Partners include regional small businesses and large multinational companies, accessing state-of-the-art facilities, world-class researchers, and a qualified talent pool.
Through these partnerships, UOIT researcher Dr. Mohamed Youssef plans to make the university the new powerhouse of water pump smart drive research in Ontario and Canada. He’s working with industry partners to build better water pumps that are long-lasting and use far less energy than traditional motors. One of his recent research collaborations with one of the world’s leading water pump manufacturers saw the industry partner upgrade the boosting system at Toronto General Hospital in 2014. The company replaced the hospital’s aging 100-horsepower (HP) system with a 45-HP system. The hospital has cut water pump power consumption by more than 50 per cent and dramatically cut water use.
Dr. Youssef has also collaborated with another leading Canadian water pump manufacturer on a new family of smart water pumps. The design allows for pumps to be monitored, diagnosed and troubleshot remotely using an Internet-based diagnostics tool.
The BRAIN Alliance
The BRAIN (Big Data Research, Analytics, and Information Network) Alliance is an Ontario network of universities, and public and private institutions working together to conduct state-of-the-art translational research on big data and knowledge mobilization. Industry partners include Nlogic, IBM, and Empress Software Inc.
A recent project saw the creation of a partnership between OCAD University, York University and The Globe and Mail to develop data and visual analytics for decision-making in online news media. This project will use the data to help media companies better engage with their customers.
Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute
Researchers at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) are dedicated to the advancement of the Canadian grape and wine industry, working with community and industry partners to solve problems unique to the industry. Through its various programs, a 2016 report demonstrates the CCOVI contributed more than $91-million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15.
These programs include Vine Alert, where grape growers are provided with comparative levels of bud hardiness for cultivars at different locations throughout the dormant period, which assists grape growers in managing winter injury; and the Tender Fruit Alert program, providing tender fruit growers with comparative levels of bud hardiness for different fruit types and commodities. Local partnerships include Grape Growers of Ontario, KCMS, and Weather Innovations Incorporated.
iCity: Urban Informatics for Sustainable Metropolitan Growth
iCity is a collaborative endeavor between researchers at the University of Toronto, OCAD University, the University of Waterloo, Esri Canada, and IBM Canada. It is a virtual lab for urban design that develops and applies advanced data, analysis, and visualization capabilities to find innovative ways to improve urban transportation system performance, designing efficient, sustainable cities for the well-being of individuals and society.
McMaster University and the Automotive Sector
The Automotive Resource Centre at McMaster University houses labs where researchers, students, and industry professionals work to resolve serious issues facing the automotive industry, designing the future of human transportation with a particular focus on battery and hybrid drive-train technologies.
In addition, McMaster’s Institute for Transportation & Logistics is supported by the public and private sectors, working with all three levels of government and business to address transportation and logistics challenges in an effort to address future environmental and social sustainability of both industry and the planet.
Through the institute, McMaster researchers and the City of Hamilton are partnering to examine the “complete streets” concept where street planning accommodates for walking, cycling, and other transit modes as well as vehicles. This partnership assesses the performance of this concept in other jurisdictions, and its applicability in Hamilton, with a view to how this approach might improve the vitality of key neighbourhoods.
Manufacturing at McMaster University
The McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute meets the research and development needs of leading manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, biomedical, and consumer goods industries, along with the manufacturing tooling, coatings-surface engineering, die and mold support industries.
Specifically, the recently opened Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) involves 35 industry partners and research teams from both Germany and Canada who are working together to develop technologies for eye-care, point-of-care medical devices, and cancer treatments.
The centre will help take existing technologies and prepare them for the marketplace, commercializing new products, accelerating growth of small businesses, and attracting new talent to the region. It is expected to create approximately 75 jobs.
Queen’s University and Enviro Innovate Corporation
In 2015, Queen’s University and Enviro Innovate Corporation (EIC) created a clean technology accelerator, which has since evolved into an industry-led South Eastern Ontario Cleantech Cluster (SEOCC). The cluster focuses on leveraging regional assets to scale globally disruptive clean-tech innovations.
A partnership between EIC, SEOCC and the XPRIZE Foundation enables participants to benefit from the SEOCC expertise and resources in Kingston.
The University of Toronto Electric Vehicle Research Centre
In partnership with the Havelaar Group, the University of Toronto Electric Vehicle Research Centre (UTEV) is focused on the development of groundbreaking technologies for electric vehicles. The centre’s research activities target the advancement of power electronics for electric vehicles, including improving driving range; charging infrastructure, including access and wait times; and energy storage. The centre also provides a platform for autonomous vehicle development.
University of Waterloo’s Additive Manufacturing
The Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Waterloo is shaping the future of industrial 3-D printing. The lab explores techniques to develop advanced materials, innovative products, modeling and simulation tools, monitoring devices, closed loop control systems, and quality assurance algorithms. Industry partners with the lab range from local partners to those across the province, such as Siemens, GE Aviation, and e-Manufacturing Solutions.
University of Waterloo and Ciena
Engineering researchers at the University of Waterloo are working with telecommunications company Ciena to help network operators and Internet providers respond to the demand for faster data transmission, driving advancement in Internet connectivity.
Part of the partnership includes a team of post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, led by Dr. Amir Khandani, developing algorithms to efficiently and rapidly correct errors that occur during high-speed, long-distance transmission. The team’s work will help tackle challenges of next generation optical telecommunication networks.
University of Waterloo and CooperVision
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have entered into a long-term partnership with CooperVision, helping the organization with various innovations in optometry. The most recent of which includes designing contact lenses that slow the progression of myopia.