The Industry Liaison Office is responsible for the commercialization of research and knowledge developed by the University's researchers, faculty, staff and graduate students. Our focus is to foster and develop collaborative work environments among researchers, industry partners and funding agencies.
We've launched the 2015 Tech Venture Challenge!
Agriculture and Bio-resources
- Canola Variety with Increased and Improved Carotenoids Profile
- Set of Genes for the Synthesis of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Protein Extraction from Oilseed using Waste Solutions from Fermentation
- Process for Synthesizing Polyol Catalyst
- Novel Process for Biodiesel Production with Value Added Byproducts
- Male-Sterile Tomato Line
Engineering and Physics Sciences
- A Problem-solving Software Environment (PSE) for Solving Systems of Nonlinear Algebraic Equations (NAEs)
Health Sciences - Therapeutics
- Selective Anticancer Compounds from Plant
- Phage Based Methods for Novel Compositions, Formulations, and Manufacturing, of Therapeutic Agents and Biochemical Reagents
- New Cyclodextrin-based Gemini Surfactants Drug Delivery Systems
- Novel Cytotoxic Compounds with Anticancer Potential
- G31P – A Highly Effective Tumour Metastasis Blocker
- G31P - An Effective Treatment for Aspiration Pneumonia
- G31P - Reducing IR-Induced Mortality and Organ Injury
- A Therapeutic that Prevents Development of Antibiotic Resistance
- New Methods of Estrous Synchronization
Health Sciences - Medical Devices and Diagnosis
- New Matrices for Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation
- Novel Auto-Injection System
- Immunological Test for Restenosis
- Automated Detection of Abnormalities in Mammographic Images
- Novel Systems for Administering & Monitoring Cold Therapy
- Novel Brachyspira spp Associated With Hemorrhagic Colitis In Pigs
- Enhancement of Immunoprotective Effects of Oligodeoxynucleotides Containing CPG-Motifs by Formulating with Carbon Nanotubes and Other Lipid Based Formulations In Poultry
- Universal PCR Primers for Species Identification of Archaea
- Vaccine Against Inclusion Body Hepatitis
- DNA Test for the LP Spotting Pattern-Congenital Stationary Night Blindness in the Horse
- Adjustable Shunt for the Treatment of Glaucoma
- G31P - An Effective Treatment for Bovine Bacterial Pneumonia
- Genetic Markers Associated with Desirable Traits in Cattle Breeding
In some cases the disclosures received by the ILO are very early stage and lack the proof of principle or prototype necessary to attract industry. In these circumstances ILO will assist in a number of ways:
- assist researchers in applying for proof of principle funds from granting agencies – CIHR or NSERC
- direct investment in the prototype development from ILO’s – “Forge Ahead Fund”.
If the Intellectual Property (IP) review committee accepts a recommendation for investment by ILO, a number of activities will be initiated by Technology Transfer Specialist including the following:
- development of marketing and commercialization strategy (inventor included in process)
- initiation of plan for obtaining statutory protection for IP (i.e. patent or copyright registration)
- non-confidential summary of the technology licensing opportunity prepared
- summaries posted to ILO’s web site and other web sites and databases designed for marketing university technologies
- network of industrial contacts, conferences, tradeshows, brochures, lectures, and mailing lists used to attract licensees
- inventor is consulted on all of these steps
A start-up is defined as a company started with the express intent of capturing value from technology invented at the University, where the University owns the IP and will have direct financial return through its commercialization.
A spin-off company is created based on technology developed by U of S stakeholders but not owned by the University. The University supports these stakeholders in the development/creation of their companies because it is a direct transfer of knowledge into the community with economic impact.
The University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office has established a Start-up Company Program to assist faculty, staff and student inventors to evaluate the feasibility of forming a start-up company and licensing their technology to that company in order to capture optimal value from the technology for the inventors, the university and the local and global economy.
What is a Start-up?A start-up company is defined as a company founded upon intellectual property created at the U of S with the intention of commercializing products and processes which derive from that intellectual property.
Why Do Start-ups?
- Provide employment opportunities for U of S graduates
- Create long-term research relationship
- Generate benefits for the local economy including job creation
- Provide vehicle for commercialization that may not exist in Canada or elsewhere
- Provide opportunities for faculty, staff and student inventors to become entrepreneurs
- Create opportunities to show-case the excellence of research being conducted at the U of S
Criteria for a Start-up
Start-up companies require significant resources both in terms of time and money. Not all technologies are equally suited for start-up company creation. In evaluating start-up company opportunities the ILO considers the following criteria:
1. Platform Technology
- Supports a range of products, possibly in different markets
- Solid foundation to build a company on
2. Suitable licensee not available
- Academic research discoveries are often too early for established companies who lack the infrastructure and resources to develop the technology
3. Technology addresses a large and growing market
- In order to attract investment and management to the company the market for the technology/product(s) must be of sufficient size to allow for significant return on investment.
4. Sustainable competitive advantage
- Broad patent protection available
5. Coachable and entrepreneurial inventors
- Inventor is a champion and prepared to play a key role in the early stages of the start-up.
6. Low barriers to entry
- It may not make sense to create a company to commercialize when there is an existing industry that has invested considerable funding to develop the market and create the means to manufacture and distribute product to that market
Industry Liaison Office's (ILO's) Start-up Company Program
The Industry Liaison Office's (ILO's) start-up company program allows the ILO to play different roles depending on the needs and wishes of the start-up.
1. Founder's Role
The ILO, through the efforts and abilities of its Start-up Specialist and its Legal Manager can mentor and facilitate start-up company creation by acting as a founder of the start-up. These individuals will work with the inventors and other ILO staff to assist with the following activities:
- Structure and Incorporate the new company
- Draft and negotiate the initial Unanimous Shareholders Agreement and company articles and bylaws
- Assist in the preparation of the company’s business plan
- Assist the company with finding investors and negotiating the terms of financing
- Recruitment of management
- Where possible assist the company in locating appropriate space for its initial operations
- Provide incubation support to the new company including intellectual property management, finding prototype development funds, advice regarding Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credits, support in ongoing financing efforts
In exchange for providing this service ILO will take founder’s equity. Founder’s equity does not fall under the University’s revenue sharing policy with the inventors and therefore upon liquidation is not subject to distribution with the inventors.
2. Licensing Role
The ILO will provide a License for the U of S developed technology to the start-up company. Recognizing that start-up companies are constrained by their cash flow, the ILO is prepared to consider some or all of the following options in negotiating with start-ups in exchange for taking equity or debt convertible to equity in the start-up:
- Reduced cash considerations (upfront fees, milestones, and running royalties)
- Delayed patent cost repayment
Tech Venture Challenge 2015
The University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office (ILO) annual business plan competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their technology-based business idea. Tech Venture Challenge is open to anyone with a University of Saskatchewan affiliation -employees, researchers, students and alumni - who want to take their technology idea and translate it into a business.
The completion runs from mid-October through to the end of April each year. Completing an on-line application is the first step. In early December, all of the applications are reviewed by a panel of external judges and 10 finalists are chosen to move to the next stage of the competition.
From mid-December to May, all of the finalists receive mentorship, guidance, and training to help with the development of their business plan and their pitch to the judges.
With thanks to our sponsors:
- The Grand Prize winner receives $50,000 from the U of S Industry Liaison Office and office space from Innovation Place to help get their new venture off the ground.
- 2nd Place and 3rd place teams will also receive prize money (amounts to be announced soon) sponsored PwC, Mariner Innovations, and Affinity Credit Union.
The top three finalists are also offered professional services from Deloitte and banking services from RBC Royal Bank. The Graduate Students' Association is sponsoring a $10,000 low interest loan to a Graduate student team selected by the Tech Venture judges.
Tech Venture Challenge 2015