UNB Looks to Bring Research to the Marketplace with I-STEM Program 

News release

New program will promote entrepreneurial opportunities for university researchers and boost innovation ecosystem  

August 2, 2019– Fredericton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Innovation is critical for economic growth, and getting new ideas and technologies to market can have significant impacts on a regional, national, and global scale. To maximize the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) potential to commercialize new technologies, UNB’s Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (TME) will launch its first I-STEM cohort in October 2019 thanks to support from the Government of Canada.

I-STEM uses a Lean Startup training program to enhance the ability of researchers and graduate students to bring their innovations to market. This highly experiential training program will be delivered in collaboration with George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. In addition to improving UNB’s ability to market its own innovations, I-STEM instructors with the University will offer the Lean Startup training to future cohorts of researchers. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided a contribution of $218,250 towards the implementation of this program.

Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced the investment today.

Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is growing the innovation economy by working to grow strategic clusters, and enhance the development and reach of academic research and entrepreneurship. Projects like this also contribute to the Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

Quotes

“Moving research from the laboratory to the marketplace is a critical element of any innovation agenda and can have significant impacts on our economy. By licensing technology or developing new startups, commercialization provides many economic benefits such as revenue generation and job creation. By investing in this type of training program, we are helping UNB create a concentration of expertise that will prove critical to bringing advanced, university-based inventions and developments to market and providing leadership in academic entrepreneurship.”

-     The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA 

“The Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at UNB has provided the region with tremendous leadership in innovation and advanced technology for more than 30 years. I’m thrilled to see our government investing in this next step, which will enable the TME to expand its capacity to market its own innovations and eventually help other institutions do the same. Successfully commercializing a new technology can drive economic growth and lead to the creation of new businesses, new jobs, and increased wealth for Canadians.”

-     Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“We are excited about this new collaboration with the J. Herbert Smith Centre at the University of New Brunswick, led by Dominic Blakely and Dhirendra Shukla. We look forward to bringing our lean startup entrepreneurship training program to Canada for the first time, and leveraging our previous experience with the NSF I-Corps, India Institute of Technology Madras, and other innovative partners to help UNB researchers bring exciting new inventions out of their labs and into the market.”  

-     Jim Chung, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the George Washington University

“We are incredibly excited to be extending our 3+ decades of teaching innovation and entrepreneurship to include researchers across UNB. Partnering with George Washington University to help research teams discover the commercial viability of their intellectual property will not only benefit the teams, but also impact the region as a driver for economic growth.”

-    Dominic Blakely, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategist, J. Herbert Smith Centre

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada made a non-repayable contribution of $218,250 toward this program through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

  • The Regional Innovation Ecosystems stream of the REGI program supports the creation and growth of inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs and fosters an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.

  • The REGI program continues to build on the objectives of Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan

  • George Washington University, which will deliver the training, is a core member of the United States National Science Foundation’s Innovation Network and I-Corps program. 

  • I-Corps was launched by the United States National Science Foundation in 2011 and has quickly become one of the world’s largest and most successful technology start-up accelerators.

Contacts

Jennifer Houle
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
506-261-5534

Paisley Sibbald
Communications Officer
UNB
506-453-5141

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