Government of Canada supports innovation and entrepreneurship with the launch of the Lab2Market Program

News release

$1.3 million to support 30 business ventures, 20 new commercialized technologies and opportunities for promising researchers

October 28, 2020  Toronto, Ontario 

Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is essential to creating good jobs for Canadians and helping our economy recover from the impact of COVID-19. The Government of Canada is a partner in these efforts, ensuring that Canada remains among world leaders in innovation. These partnerships help nurture promising ideas, create opportunities for young researchers and support advancements that benefit all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced support for innovation and entrepreneurship with the official launch of the Lab2Market (L2M) program. Led by Ryerson University in southern Ontario, L2M gives promising researchers access to world-class mentors, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and funding to explore their work’s commercial potential. Over the next two years, Ryerson will lead 40 teams of students, researchers and experienced advisors to develop, test and commercialize innovative ideas.

Providing more innovative technologies for businesses

Through the program, Ryerson will support 30 business ventures, 20 new commercialized technologies, five commercial licensing agreements with industry, and close to 10 partnerships with businesses and university-based incubator-accelerators. This work is supported by an investment of $1.3 million in federal funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and support from partner Mitacs.

This project is further proof of the government’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation. These initiatives create good jobs, ensure that Canadians have the skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive environment and help our economy recover from the impact of COVID-19.


“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 the support of FedDev Ontario, 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.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“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. Many thanks to our partners at FedDev Ontario for their support in launching the L2M program in Canada.”
Steven N. Liss, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

Quick facts

  • The project is being run in tandem with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), which is also providing a $1.3 million contribution to Dalhousie University to deliver the program in Atlantic Canada. Both non-repayable contributions are through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

  • The Lab2Market program was developed by Incubate Innovate Network of Canada (I-INC), a pan-Canadian network of university-linked accelerators and incubators focused on the commercialization of university-based science and technology-enabled innovation. Ryerson and Dalhousie universities are both members of this network.

  • L2M was specifically designed for Canadians, building from the experience of the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) I-CorpsTM program and the United Kingdom’s Innovation and Commercialization of University Research (ICURe) program.

  • Two four-month cohorts will be led through the L2M program by Ryerson University, with the first cohort launched on September 21, 2020.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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