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Ontario Tech University Commercialization Framework

In January 2022, the Government of Ontario created a new agency, Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), to provide support to inventors, researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs, located in Ontario, in the following ways:
  • Providing sophisticated intellectual property (IP) knowledge,
  • Providing intellectual property advice, and
  • Providing intellectual property services.

The new IPON was created under the recommendation of the province’s first IP Action Plan released in 2020  In addition, the Government of Ontario also introduced a new Commercialization Mandate Agreement (CMA) framework, which applies to all publicly assisted colleges and universities, including Ontario Tech University.  Under the CMA framework, institutions are expected to establish practices that support the proactive management and commercialization of IP for the socio-economic benefit of Ontario.

Ontario Tech supports and encourages IP and commercialization activities that align with the CMA framework.  In the below sections, Ontario Tech University has included:

    1. The Ontario Tech University Intellectual Property Commercialization Framework 
    2. An outline of its commitment to participate in IP and commercialization activities.  
  • The Ontario Tech University Intellectual Property Commercialization Framework
  • Ontario Tech's Commitment to Participate in IP and Commercialization Activities

    Ontario Tech University’s Intellectual Property Policy is centered on a creator-owned model that provides flexibility and incentives to creators to encourage the mobilization and translation of research into products, services and policies that provide both societal and economic benefits to Ontario. 

    Ontario Tech Commercialization Philosophy Statement

    Ontario Tech University is a research-intensive institution that drives innovation with technical, social and economic impact.  We strive to solve real-world problems by creating intellectual property (IP) that can bring benefit to the broader society.  We aim to create a research environment that facilitates the development, protection, mobilization, and commercialization of intellectual property in a manner that is fair, respectful of academic freedom,  and embedded in university culture. This environment balances the interests of the university, individual members, industry partners, and government. 

    The guiding principles underlying our commercialization efforts are as follows:
    • Fairness, recognition and reward for Creators;
    • Respect for academic freedom;
    • Respect for Intellectual Property Rights;
    • Tech with a conscience;
    • Responsible use of public funds to enhance Ontario growth and innovation 
    Our commitment to commercialization at Ontario Tech is to:
    • Support and advance research aimed at solving real-world problems;
    • Foster an entrepreneurial spirit among university members;
    • Grow partnerships to maximize the positive impacts of research on policy, societal advancement, economic development, and improved public services; and
    • Promote Intellectual Property literacy among university members. 

    The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Ontario Tech University provides the following to commercialization support: 

    • Intellectual property management and commercialization support to inventors in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy.
    • Intellectual property and entrepreneurship educational programs.
    • Dedicated Intellectual Property Officer located in the Office of Research Services.
    • Brilliant Catalyst to facilitate entrepreneurship and commercialization activities.
  • Roles and Responsibilities

    The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) is responsible for commercialization activities at the university as outlined in the Intellectual Property Policy (Section 6) and is responsible for entrepreneurship activities at the university in support of the university Strategic Research Plan and Integrated Academic-Research Plan
    The following roles and responsibilities for Commercialization at Ontario Tech University are outlined below: 

    • Vice-President, Research and Innovation
    • Executive Director, Office of Research Services
    • Intellectual Property Officer, Office of Research Services
    • Director, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Brilliant Catalyst
    • Program Officer, Brilliant Catalyst
    • Manager, Research Partnerships
    • Academic Personnel as per section 6 of the Intellectual Property Policy 
    If you are interested in learning more about the commercialization activities at the university, please do not hesitate to contact those listed above for more information.
  • Intellectual Property Education and Awareness

    Ontario Tech University has created resources to help guide creators through the process of disclosure and commercialization. In addition, they have developed intellectual property educational resources to help create awareness for the research community through a variety of programs. Specifically, Ontario Tech University has expanded educational opportunities on topics such as: IP basics, research agreements, invention disclosures and other topics related to IP commercialization. 

    Ontario Tech University also co-developed a series of learning modules that include Intellectual Property and commercialization. These learning modules are readily accessible to the research community and can be bundled for a professional development program and/or micro-credential for students and early career researchers.

    Students and Faculty members also have access to the training programs offered through the university incubator, Brilliant Catalyst.  Brilliant Catalyst’s mission is to build a community of experts, influencers, entrepreneurs and advisors to fuel innovative change and put more Canadian ventures on the map. Brilliant Catalyst provides the resources and training needed for the entrepreneur to realize the market for their technology and advise on next steps in commercialization. 

  • Timely Invention Disclosures

    Ontario Tech University, in accordance with section 6.1 in our Intellectual Property Policy, requires all academic personnel who have developed intellectual property which they intend to commercialize to be disclosed in writing, and in a timely manner to the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Such disclosure must include the nature of the intellectual property, the names of all co-creators, the source of funding for the research project out of which the intellectual property emerged, and any other relevant information.

    The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation maintains a record of all disclosures to meet reporting requirements from governments, including the Ontario Commercialization Mandate Agreement Framework, external organizations and help create awareness internally about the commercialization activities at the university. Confidentiality is parament, as such, only aggregate data is used for reporting requirements.

    For more information about the timely disclosure process please contact the Intellectual Property Officer.

  • Benefit to Ontario

    Ontario Tech is a research-intensive institution that drives innovation with technical, social and economic impact. We strive to solve real-world problems to benefit Ontario. We believe that industry, community, and government partners play a key role in commercializing intellectual property created at the University.  A large portion of our funding is industry-sponsored research with companies based in Ontario. These partnerships result in significant benefits to the industry, community and government partners, in addition to faculty, staff and students.

    Engaging with external partners is key to building a knowledge exchange funnel that can benefit Ontario.  Working collaboratively, the Research Partnerships, a functional unit in the Office of Research Services, and with Partnerships, an unit within the Office of External Relations, we engage with industry partners effectively and identify opportunities to make a difference in the Durham region and the Province. The Office of Research Services, works with our research community and external partners to negotiate customized IP and commercialization rights with industry-sponsored contracts. Our Intellectual Property Policy (section 1.1.b) permits external partners to own the intellectual property created during collaborative research projects under clearly defined negotiated terms. This fosters harmonious relations with our partners, streamlines the contract management process and allows for more predictable negotiations and outcomes. 

    The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation has support for collaborative research agreements and commercialization through the Office of Research Services
    To foster strong relationships with community stakeholders, facilitate sponsored research and commercialization activities and to learn about local activities within Ontario, the university engages with the following regional agencies:

    We strongly encourage the Ontario Tech research community– faculty members and students – to partner and collaborate with regional organizations as this supports local and provincial economic and societal benefits.
  • Institutional Engagement with the Innovation Ecosystem

    Ontario Tech University engages with the local and regional Innovation Ecosystem in a variety of ways. Some examples are as follows: 

    • Durham Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum: Ontario Tech University plays a key role in our local ecosystem by chairing the Durham Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum (DEEF). The purpose of DEEF is to bring institutions and organizations involved in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation together to network, share information and have a more coordinated approach. Attendees typically are from Academia, Innovation Hubs such as: Start-up Durham, OCI (Ontario Centres of innovation), OPG, Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD), Economic Development from the various municipalities and the Region of Durham, National Research Council- Industrial Research Assistance Program, and various other government and youth program participants.
    • Brilliant Catalyst: Brilliant Catalyst’s mission is to build a community of experts, influencers, entrepreneurs, and advisors to fuel innovative change and put more Canadian ventures on the map. Brilliant Catalyst provides the tools needed for the entrepreneur to realize the market for their technology and advise on next steps in commercialization.
    • Local Organizations: Organizations within the local innovation ecosystem are instrumental in providing the necessary resources and services to scale innovations to the market. Examples of organizations include but are not limited to: Spark Centre, 1855 Whitby, Durham Innovation District, Venture13, MARS Discovery District, and CommuniTech.