More innovative ideas generated at Memorial University will be moving from theory to reality thanks to a new program designed to enhance product commercialization and entrepreneurship.
With the help of $54,750 from the Federal Government of Canada, the new i-Generator program will help students to identify and evaluate innovative ideas and how to best turn them into job and business opportunities.
A partnership between the Faculties of Business Administration and Engineering and Applied Science, the i-Generator initiative brings together teams of engineering and business students to identify opportunities for technology products and then to advance the product with the help of experienced mentors or coaches.
Students can draw from a pool of intellectual property including inventions by professors held by the Genesis Group, Memorials technology commercialization arm.
The funding for i-Generator is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunites Agencys (ACOA) Business Development Program and was announced by Peter Penashue, minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and president of the Queens Privy Council.
Investing in entrepreneurship and the commercialization of innovative technologies are key parts of our governments jobs and growth strategy, said Mr. Penashue, on behalf of Bernard Valcourt, minister of state for ACOA and La Francophonie. Our universities are in the business of not only research and development, but also preparing students to seize economic opportunities that come with groundbreaking research and development. This initiative will help support technological entrepreneurship and help our best and brightest create jobs.
Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean, Faculty of Business Administration, said the initiative is an excellent catalyst for interdisciplinary entrepreneurship.
Innovation is more than invention, he said. It is the process of turning the ideas of inventors into products and technologies that have commercial potential, and requires the kind of collaboration with business expertise that the i-Generator program will foster.
Memorial has a track record of sparking tech startups, and this program will build on that experience, said Brian Veitch, professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Were experimenting with new ways to stimulate entrepreneurial behaviour amongst our students and faculty. Learning by doing is the approach of the i-Generator program and ultimately we want to see more startups.