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Mary Ann Liebert, Industrial Biotechnology, 5(9), p. 258-259

DOI: 10.1089/ind.2013.1593



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Pathway to Innovation

Journal article published in 2013 by Catherine Burns ORCID
This paper is available in a repository.
This paper is available in a repository.

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A lbert Einstein once said, ''Knowledge is important; innovation more so.'' Research ideas that never leave the laboratory represent a loss to us all in terms of health, welfare, and economy. It is one thing to develop a strong research program, but a clear pathway is need-ed to transfer the best and most useful ideas from the lab to industry. Completing this pathway is one of the roles of the University of Waterloo's new Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB). CBB, comprised of more than 140 fac-ulty members, explicitly includes companies and health care institutions as members to ensure that the communication of great ideas occurs at the earliest stages of research. When re-search ideas grow from a strong industry-university partnership, the chances of those ideas being the right ones to commercialize are much better. The University of Waterloo (uWaterloo) is known worldwide for its unique culture of innovation (recognized by Maclean's magazine as the ''most innovative university in Canada'' 21 years out of 21 years). At the core of this culture is the univer-sity's ''Inventor-owns'' intellectual property (IP) policy. 1 This policy means that students and researchers fully own whatever they create at uWaterloo, with no strings attached. Unlike other universities that expect a part ownership in IP, or that impose some form of mandatory revenue sharing models, the uWaterloo policy is fundamental and is the basis for all uWaterloo dis-coveries. The effects of this policy have, over time, been shown to be dramatic: . This culture attracts more entrepreneurial and industry focused faculty. uWaterloo researchers understand and want to work with industry. . It allows researchers to enter into more industry-friendly IP agreements in which they can freely negotiate agreements with companies for mutual benefit. This ability to negotiate has been fundamental to the success of uWaterloo re-searchers in attracting and keeping industry funding. . Researchers and students have the freedom to commer-cialize their ideas in a way that makes the most sense to them, through licensing, patenting, or forming a company. It is no mistake that the Region of Waterloo is known for its entrepreneurial technology sector, with more than 1,000 tech-nology companies generating more than $30 billion in revenue annually. The City of Waterloo was chosen by the Intelligent