International expert links Brock research with business

John Wilson

John Wilson

An international expert has come to Brock from Oxford University to help connect researchers with companies interested in funding them.

John Wilson has joined the Technology Transfer team in Brock’s Office of Research Services. His focus is getting more commercial interest in research at Brock, which will bring funding, partnerships and a higher profile for the University.

“Universities that embraced innovation a decade ago are now reaping the benefits,” he said. “New companies have been formed, new products have gone to market and many new jobs have been created.”

Research and business operate under different rules, Wilson said. But it’s possible to bring the two worlds together.

“The business, the researcher and the University can all benefit from the relationship,” he said.

Wilson will help Niagara and area businesses connect with Brock researchers who have potential answers to their research and development challenges. Under Wilson’s leadership, the Technology Transfer team will help match researchers with businesses of all sizes through outreach programs, and help them find shared funding opportunities.

Wilson’s arrival is particularly timely given the planned opening of the business incubator in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex next year. He was drawn to Brock because of the opportunity to start a program from the ground up, and set the foundation for it to grow, he said.

Wilson has a PhD from Bristol University in the UK, training as a chemist before spending five years as a researcher at Virginia Tech, and later Bristol University. The UK native then worked as a product developer for Unilever in England.

After that, he ran a start-up company, financed from venture capital, which develops electronic and optical technologies.

“John’s arrival at Brock represents an important step in our plans to engage actively in the commercialization of Brock researchers’ discoveries and to help grow Niagara’s economy in new and exciting ways,” said Ian Brindle, Brock’s Vice-President Research.

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