Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, was at Brock today to announce a new program that will strengthen the skills of up-and-coming entrepreneurs in southern Ontario.
The Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative will provide up to $50 million to not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to help graduates with innovative, market-driven ideas commercialize their work.
“Our government recognizes the importance of investing in the ideas of recent graduates and graduate students and providing them with the skills and services necessary to become successful entrepreneurs,” Goodyear said. “By providing the necessary tools, we will create jobs and fuel business innovation and growth in southern Ontario.”
The funding will help Brock develop the business skills of graduate students working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The program complements other initiatives aimed at accelerating a knowledge-based economy in central Canada, President Jack Lightstone said.
“By helping recent graduates overcome economic barriers, more competitive products, processes and services will make it onto the market,” he said.
The program will support graduate students like Ellen Robb, a PhD student in Biology and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient, who also spoke at today’s announcement.
The program “will help to overcome and demystify the obstacles that stand in the way of commercializing innovative research,” she said.
Her work, which looks at the positive health effects of resveratrol, an active ingredient in red wine, is an example of the type of research that stands to benefit from the initiative.
Under the program, Brock can access funds to support up to 50 per cent of the cost of commercialization fellowships valued up to $30,000 per fellowship. Applications are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis.