In fulfilment the of the Province of Ontario’s Commercialization Mandate Policy Framework (CMPF), part of Ontario’s Intellectual Property Action Plan, Brock University has developed a Commercialization Policy for IP created at the University and an Annual Commercialization Plan (ACP).
Brock University strives to mobilize research for the benefit of Ontario and society by promoting opportunities for enhancing the impact of university research, scholarship, and creative activity. The commercialization of IP, and building constructive relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with industry and the community, are essential means of supporting research impact. Brock is committed to the management and protection of IP in a manner that supports and enhances commercialization opportunities, and creates a net benefit to Ontario through economic, social, and cultural impact. Brock’s Commercialization Policy is published here:
Annual Commercialization Plan
An essential component of Ontario’s Commercialization Mandate Policy Framework (CMPF) is the Annual Commercialization Plan (ACP). Summarizing priorities, activities in the generation, protection, and management of Intellectual Property (IP). Below is the public statement from Brock University’s first ACP (May, 2023), summarizing activities of the calendar year 2022.
Brock University is committed to the management and protection of researcher-generated intellectual property (IP) in a manner that maximizes commercialization opportunities, protects Ontario interests, and strengthens the Ontario economy. This commitment is embedded in current Brock University policies, plans, practices, and guidelines and represents a strong culture of incentivizing and fostering the creation and mobilization of intellectual property providing an excellent platform for supporting and enhancing innovators at Brock. One of the four key strategic priorities in Brock’s Strategic Plan, “Niagara Roots – Global Reach”, is to, “enhance the life and vitality of our local region and beyond”. Brock has deep ties to the community. Engagement with the community, including collaborating with local industry to enhance economic development, is a guiding principle of Brock’s innovation efforts. Brock is an “inventor-owned” or “creator-owned” institution. Faculty and students own their inventions and IP creations and the University does not take a stake in ownership, except in specific contractual circumstances. This policy fosters innovation, supports entrepreneurship, attracts talented inventors (both faculty and students), and leads to economic benefits. The newly approved Commercialization Policy provides a framework, priorities, and guidance that is rooted in the Brock University’s principles of community engagement to grow and enhance Brock’s innovation ecosystem.
Brock’s innovation-centred approach
Our commercialization and partnership strategy for University-generated IP is consultative, collaborative, tailored to the research, considers the nature of knowledge or IP that has been generated, and takes into account the goals of the researchers and stakeholders. Brock evaluates the invention or idea for commercial potential and then devises a commercialization strategy unique to the IP. This may include protecting the IP, licensing the IP, establishing a collaborative partnership for additional development, or creating a start-up company. Other impacts are also considered to be successful outcomes of knowledge transfer including: enhancing academic opportunities, supporting student experiences, creating societal benefits, economic and financial benefits, as well as positive reputational impacts.
Brock’s research and innovation ecosystem
The Office of the Vice-President, Research, through the Office of Research Services (ORS) and the Partnerships, Innovation, and IP Advancement (PIIPA) unit and Brock LINC, support the entire Brock community to explore new research and scholarship opportunities and strengthen existing ones.
Office of Research Services (ORS) – Partnerships, Innovation, and IP Advancement (PIIPA)
The sourcing, evaluation, development, and commercialization of IP is managed by the PIIPA unit in the Office of Research Services. The PIIPA team connects with all departments and faculties of the University to discover new IP and devise the best ways to support the development of the IP. PIIPA has two main functions:
- Managing Intellectual Property: Sourcing, protecting, commercializing, and facilitating commercialization or the transfer of Brock research and IP to industry partners and other receptors; and
- Facilitating Research Partnerships: Establishing and facilitating collaborative partnerships, targeted research opportunities, research contracts, and formal relationships between Brock and partners.
Brock LINC is Brock University’s innovation and entrepreneurship centre. The LINC provides university and community members with opportunities to learn new skills that support innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. From developing technology skills, exploring a creative idea, commercializing research or starting a business. Brock LINC programs, events and services are open to anyone looking for support on the innovation journey.
Engagement with the private sector
Brock University is committed to fostering relationships with Ontario-based and Canadian companies. As guided by the University’s Strategic Plan, Brock is committed to supporting economic growth, innovation, and community development. Brock strives to accomplish this goal through:
- Supporting entrepreneurship, commercialization, and innovation by encouraging entrepreneurial-minded students, faculty and community members supported by Brock LINC, fostering creativity and curiosity through engagement with technology; and increasing the volume, diversity and impact of innovation;
- Increasing access to programs that are in high demand from students that will increase the employability of graduates; and
- In partnership with our communities, anticipating and responding to societal needs through the co-creation of knowledge of local and global opportunities and challenges.
Through engagement and participation in research partnerships, Brock University is committed to being an active innovation partner. Some examples of engagement include:
- Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) responds to the needs of the grape and wine industry by providing industry-driven research and essential services with programs like TanninAlert, VineAlert, virus testing and analysis services, workshops, events, and providing essential research expertise and knowledge. CCOVI provides a significant economic impact. A 2016 study showed that CCOVI contributed more than $91 million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15;
- The Brock-Niagara Validation, Prototyping, and Manufacturing Institute (VPMI) is a collaborative hub connecting Brock researchers and students with industry partners integrating technical expertise and innovation at Brock University with scientific equipment partners and Ontario businesses. VPMI is dedicated to supporting the bioproducts, bioscience, bioagriculture and chemical manufacturing sectors in Ontario and beyond through research and innovation, testing and prototyping, and training;
- Brock researchers from across all faculties have partnered with large companies, SMEs, start ups, and community organizations in active and mutually beneficial collaborations;
- Brock LINC partners with Canadian entrepreneurs, corporations, and community organizations to provide a variety of engagement opportunities, including start-up mentorship, workshop facilitation, speaker events, networking opportunities, partnerships, sponsorships and general start-up support; and
- Brock’s Co-op, Career, and Experiential Education (CCEE) partners with companies and community organizations to provide students with opportunities for practical, hands-on experience and gain skills and companies with access to a highly skilled and diverse pool of talent.
Engagement with research and innovation intermediaries
Brock University has a formal, long-standing, and active partnership with Innovate Niagara, Niagara’s Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), as well as relationships with additional innovation partners, such as funders, angel networks, RICs, Chambers of Commerce, incubators and accelerators, and other post-secondaries and research institutions. Brock LINC and PIIPA meet regularly with Innovate Niagara and other regional innovation partners to share information to ensure that the innovation ecosystem can best support the innovators at Brock and in the Niagara region. Brock regularly participates in events and workshops of our innovation partners.
Engagement with IPON
The Government of Ontario created IPON to, “provide intellectual property supports and services to help businesses and researchers innovate and grow.” The Brock University innovation community is excited to work with IPON to support the development and protection of IP, enhance IP and commercialization educational opportunities at the University, and facilitate a connection to IPON for our industry partners who would benefit from their supports. As IPON grows and expands their services, we look forward to IPON assisting Brock’s innovation efforts.