Upcoming conference to look at commercialization of innovative research

George Ross, provincial deputy minister of research & innovation, will give the opening keynote address at the upcoming conference, Commercialization of Innovative Research: Implementing Solutions that Work for Canada, at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Left: George Ross

Three panels with speakers from diverse fields, such as biology, business and law, will discuss aspects of intellectual property (IP) commercialization, patenting, entrepreneurship and technology transfer. The conference will take place Friday, March 20 from 9am to 3pm in 206 Osgoode Hall Law School, Keele campus.

Prior to becoming deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation (MRI) last year, Ross was the assistant deputy minister and was responsible for leading major government investments crucial to enhancing Ontario’s knowledge economy. The MRI is charged with strengthening Ontario as a leading, innovation-based economy and society.

The first panel will run from 9:30 to 10:30am and will look at “Law and Policy Efforts Relating to Commercialization of Innovative Research”. It will address the key issues facing Canada in encouraging innovation, tax-related and other incentives for promoting innovation and commercialization of research, and the US perspective on commercialization, intellectual property and competition.

The panel will be moderated by Professor Emir Mohammed (right) of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law and an IP Osgoode research affliliate whose primary interests lie in all domestic, international and comparative aspects of IP law. The panellists will be Paul Carenza, partner at Ogilvy Renault; James Isbester (left), an Osgoode graduate (LLB ’87), member of the IP Osgoode International Advisory Council and a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew; and Tina Piper, a professor of law at McGill University, and an IP Osgoode research affiliate.

“Entrepreneurship, Business Strategy and Case Studies” is the topic of the second panel moderated by Professor Poonam Puri (left) of Osgoode Hall Law School, from 10:45 to 11:45am. It will look at business strategy lessons from past experiences in commercializing research, new mechanisms to provide better entrepreneurship opportunities in Canada, intellectual property and funding for research and new ventures, and patterns in the management behaviour of small and medium enterprises that enable or disable their ability to commercialize their innovations.

The panel will be comprised of Marc Castel, manager of business development for the Centre for Photonics at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.; Tom Corr, CEO of the Accelerator Centre at the University of Waterloo; and Professor David Johnston (right) of York’s Schulich School of Business.

The third panel will discuss “The Role of Universities in Commercializing Research” from 1 to 2:15pm with Darlene Homonko, executive director of the Golden Horseshoe Bioscience Network; Michelle Lindsay, associate director of York’s Research Agreements & Intellectual Property; John McCulloch, venture group advisor of the MaRS Discovery District; and Professor Ron Pearlman (left) of York’s Department of Biology.

The panel will discuss, among other things, the experiences of researchers in commercializing their research and the critical lessons learned at various stages of the process, IP policies and awareness at universities, public-private partnerships, and international approaches to commercializing academic research.

Giuseppina D’Agostino (right), director of IP Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law & Technology Program and a professor of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and Puri, associate director of The Hennick Centre for Business & Law are the conference co-chairs.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free conference. To RSVP, e-mail iposgoode@osgoode.yorku.ca. For more information, visit the IP Osgoode conference Web site.